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Bacolod City, Philippines Friday, March 16, 2018
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Farming to be
digitally documented
BY MARK L. GARCIA

 

Some farmers in Negros Occidental will now be taught how to document farming activities through a mobile application developed by a Germany-based organization.

The provincial government, Department of Science and Technology, and the Association of Negros Producers signed a memorandum of agreement yesterday to collaborate on engaging farmers in key areas of Neg. Occ. in using a computer-based system for traceability of agricultural products.

The program is called WeTrace Philippines, where it will use the Kipus web-application tool developed by Knowledge Intelligence Applications GmbH (Kiag) that will digitally record farming activities.

WeTrace program will be implemented in the Philippines and Vietnam, and Neg. Occ. will be the pilot area in the country. This is also a multi-stakeholder partnership with the Justice Foundation and The Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany, ANP president Christina Gaston said yesterday.

The cities of Kabankalan, Silay, and San Carlos will be the key pilot areas in the province where they have chosen farmers’ associations to undergo training on how to use the application, ANP executive director Elka Torrejon also said.

Gaston said that the analysis of data collected will allow farmers to come up with recommendations to improve their production, boosting the marketability of agricultural products.

The farmers groups are the Nagalao OurFood Farmers Association, Kabankalan City Agriculture and Fisheries Council, and a group in Brgy. Patag, Silay City.

Torrejon said that with this program, they aim to engage 300 or more farmers to use the mobile application by 2020.

She said that it will be a challenge for them to engage farmers in this new type of technology, as some of them may have not used smartphones until now.

The signing was done by DOST-6 assistant director Emilyn Flores, Provincial Agriculturist Japhet Masculino, Provincial Environment Management Office head Wilfred Ramon Peñalosa, and Gaston.

It was witnessed by Julian Haasler from the Federal Ministry of Germany, and Stephan Kunz of Justice Foundation.

Delegates from Vietnam, who will also implement a similar program in their country, witnessed the MOA signing after they did a benchmarking activity in one of the key areas in the province.

“With this cooperation, it is envisioned that WeTrace Philippines will be the proponent of transparency and traceability in local agriculture by 2020,” Gaston said.*MLG

 

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