MANILA, Philippines — With just a few clicks, Filipino farmers and agricultural specialists can now quickly harvest information on rice production thanks to a local online knowledge databank.
Until today, the Pinoy Rice Knowledge Bank (PinoyRice) continues to provide online assistance to rice farmers, agricultural technicians and extension workers looking for area-specific and local resource materials on farming practices and technologies. The website’s content can now be read in five languages: English, Tagalog, Cebuano, Iluko and Hiligaynon.
The Department of Agriculture’s Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) launched the online database in 2010. Over time it has collected key materials compiled by experts and scientists for public use. The institute’s Development Communication Division manages this knowledge base.
PinoyRice’s key service is the PalayCheck System, which according to the site is “a dynamic rice crop management system” that presents best practices for rice farming. The system includes a checklist of guidelines, assessment criteria and recommendations for main farming practices, from variety and seed selection and land preparation, to crop establishment and harvest management. Within this system are also downloadable instructions, learning modules and videos.
Other features include English-Iluko and English-Tagalog agricultural dictionaries, online games, a map of palay harvest estimates, ebooks and videos. For those without constant Internet connection, an offline version of PinoyRice has been made available.
Aside from PinoyRice, PhilRice has ventured into other forms of media, creating social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter. Another project is the Pinoy Farmers’ Text Center, a text messaging service that sends information upon request to farmers who have questions on rice production.
PinoyRice is included in IRRI’s Rice Knowledge Bank, which contains links to knowledge banks of other countries, such as Bangladesh, Myanmar, Cambodia, Tanzania and Vietnam. – Rappler.com