DA-BAR supports digital platform for rice-based agrifood systems

In recognition of the role of digital technology in agriculture, the DA-Bureau of Agricultural Research participated in a meeting on assessing the digital tools for data-driven decision making on rice-based agri-food systems or D4AgPH on 15 September 2023 at DA-FOS, DA Main Building, Quezon City. 

A joint initiative of the Department of Agriculture and International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), with funding support from DA-BAR, the D4AgPH project seeks to address the lack of centralized information and coordination regarding the development and availability of digital agriculture tools and services (DATS). This lack, as discussed, hampers the effective access and adoption by farmers and other stakeholders. 

D4AgPH shall develop an online registry of DATS in the context of developing an integrated and interoperable digital platform for rice-based agrifood systems. “The target beneficiaries of the D4AgPH is the agriculture sector, specifically rice and other crops,” Arnel Rala, a representative from IRRI, emphasized. 

Moreover, it shall identify needs, gaps, and opportunities in the agriculture value chain where digital tools are lacking and have poor end-user reception, reach, or awareness. 

Rala also discussed the initial analysis of the inventory of DATS. He said that 30% of the 204 DATS surveyed so far are utilized in the Philippines, majority of which are designed to support activities in the crop sector. Specifically for rice, most DATS support the activities under production and input, followed by marketing (wholesaling and retailing). 

Among the items discussed during the meeting were updates on the online platform, data and analytics, feedback, and upcoming activities. 

Glenn DC Estrada, Program director of Digitalization and Value Chain Development under the DA-Masagana Rice Program, spearheaded the meeting. (### Lea B. Calmada)