UPLB-NCPC, DA-BAR launch e-IRM app for armyworms in the PH

The National Crop Protection Center-College of Agriculture and Food Science (NCPC-CAFS) of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), with support from DA-BAR, launched its newest mobile application called Electronic-Insecticide Resistance Management Application or e-IRM App on 15 December 2022 at the NCPC Auditorium, College, Laguna.

The e-IRM application aims to establish baseline data on change in crop protection practices, particularly to identify commercially available insecticides that could prevent and avoid fall armyworms (FAW) and onion armyworms (OAW) infestation in the country. The said application has three features namely: a) e-IRM calendar; b) e-IRM (?); and c) e-IRM-Learn.

The e-IRM calendar is a site-specific insecticide calendar that is tailored on cropping season, susceptibility of insects, availability of insecticide, and historical insecticide usage of an area. It will also have separate pages for FAW and OAW that are based on specific parameters. The e-IRM features interactive maps from baseline data where users can navigate the insecticide management profile of an area. Further, FAW and OAW life cycles will be discussed, hence, its behavior in various crop production.

An education platform, particularly in managing pests and delaying the occurrence of insecticide resistance, the application will enable farmers to learn the technical knowledge on proper mitigation of fall armyworms while considering food and environmental safety.

“This application is one of the initiatives that we wish to sustain and disseminate to our farmers. With its continuous development, I am hoping that this will intensify crop protection practices in the Philippines—leading to better economic productivity and stopping high losses. Likewise, avoiding misspent and misused resources in purchasing and applying insecticides that are no longer working,” said DA-BAR OIC-assistant director Dr. Anthony B. Obligado during its soft launching.

He also mentioned that the department has come forth in providing support to its R4D partners and extension workers to prevent armyworm outbreaks in the country.

The e-IRM application will be available in the Philippines in January 2023 and can be downloaded for free from Google Play store and App Store.

Also attending the event were officials and staff from NCPC-CAFS, Institute of Computer Science-College of Arts and Sciences, and Institute of Weed Science Entomology and Plant Pathology-CAFS of UPLB. Partners from municipal agricultural offices, local government units, chemical industries, and local onion and corn grower associations were also present. (### Diwa J. Velasquez)