The Department of Agriculture (DA), through the Agricultural Training Institute (DA-ATI) and Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), has officially launched the School-on-the-Air on Smart Rice Agriculture (SOA-SRA) in the different regions in the country.
Dubbed as “PalayAralan: Makabagong Pagsasaka sa Himpapawid”, the SOA-SRA is designed to unify all radio programs of the DA about the cutting edge technologies and groundbreaking approaches and help optimize farm yields in medium and low-yielding provinces while reducing production cost by addressing location and season-specific constraints in the regions.
Targeting 61,500 farmers for the year 2021, the program is designed to enhance modernization of agriculture by sharing knowledge and skills to Filipino rice farmers on modern and innovative technologies of Climate-Smart Rice agriculture.
SOA-SRA is now being aired in all rice growing provinces, prioritizing farmers with less than 4 tons/ha yield. To further strengthen the broadcast of learning materials in the regions, ATI-Regional Training Centers partnered with local radio stations from their respective provinces as well as DA-Regional Field Offices, local government units and other regional offices of partner agencies. As of late May 2021, there are about seven regions that had officially launched the program in the provinces.
ATI Western Visayas is the first region to officially launch and air SOA-SRA last March 16, 2021 with about 7,000 farmers enrolled in the program. With the program’s localized title Palay Eskwelahan: Bag-ong Pagpanguma sa Kahanginan, the ATI RTC VI partnered with local radio stations such as DYKA 801 kHz, DYRI 774 kHz, DYSI 1323 kHz, DYKR 1161 kHz, DYVR 657 kHz, and DYEZ 684 kHz to broadcast the program in the six provinces in the region.
ATI MIMAROPA followed when they officially launched the SOA-SRA last April 5, 2021, with 2,000 enrolled farmers and partnered with three local radio stations namely 101.7 FM Radyo Natin San Jose, 103.3 FM Radyo Natin Sablayan, and Bay FM Mamburao.
ATI Cagayan Valley started its broadcast last May 6, 2021, with 3,000 enrolled farmers and partnered with DWPE 864, DWQP 92.1, DWSI 864, DWRV 1233, and DZDA 105.3 to establish stronger viewership in the region.
Meanwhile, ATI Training Centers in Caraga and Zamboanga Peninsula both officially launched last May 12, 2021. ATI Caraga uses their localized title of Radyo Eskwela: Mag Bag-ong Teknolohiya sa Paghumayan, aiming to reach 3,000 farmers while ATI Zamboanga Peninsula aims to extend their broadcast to 3,000 farmers as well. ATI Caraga partnered with 93.5 FM HOPE Radio while ATI Zamboanga Peninsula united with DXDR 981 Dipolog and aired lessons the next day, May 13th.
In the Bicol region, the ATI Bicol officially launched and aired the program last May 14, 2021 and targeted a total of 5,000 rice farmers. They partnered with local radio stations such as DWEN 100.5 FM, DWFB 96.7 FM, DWAW 99.9 FM, DWAO 95.3 FM, DZIM 98.3 FM, and DWNX 91.1 FM/1611 AM. Lastly, the launching of ATI CALABARZON was held last May 19, 2021. The region targeted 2,500 rice farmers and partnered with CALABARZON’s local radio stations such as DZJV 1458, 95.1 Kiss FM, DWAL 95.9, and DWAL 95.9. ATI Bicol started airing on the same day of launching while ATI Calabarzon started airing lessons on June 7, 2021.
Other regions like the Ilocos Region, Central Luzon, Eastern and Central Visayas, Northern Mindanao, CAR, Davao Region, and SOCCSKSARGEN will soon air the SOA-SRA lessons and officially launch in the second-half of the year.
To create awareness and encourage farmers to adopt and sustain use of the various smart rice technologies is the end-goal of the program. The knowledge that SOA-SRA provides will be an aid in achieving food security and increased livelihood of our farmers.
For more information on the airing schedules, visit ATI website, ATI’s official Facebook page or the official Facebook pages of the ATI Regional Training Centers.