As part of its activities under the banner programs on research and development (R&D) results utilization, the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) participated in iSCENE 2023- International Smart City Exposition and Networking Engagement: Building Smart and Sustainable Cities and Communities in the Philippines, on March 23-25, 2023 at the International Convention Center, Cauayan City, Isabela. Ms. Adoracion B. Armada, Officer-in-Charge of PCAARRD’s Agricultural Resources Management Research Division presented Smart Farming R&D initiatives during the plenary session. The following smart farming technologies were featured during the exhibits and during the breakout session on Smarter Agriculture:
- The project on Smarter Approaches to Reinvigorate Agriculture as an Industry in the Philippines (Project SARAi), aims to craft advisories targeted for rice, corn, banana, coconut, coffee, cacao, sugarcane, soybean, and tomato. The crop advisories focus on integrating local weather data and drought forecast with farm management activities, especially nutrient and water management, and proactive pest and disease monitoring. SARAI is a DOST-PCAARRD-funded project implemented by the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB).
- The project “Demeter’s Eyes: An Embedded System for Smart Detection, Recognition, and Mapping of Phytoplasma Disease (Witches’ Broom) in Cassava Plants” is a DOST-PCAARRD-monitored project implemented by the Isabela State University (ISU) in cooperation with EDCOR Development cooperative of San Guillermo, Isabela. It is funded by DOST’s Collaborative Research and Development to Leverage Philippine Economy- Science for Change Program (CRADLE-S4CP). The system detects and monitors cassava phytoplasma disease (CPD) using aerial unmanned vehicles. Its SMS notification service alerts all users and farmers on the extent of disease infection. Other services it provides include graphical analysis, mapping, information on disease management protocol, and management service intended for municipal agricultural officers and cassava experts, farmers, and plantation owners.
- The Agricultural Robot-Tomasino Innovation System (AGROTIS) can be installed to hand tractors to work independently guided by a global positioning system (GPS) sensor when navigating to specific waypoints in the field. The system allows farmers to monitor and operate the hand tractor from a remote base station. AGROTIS is also a PCAARRD-funded project, which will soon be completed this year by the lead implementer, University of Santo Tomas (UST).
- BAMBOOST is a mobile marketplace application that links bamboo farmers, crafts makers, and manufacturers to a wider market. It promotes the use of sustainable, eco-friendly, and science and technology (S&T)-based bamboo products. The application is downloadable in the Google Play Store. This technology is a product of a DOST-PCAARRD staff’s masteral research conducted at the Asian Institute of Technology in Bangkok, Thailand. It was developed in cooperation with the University of Science and Technology- Southern Philippines-Cagayan de Oro Campus (USTP-CDO) and other partner institutions.
- The Automated Furrow Irrigation System (AFIS) is an output of a DOST-PCAARRD-funded research implemented by Central Luzon State University (CLSU). AFIS generates water savings and increases sugarcane yield. It also has the potential to expand areas for sugarcane production with the availability of irrigation water.
The five technologies were discussed further in the mini break-out session on Smarter Agriculture, which was participated in by around 50 individuals from various local government units, government and non-government agencies, and the private sector. Speakers include Mr. Robert Patrick Cabangbang of UPLB for the topic SARAi, Dr. Irma Plata of ISU for Demeter’s Eyes, Dr. Marvin Cinense of CLSU for AFIS, Ms. Analiza Diaz of DOST-PCAARRD’s Technology Transfer and Promotion Division for BAMBOOST, and Engr. Jay-ar Montillana of UST for AGROTIS. The breakout session aims to present project results and learnings on smart farming-related projects. This Session was held in partnership with the Cagayan Valley for Agriculture Aquatic Resources Research and Development (CVAARRD) consortium of PCAARRD.
Apart from the exhibit, DOST-PCAARRD representatives also distributed hard copy and QR-coded information materials to more than 300 visitors.