SSNM-NE Software for Cassava Promises Higher Cassava Yields

Tayo po ay nasa digital agriculture and I think DA-BAR (Bureau of Agricultural Research) has always set the bar regarding research on new technologies” said DA senior undersecretary Domingo F. Panganiban, represented by DA-Bureau of Plant Industry director, Gerald Glenn F. Panganiban, during the launching of the Site-Specific Nutrient Management–Nutrient Expert (SSNM-NE) software for cassava on 4 August 2023 at the DA-Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM) Convention Hall, Quezon City.

Panganiban also commended the collaborative effort and highlighted several positive outcomes of the SSNM-NE software for cassava, such as lowered global warming potential, enhanced crop yield, and increased farmers income. Funded by the DA-Bureau of Agricultural Research and developed by the University of the Philippines-Institute of Plant Breeding, the software aims to enhance local cassava farmers’ crop yield and productivity through cost-effective fertilizer recommendations and tailor-made management strategies, precisely adapted to the unique local environment and existing farming practices in a specific area.

DA-BAR director Dr. Junel B. Soriano, in his welcoming speech, addressed all the stakeholders present at the launch event and underscored the significance of SSNM-NE in improving the farming efficiency of local cassava farmers.

“We believe that this innovative tool will improve or empower you to achieve new heights of success and productivity,” Soriano said.

As part of the launch event, a symposium, led by Candido B. Damo, Technical Adviser for the DA-National Corn Program, and SSNM consultants, Apolonio M. Ocampo and Mirasol F. Pampolino, took place. Various stakeholders from different regions actively engaged the experts by posing questions and sharing personal experiences.

Another highlight of the event was a turnover ceremony where cassava farmers, DA-Regional Field Offices (DA-RFOs), and private sector partners received a copy of user manual and quick guide for SSNM-NE software for cassava. These materials are aimed at assisting local farmers in effectively using the SSNM-NE software for cassava.

Joell H. Lales, DA-BAR assistant director, wrapped up the launch event with a brief address. 

“Ang SSNM po ay isang plataporma pero hindi siya nagtatapos sa cassava, maaari din siyang iapply sa ibang commodity,” Lales claimed. 

He also expressed gratitude towards the technology developers, acknowledging their role in ensuring the responsiveness of the technology towards the industry. This is particularly significant given the existence of previously funded projects that eventually became outdated.

Interested users can access both the software and manual via the nutrient expert page of DA-BAR. In addition to cassava, a nutrient expert tool is also available for yellow and white corn, offering the same functionality to its users.

The launching was attended by selected cassava farmers from different parts of the country; officials and representatives of DA agencies–BSWM and Agricultural Training Institute–and UPLB, and members from the private sector, notably Atlas and INAVET. (###Alexis B. del Mar)