RCM Transition from IRRI to DA Underway

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Representatives from DA RFOs, ATI and IRRI come up with a sustainability plan, particularly on capability-building, for the DA’s implementation of the RCM.

BAGUIO CITY, Benguet – The Department of Agriculture (DA) and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) are now laying the groundwork for the upcoming turnover of the Rice Crop Manager (RCM) to the Department by 2020.

In a strategic planning workshop conducted for the transition phase of the turnover, representatives from the DA, some of its regional field offices (RFOs) and its attached agencies, and IRRI drew up a timeline of activities that the turnover will entail. They also identified the role of the key players in the undertaking and the resources needed for the Department to fully manage and implement the RCM.

The line-up of activities will form part of the plan to be developed by an RCM national turnover committee by March 2018. The identified activities are focused on three components for transition, namely, the apps and databases, processes, and training.

The activities identified cover the three phases of the turnover, which are the pre-transition phase which centers on discussion, planning, coordination and assessment; the transition proper which is comprised of capability-building activities and the go-live date by the end of 2020; and the turnover phase which is about the troubleshooting and management of the app and the turnover ceremony itself early 2021.

DA Field Programs Operational Planning Division (FPOPD) Chief Christopher Morales urged everyone at the workshop to be objective and realistic in their assessment and planning for the project at hand. He also underscored the Department’s thrust to increase productivity, saying “The national average yield of rice is 3.9 metric tons (MT) per hectare. Now, we have a modest target of 6 MT per hectare. Our readiness to implement and institutionalize RCM is, hence, very critical.”

The finalization of the transition plan for RCM is expected to be in the third quarter of 2018. In support to the plan, coordination meetings, assessment, orientation-workshops, module development activities, among others, will also be in place next year.

RCM is an app developed by IRRI for the Philippines that provides site-specific crop and nutrient management recommendations. Accessed through desktop computers and smartphones, RCM aims to contribute to the implementation of appropriate ‘modern precision farming’.

The strategic planning workshop was held on December 18-20, 2017 at Eurotel in this city. Attendees were representatives from DA-FPOPD, DA-Field Operations Services, Cordillera Administrative RFO, RFO XI, RFO XIII, Agricultural Training Institute, Bureau of Agricultural Research, Bureau of Soils and Water Management, Philippine Rice Research Institute, and IRRI.

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