RCMAS 4.0: New Version, Enhanced Implementation

Wed, 05/31/2023 - 12:54


C. Navales discuss RCMAS to farmer
Participant, Ms. Carmela Navales, discusses RCMAS to local rice farmer in Brgy. Hilapnitan, Baybay City, Leyte.

BAYBAY CITY, Leyte - The Rice Crop Manager Advisory Services has gone through many innovations and upgrades since its development. Now, it’s on its version 4.0 with added features that aim to improve the government’s services to its clients – the rice farmers of the Philippines. The Agricultural Training Institute – Regional Training Center VIII, being one of IRRI, PhilRice, and DA’s partner in the implementation of RCMAS related activities, conducted a 4-day Training on the Rice Crop Manager Advisory Services. #RCMAS aimed to enhance the capacity of Rice AEWS from different municipalities in Eastern Visayas to operate, use and train others on the upgraded RCM Advisory Service.

During the activity, participants learned about the functionalities and the uses of the RCMAS. They learned about the science behind RCM including site-specific nutrient management. What made the training more interesting was the topic of GPS measurement. Since RCMAS requires GPX files to validate a farm lot, participants were taught on how to use hand-held GPS devices and upload them online. A short overview of the farmer monitoring on 4D Farms was also included  to monitor farmer’s usage of the RCMAS recommendation or even their awareness regarding the program.

On the third day, participants visited Brgy. Hilapnitan in Baybay City, Leyte. There, they conducted the hands-on workshop on RCMAS. Participants interviewed local rice farmers, validated their farm lots by measuring each individual lot using their GPS devices, and provided the farmers with a unique RCMAS recommendation for the coming cropping season. Farmers were also provided with their farmer IDs after the one-day workshop.

It is said that RCMAS interviews and recommendation distribution shall be conducted before crop establishment or the first fertilizer application. With this, participants from various municipalities in Southern Leyte, Leyte, Samar, Northern and Eastern Samar targeted farmer interviews for the year 2023. To help them in their targets, ATI-RTC 8 will be conducting an RCM Briefing to one of the municipalities attending the activity. In the end, the City of Maasin was identified for the briefing. ATi RTC 8 shall be  assisting them in their RCM interviews in June 2023.

“With regards to ATI trainings, they are always useful. From the beginning as a new AEW up until now, ATI trainings gave me knowledge.” Said Ms. Lisa Allunam, Municipal Agriculturist of Pastrana, Leyte. “However, the results of each training depends on how we apply our learnings in our respective LGUs.” She challenged her fellow participants to prove that they have learned something from the training and hopes that proper support will be provided to them in their offices – the provision of gadgets especially the GPS. “Despite our eagerness to apply our knowledge but without proper resources, our learnings would only be in vain.”

On the other hand, being a soil science major, Charline Colangan from Las Navas, Northern Samar (?) felt more confident to provide nutrient management recommendations to her constituents back home. “We don’t need to conduct soil analysis because the information is site-specific already. I already heard about RCM but through this training, I was more aware about the platform and got the chance to use it fully.”

ATI-RTC 8 Center Director, Ms. Hazel Grace Taganas reminded the participants about their core, what their purpose were for attending such trainings. “Situate the needs not for yourselves but for your clients.” With the changes in technology, she said that one must learn to adapt. “Technology was made to make life easier. We need to level-up not just for our knowledge, skills, and attitude but the way we do things, the way we provide services. Thank you for choosing to grow by joining this training.”

RCMAS participants

The 4-day RCMAS training was participated in by twenty-three (23) participants and was held at ATI-RTC 8, VSU, Baybay City, Leyte on May 23-26, 2023. The training was made possible through the close collaboration between ATI-RTC 8 and DA-RFO 8. Present during the activity were resource persons Mr. Leandro Baula and Mr. Arnold Malot.