Mobile phone app seeks to help farmers
The Department of Agriculture (DA) will soon launch a new mobile phone application calle FARMHELP, which would enable farmers, fishermen, and other agriculture stakeholders to forward their concerns and submit complaints to the DA 24 hours every day and seven days a week.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said that FARMHELP, designed by the group PureForce, which also designed the 911 and the 8888 programs of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, will just be one of the two important information technology projects of the DA, next to the National Color-Coded Guide Map.
Using a smartphone, the user could just easily download FARMHELP.
“For example, a farmer who would like to request for a technical information on a disease affecting his fruit trees, could simply take a photo of the diseased plant and send it to the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI),” Piñol said.
“The information will immediately be forwarded to the BPI by the 24/7 answering desk as soon as the offices open the following morning,” he added.
In cases of extreme emergency, the user could use SMS messaging or call a Hotline, which would be indicated once the FARMHELP phone application is downloaded.
With the app’s help, damage to crops or vital farm infrastructures like roads or bridges could be easily responded to, Piñol further said.
It will also warn farmers and fisher folks of incoming typhoons or weather disturbances and provide information on when rains are expected.