Web tool helps raise rice yield and income

 Liz Barona-Edna   |  

Launched today in the Philippines, Rice Crop Manager puts the power of technology into action by helping farmers decide how to manage their rice crops better.

“The use of the Rice Crop Manager will hopefully bring an increase in yield or productivity, and also raise the income of farmers by about Php 4,000 per crop per hectare,” said Dr. Manny Regalado, acting deputy director for research at the Department of Agriculture –Philippine Rice Research Institute (DA-PhilRice).

Rice Crop Manager is an application that could be accessed via a smartphone or a computer with Internet connection. It allows extension officers to give farmers a specific recommendation on nutrient, pest, weed, or water management, depending on the specific variety they used, their yield from the previous season, and the site-specific conditions of their field.

Rice Crop Manager can be accessed for free here. It can also be downloaded for free as an app named ‘RCM PH’ via the Google play store. It builds on the success of its predecessor, Nutrient Manager for Rice, which was only focused on nutrient management advice.

Through improved crop and nutrient management, Rice Crop Manager aims to add 300kg of unmilled rice to each crop per season, per hectare.

Moreover, the additional production for the country would amount to an extra 20,000 metric tons of milled rice for each 100,000 hectares of rice cultivation per season.

“Using Rice Crop Manager, extension workers, who bring technical know-how and technologies to farmers through the Food Staples Sufficiency Program, will be empowered to provide farmers intelligent recommendations based on technical data on rice crop management,” explained Dr. Regalado.

“IRRI fully supports the provision of relevant technologies and decision support tools, like RCM, that improve farm production and help the Philippines in its goal to be rice self-sufficient,” said Mr. Julian Lapitan, head of Partnerships and the Philippine Desk at IRRI.

Rice Crop Manager is currently being field-tested in two municipalities in each of five provinces in the Philippines: Echague and Cauayan, Isabela; Muñoz and Talugtug, Nueva Ecija; Catubig and Las Navas, Northern Samar; Buenavista and Jabonga, Agusan del Norte;and, Calapan and Naujan, Oriental Mindoro. In each municipality, 20 farmers are receiving recommendations via Rice Crop Manager.

With the help of an extension officer, Rice Crop Manager provides advice after a farmer answers a series of questions. Then it allows an extension officer to save, print, or send the recommendations to the farmer’s phone by email or SMS.

Rice Crop Manager was developed by IRRI as a product of a research collaboration with the DA-PhilRice.

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