IRRI demonstrates WaterRice technology to Iloilo farmers
In cooperation with the Western Visayas Integrated Agricultural Research Center (WESVIARC), the WateRice Project of International Rice Resarch Institute (IRR) conducted a demonstration of laser-guided land leveling to farmers of Iloilo, Philippines.
This, as IRRI works with national partners to promote technologies that maximize water-use efficiency and to reduce rice’s ecological footprint through the WateRice project.
To be specific, laser-guided land leveling results in a precisely leveled field brings about evenly maturing crops, higher yields better weed control, and reducing water and agro-chemical use.
IRRI assistant scientist and agricultural engineer Joseph Sandro said laser-guided land leveling particularly increases yield by an average of eight percent. It has also reduced greenhouse gas emissions from saving on energy, reducing cultivation time and increasing input efficiency.
During a demonstration, more than 100 participants were recently able to engage with mechanization scientists, Dr. Elmer Bautista and Engr. Joseph Sandro.
Through these exchanges, participants learned valuable information on the estimated cost of laser leveling per field, the best time of the season to conduct it and the opportunities for higher profit as a result of the implementation of the technology in their farms.
Although laser leveling requires significant investment, farmers are able to access the technology through appropriate business models for contract service provision.
Participants of the demonstration were also given the opportunity to familiarize themselves with laser leveling equipment, and were encouraged to raise questions regarding its use and benefits.