The enactment of the Agriculture and Fishery Modernization Act (AFMA) has given the State Universities and Colleges (SUC) the opportunity to participate in the delivery of extension services. In response to this, the Strategic Promotion of Integrated Crop Management (ICM) for Hybrid and Inbred Rice Varieties is being carried out by the Aklan State University through its Extension and Community Services (ASU-ECS) funded by the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) and Department of Agriculture Regional Field Unit 6 in collaboration with the Agricultural Training Institute-Regional Training Center VI (ATI-RTC VI), Farmers’ Training Center (FTC) in Capiz, Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPAg) of Aklan and Capiz, Local Government Units (LGU’s),and Radio Mindanao Network (RMN).
The strategic promotion project was implemented in accordance with other government rice programs which aimed to ensure rice self-sufficiency, improve productivity and income of farmers, generate employment in rural areas, and make the rice industry competitive to the world market. Knowing all too well, that this cannot be easily accomplished, the ASU through its Extension and Community Services with the collaborating agencies, initiated this project which aimed to create awareness and to promote adoption of integrated crop management (ICM) for both the inbred and hybrid rice varieties using radio broadcast complemented with techno-demo and "teknoklinik" thus increasing rice yield by one (1) ton per hectare per cropping and raising farmers’ income by 10 percent.
Integrated Crop Management (ICM) refers to the integration of all the available technologies and best practices on crop management. It included all the aspects of rice production, starting from seed selection to post harvest activities. It is dedicated on assisting farmers through teaching them the best method and guiding them in decision making and problem solving with regards to their crop management.
The organizers used three strategies to achieve these objectives. The first strategy is through the Farmers’ School on the Air (FSA). This one-hour weekly program popularly known as "PatRole sa Panguma" produced by ASU-DYMT then aired simultaneously at DYMT 100.9FM and RMN-DYKR 1161AM was in Filipino language with Hiligaynon and Aklanon languages to enhance effective communication with the local farmers. English language was mainly used for technical terms to emphasize clarity and accuracy of meaning. It has three major segments; (1) PatRole Balita, (2) PatRole Teknolohiya, and (3) PatRole question and answer.
The PatRole Balita segment relayed news items about the agro-fishery and developmental activities of various stakeholders such as the DA and its attached agencies, LGUs, SUCs, and activities of farmers group like the irrigators association, seed growers, cooperatives, and industry assisted associations. The PatRole Teknolohiya featured basic rice science, developed technologies and improved farming practices that comprise the ICM. Detailed discussions were sometimes presented with invited farmer-cooperator or specialist. Occasionally, sub-segments were introduced like (a) F1 Cultivation (Teknolohiyang Mestizo), (b) rainfed rice farming (Teknolohiyang Sahod-Ulan), and (c) Direct Seeding (Teknolohiyang Sabog Tanim). At present, the segment PatRole question and answer gives time to answer questions sent by the listeners. Sometimes, invited resource persons provided answers and insights on the problems and issues presented by the listeners and FSA participants.
The said program hosted by the Project Leader, Paterno I. Rebuelta and Salvacion Villasis received the PAJ 2003 Binhi Award as the Agricultural Radio Program of the Year As evaluated, it serves as an effective tool of information dissemination since it reaches more listener-farmers all over Aklan, thus increasing their awareness on new methodologies which could help them increase their crop production.
The second strategy used is the On-Farm Demonstration or the Participatory Technology Demonstration (PTD). The demonstration sites were selected properly to represent a broad rice-based farming community in selected municipalities of the province. The components of ICM practices and technologies featured in techno-demo or FFS-ICM participatory techno-demonstrations were; (a) appropriate variety and quality seeds, (b) proper land preparation and proper water management, (c) the integrated nutrient management (INM), and (d) integrated pests management (IPM).
The demonstration for the said practices and technologies were presented by: ASU Staff Paterno I. Rebuelta, Prof. Evelyn Vedasto, Ma. Rema Lauron and Arthur Jismundo; and ATI representative, Mavillo Villorente. Other resource persons were from; LGU-Banga Peter Recio, Helvin Relimbo and Elmar Estanislao; LGU-Makato Jimmy Abello; LGU-Malinao Alili Ibea and Lucila Ibunes, and LGU-Washington Marietta Remaneses.
A Field Day or "Teknoklinik" was organized by the assigned Agricultural Technologists. This showcased the performance of the component technologies utilized on the farm demonstration. Teknoklinik included activities such as farmers’ meeting, farm visits, dialogue and consultation regarding the technologies being promoted. The Teknoklinik started with a visit to the hybrid demo farm where issues and discussions evolved. The LGU Municipal Agriculture Office (MAO) organized the "teknoklinik" in coordination with the project team.
After the two (2) season-long application of the strategic promotion model for ICM in the selected barangays in different municipalities, there are several visible results. On the farmers’ awareness level, the improved management practices and technologies increased to 28.66 percent at irrigated area and 34.83 percent in the rained ecosystem. On the other hand, the farmers’ adoption level of improved management practices increased by 44.08 percent in the irrigated and 40 percent in the rained ecosystems. In means of production, the irrigated ecosystem increased to 0.49 ton per hectare after participation.
A noticeable increase of 1.1 tons per hectare was observed in Guinbaliwan, New Washington where five (5) out of 12 farmers used hybrid seeds. In the rainfed ecosystem, an increase yield of 0.32 ton per hectare after participation was obtained by farmers. However, in Tambuan, Malinao a decrease of 0.27 ton per hectare resulted due to inadequate rainfall during the cropping. The Janlud farmers in Libacao had also yielded lower by 0.02 ton per hectare due to the occurrence of pests. Based on these productions, the net income of farmers in irrigated areas also increased by 37.57 percent, while the farmers in rainfed barangays have gained an increase of 71.07 percent. A drop in farmers’ income in Barangay Tambuan, Malinao was observed due to the lower yield.
With the use of these strategies, the technology promotion model had increased the farmers’ awareness and adoption level of improved management practices which consequently increased production and income. Thus, it is recommended for further validation and possible adoption./MP mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org