Dar inaugurates Phl's first Precision and digital agriculture R4D facility

Agriculture Secretary William Dar led the inauguration of the first national center for Precision and Digital Agriculture (PreDiCT) in the country on 6 May 2022 at Central Luzon State University (CLSU).

PreDiCT aims to provide a more efficient, productive, sustainable, profitable, and globally competitive agriculture by developing and promoting precision technology-based farming.  

As part of the university’s project, titled Harnessing Precision and Digital Agriculture Technologies of High Value Crops at CLSU, PreDiCT features  various R4D facilities such as demo farms, greenhouse, and machine sheds. Several smart farming technologies were likewise developed and housed in PreDiCT. Among these are technologies for mapping soil fertility parameters, variable rate fertilizer application, sustainable plant factory system, automated irrigation systems, crop health monitoring and yield estimate. 

PreDiCT will serve as a learning ground for farmers, technicians, and students alike. It will provide researchers an avenue for developing and testing future precision technologies that will improve and increase the productivity of agricultural activities. 

“Let’s bring in and harness the synergy between and among the agencies in agriculture and put up a technical committee so that PreDiCT will become the repository of all the technologies that are being generated by the Science City of Muñoz,” said Secretary Dar, adding that there will always be something to improve and innovate in precision and digital agriculture. 

“As part of strengthening our programs, we will propose precision and digital agriculture R4D initiatives for next year—this will include the establishment of PreDiC’s framework, agenda, and programs,” DA-BAR director Dr. Junel Soriano said. 

Also in attendance during the inauguration were CLSU officials led by its president, Dr. Edgar A. Orden, vice president for research and extension and project leader Dr. Armando N. Espino Jr., and university extension center director Dr. Eugenia G. Baltazar. DA-BAR Director Soriano was joined by assistant director-designate for research support service Dr. Anthony B. Obligado, and research program development division head Raymond Patrick Cabrera.

Funded under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act, DA, through the High Value Crops Development Program and BAR supported the establishment of PreDiCT. (### Geline Nicole A. Morillo)