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Philippine Smart University Bid Starts with Digital Farming

Ilocos-based Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) has adopted a web-based system to its farm management system pushing the learning institution closer to Industry 4.0. As expected, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and its groundbreaking platforms for digitisation are boosting the handling of the farm inching the university closer and closer to its ultimate goal of becoming a smart university.

The MMSU e-Farms system, recently launched by the Knowledge Management (KM) unit of the university’s Planning Directorate, will facilitate the recording and analysis of agriculture data for faster decision-making. MMSU President Shirley Agrupis affirmed the initiative was in support of the goal of becoming a Philippine smart university. The results say it all.

Now… we can process data with just a single click says Shirley Agrupis, President, Mariano Marcos State University

At the onset, the university’s digital transformation is far from being complete. However, results are already being felt by key stakeholders in the project. Agrupis detailed that just a few months earlier, MMSU farm managers and project leaders needed to manually record and analyse data for decision-making. Then, the process took a week or more — a stark contrast to how fast the processing is today. Today, With just a few keystrokes, data can be had.

All that speed has translated to more efficient processes down the line. Bobby Eclarin, KM Chief observed how vital is digital adoption in their line of work. He disclosed that “the web-based system will assist us in more efficient data management of our agri-fishery activities to support data-driven decision-making, especially since MMSU has vast farmlands to manage.”

The university leadership has made sure that digital adoption happens in key areas of their far. MMSU Information Services chief John Vincent Toribio revealed these areas where the digital platform has become their standard. These included:

  • systems for farm machinery management
  • crop management and production
  • farm products, supply and material inventory management
  • livestock and fishery management

Their desire to be a smart university is reflected in their approach. To note, they have also introduced the latest emerging technologies ICT can offer:

  • Integrated data analysis and reporting system (to support data-driven decisions)
  • Internet of Things (IoT) on soil nutrient
  • Moisture and field temperature monitoring
  • Offline server-based WiFi monitoring and evaluation (Raspberry Pi computer)

The e-Farm also uses embedded components which include the use of a solar-powered water supply system for piggery and poultry, with an initial set-up in the Nagbacsan area in MMSU’s Batac Campus, and field monitoring and assessment using autonomous underwater vehicles and closed-circuit television.

Farm managers and project leaders will have to create accounts and register to use the online platform. Project data will be uploaded and analysed, with results to be used by top management for decision-making interventions.

This is one big leap forward for the university in its bid to become a smart university. To a large degree, this reflects the effort of the country to digitally transform and be a progressive nation fully utilising Industry 4.0.

Just recently, another learning institution has become the government’s partner in developing a 3D printing training hub. Additive manufacturing will drastically change how the future of manufacturing will look in the near future. Its ability to customise is largely incomparable to current mass manufacturing methods.

Knowing how vital technology is, the Philipines Commission of Elections (COMELEC) is working with the biggest names in technology as the May 9 elections draws near, as reported on OpenGov Asia.


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