Philrice trains local farmer technicians to prepare for wet season
In preparation for the wet season when pests and diseases are usually prevalent, local farmer technicians (LFTs) from Pangasinan completed a week-long specialized course at the Philippine Rice Research Institute’s (PhilRice) Central Experiment Station.
Ev Angeles, training coordinator of PhilRice’s Technology Management and Services Division, said LFTs are trained to help their fellow farmers in identifying, assessing, and managing major pests and diseases in rice.
She said LFTs are model farmers in farming communities who are being tapped by the Department of Agriculture (DA) to complement local agricultural extension workers in providing technical assistance to farmers.
“We chose participants from major rice-producing areas of the province who need to strengthen their pest and disease diagnostic skills or those who have not undergone other intensive field diagnostic and pest management skills training. Through practical, hands-on exercises, we hoped to enhance their competence in this critical aspect of rice crop management,” she said.
The 30 training participants enhanced their skills on pest identification, disease diagnosis, and damage assessment.
They learned the principles of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), Agroecosystems Analysis (AESA), and the PalayCheck System to help them in making more informed decisions in pest and disease management.
Pangasinan placed third in the top rice-producing provinces in the Philippines in 2017, according to Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).