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The Philippines’ Department of Agriculture to Develop the Agri-Information Support Portal

Philippines Agriculture Department Agri Information Support Portal
Photo Credit: Department of Agriculture/Philippine Information Agency

The Philippines’ Department of Agriculture (DA) will be developing the Agri-Information Support Portal, a web-based information support system.

According to a recent press release, DA Secretary William Dar shared that the creation of the portal is one of the top initiatives that the Department will be undertaking for 2020.

About the initiative

The agri information support portal will be providing a myriad of benefits that include the following:

  1. Provide more efficient sourcing of agriculture information and data
  2. Enable faster reporting of programs and projects
  3. Enhance decision support mechanisms

In addition, the creation of the portal is part of the first Administrative Order (AO) that the Secretary issued for 2020, stipulating the establishment of a Department-wide policy framework in line with the “New Thinking for Agriculture”.

This is a purposeful, nationwide initiative that will link all the bureaus, attached agencies, and regions of DA so that everyone knows the universe of actions that these various agencies are doing to help the farming and fishing sectors.

As stated in the AO, the DA-Information and Communications Technology Service (ICTS), in consultation with the Office of the Undersecretary for Policy and Planning and the various operating units, bureaus, and attached agencies, will lead and implement the development of the portal.

DA units, including banner programs and special projects under the Department, are directed to provide regular updates in their respective activities to be shared with the Department’s Executive Committee under the Agri-Information Support Portal.

There are a wide range of stakeholders at the Department: farmers, fishers, and the policymakers. The Department has multi-stakeholders that need catering to, including the tech-savvy millennials.

All of them are considered stakeholders of the planned portal.

Moreover, the creation of the web-based info support is in line with the effort to industrialise Philippine agriculture, particularly in creating the framework for the digitisation of farming and agribusiness activities in the country.

The Secretary highlighted how the children of the farmers will serve as infomediaries of the technologies, which they will be able to get from the Agri-Information Support Portal.

Agritech Across the Globe

The popularity of Agritech is rising as countries, particularly those with agricultural sectors, are giving it more focus and importance.

In New Zealand, a student-based start-up, composed of five students from the University of Waikato, was accepted in the Microsoft for Startup programme.

This will provide the start-up with more than $30,000 to boost their business.

The system informs farmers when to add nitrogen or water to soil, improving farming practices and taking out the guesswork.

Information is effectively gathered by using cost-effective sensors. It is then stored in the database and is readily available to clients through the Cloud.

This technology will help farmers to save on a lot of time, guesswork and money.

Meanwhile, an augmented reality and sensor technology in Australia will boost agriculture productivity.

Researchers from CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, will be using popular gaming platforms, sensor technologies and next-generation data interaction techniques to help prawn farmers make decisions in a bid to boost productivity.

By using state-of-the-art wearable and hands-free technologies, farmers can get near real-time understanding of key water quality parameters such as dissolved oxygen and pH levels.

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