“It is very rare to see collaboration from the private sector, the academe, the local government unit, national government agencies, to work hand in hand to uplift the lives of our farmers. I am very and excited with the Digital Farmers Program (DFP), I think it will really make a tremendous impact on the lives of our farmers in Cauayan, in Isabela and the entire Philippines,” Cauayan City Mayor Bernard Faustino Dy shared during the ceremonial signing of the Memorandum of Agreement for the Smart City on September 28, 2019.
“Smart Cities can be as complex as having sensors in every street, it can be as complicated or futuristic as having laws that allows driver less vehicle roam the street; but it can be as simple as informing our farmers if it will going to rain or not. It will have a very big impact [to our farmers], because now, once they know if it is going to rain then they will not dry their produce. These simple things, simple information using technology really changes the lives of our people,” Mayor Dy explained.
The Digital Farmers Program (DFP) is a collaborative effort of the Department of Agriculture- Agricultural Training Institute- and Smart Communications, Inc. Public Affairs Group.
The DFP aims to empower our farmers by capacitating them with the basic information and communication technologies and tools such as social media, climate and weather monitoring applications, and other decision support tools.
In a message of Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar delivered by DA-Regional Field Office 02 Executive Director Narciso A. Edillo, he shared that, “through the DFP we empower small scale farmers through the ladderized education approach. It engages both smallholder farmers and the youth, capacitating them digital literacy to be more receptive on new farming.”
The DFP will be an integral part of the institutionalization of Cauayan City as Smart City—the first in the country.
The Smart City is aimed at making cities “future-ready “ through technologies and digital solutions to make them more connected, resilient, and digitally enabled.
“This partnership with the City of Cauayan is more than just connecting and activating consumers and customers. It’s all about engaging them and providing solutions and services that will address their specific needs,” said Mr. Alejandro Caeg, the head of Consumer Sales of Smart Communications.
At present, the City Government of Cauayan had already launched the Cauayan City App which makes easier and faster transactions with the LGU and other entities in the city. In addition, they have existing partnership with the Department of Science and Technology and Isabela State University to achieve the goals of being Smart City.
“If we can do it in Cauayan in a rural setting, there is no reason for other cities not do it,” Mayor Dy said.