Philippines launches campaign to increase rice knowledge

AdobeStock 270509156Learning to improve rice production is now made more fun and interactive with the launch of a digital campaign dubbed “Palaywakin ang Galing: yunPALAYun” to promote the technologies and services of the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund-Rice Extension Services Programme (RCEF-RESP)

Dr Karen Eloisa T. Barroga, vice-chair of the RCEF- RESP Technical Working Group, said that the campaign name – a wordplay of palay and palawakin (expand), signifies the RCEF-RESP’s purpose of spreading modern rice farming knowledge to enhance rice farmers’ skills. The other key word of the campaign name, yunPALAYun ( a combination of palay and ‘yun pala ‘yun expression), is designed to teach farmers with the right farming technologies that can create significant yield increase and reduction in the cost of rice production.  

“We know that our Filipino rice farmers are already good but we want to expand their knowledge. We also want to expand the coverage of the RCEF Extension Programme so that it will also benefit farmer’s spouse, children, and also their farmworkers. We are also expanding our training methods because we don’t want to be limited to training room or farm school settings, but through various media including online,” Barroga explained during the online campaign launch.

Barroga, also the deputy director for the development of the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rice Research Institute (DA-PhilRice), said the campaign is implemented for farmers to keep on learning so they can plant smarter using science-based and field-tested practices.

Barroga, said that through the campaign, farmers will also be encouraged to avail of the trainings under RCEF-RESP to enhance their knowledge, skills, and interest in farming.

As part of the campaign, a weekly webisode is shown over RCEF Extension Programme FB page and YouTube channel every Wednesday at 3PM featuring successful farmers and PhilRice experts.

Barroga shared that the webisodes highlight topics on land preparation, seeding rate, and nutrient and pest management. 

For interactive learning, some episodes contain Palaywakin Ang Galing Trivia Challenge, in which active participants are incentivized.

Miss Earth Water 2020 Roxie Baeyens, Macki Moto, and Pinoy Palaboy – social media influencers who have a heart for farming, also joined the campaign. Baeyens showcased her day in the life of a farmer in one of the webisodes.

The campaign also features “Kwentong BayANI” to inspire farmers with stories from their fellow farmers.

“Studies show that farmers learn more through their fellow farmers. We have to give our successful farmers a voice so that they can share the technologies and practices that worked for them,” Barroga said.

She further encouraged farmers to participate in this campaign as agriculture is highly dynamic and therefore they need to be on track to be successful.

“Let’s keep on learning so we can plant smarter. Through this campaign, you will not just learn, but will also have fun,” Barroga said.

The programme is implemented by DA-PhilRice, DA-Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization, DA-Agricultural Training Institute, and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.

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