Farming in ARMM goes high-tech with mobile app

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews/23 April) – A management tool for farmers using mobile apps is being eyed for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) to boost yield and income.

Department of Agriculture and Fisheries-ARMM Secretary Macmod Mending said they call this modern search and monitoring input Rice Crop Manager.

“This will be tested in Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur soon. So imagine we will be using an android phone application to determine the number of fertilizer to be applied, when to use the irrigation system, the planting season and other managerial farming techniques,” he said.

Mending said they have trained DAF-ARMM experts and they will tap an irrigators group to work on it.

“If the system works well then it’s the time the agency will propagate the system to more farmers,” he said.

The agency will also use geo-tagging technology and online database management to monitor agriculture projects in the region funded through the bottom-up budgeting scheme.

On Tuesday, April 22, Mending and ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman distributed funds, equipment, seeds and fertilizers to farmers under said budgeting scheme, which the governor said is meant to help boost the region’s economy and reduce poverty incidence.

Marawi City received a tractor worth P1.5 million to improve corn production in the area.

At least 20 villages in Maguindanao will start this month the “Gulayan sa Barangay” program.

Around 1,200 farmers will receive support package consisting of vegetable seedlings, farm tools, knapsack sprayers, plastic drums, fertilizers and bags of rice.

DAF-ARMM handed a total of P7.6 million to Pagalungan and Upi towns in Maguindanao to support organic agriculture, the production of high-value crops such as rubber and the improvement of farm-to-market roads.

It has earmarked a budget of over P1 billion to support projects that will boost the region’s agricultural productivity.

Mending said projects funded through the bottom-up budgeting scheme are based on the proposals submitted by local farming communities.

The program is being undertaken by DAF-ARMM in partnership with the United Nations World Food Program. (Ferdinandh Cabrera/MindaNews)