December 6, 2016
“Information is an essential part in decision making thus, reliable information system in any organization is necessary to support better planning and management decision making” – Federico E. Laciste Jr., Assistant Secretary for Operations, Department of Agriculture.
“Ensuring a smooth transition from research to operation” is this year’s theme for the 2nd PRISM National Convention held last November 21-23, 2016 at Hive Hotel and Convention Place, Quezon City. The PRISM National Convention is an annual gathering of the PRISM partners jointly organized by International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), and DA National Rice Program.
Through this event, the PRISM team together with its partners was able to lay the foundation for a smooth transition of PRISM towards operation. Different ideas and concerns on PRISM sustainability were also raised during the convention.
Attended by 130 participants from the Department of Agriculture – Regional Field Offices (DA-RFOs), PhilRice, IRRI, Department of Agriculture – Information and Communications Technology Service (DA-ICTS), Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), and Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), this year’s convention successfully achieved its goal to discuss the smooth transition of PRISM project from research to operations.
“This is simply an ideal avenue to showcase PRISM project and discuss many issues and damages in the production,” said Asst. Sec. Laciste.
“PRISM National Convention, an annual gathering of partners, is necessary so that partners would learn about what happened during the year, and what is planned in the future. It is also a way to expand network of contacts and/ or strengthen existing partnership,” said PRISM Project Coordinator Ruvicyn Bayot, who was also one of the organizers of the event.
Stakeholder Discussion – Day 1
During the World café conducted on the first day of the convention, the participants shared their ideas on PRISM, PRISM products, and PRISM’s future directions. Participants were grouped and expected to produce ideas (which they called “harvest”). Good understanding of PRISM and the uses of PRISM data, the need to increase the awareness among stakeholders, harmonization of data, simplification of procedures, the need for pest and disease early warning/forecasting/advisory, and improved accuracy were the points raised by the participants during the world café synthesis.
“World café is a colorful and fun method of knowledge-sharing within a big group. We were able to discuss topics about the progress of the project in a calm and relaxing ambiance. As a harvester, I was challenged on how to illustrate all the ideas being shared by the participants. Overall, the experience was enjoyable,” said Mabel Barroga, one of the participants in the world café.
The project outputs presented in posters and the PRISM website were also exhibited on the first day of the convention. Assistant Scientist Jeny Raviz from IRRI and Senior Science Research Specialist Edwin Martin from PhilRice led the presentation of posters. Information Systems Analyst II Henry Cayaban and Information Systems Researcher II Michael Barroga, both from PhilRice, led the assessment of the PRISM website.
“The IT component of PRISM is working very hard to provide the DA and our partners with timely and accurate rice information through the use of our PRISM website. With this, they can access the PRISM data with ease anytime and anywhere” said Mary Anne Gutierrez, researcher and PRISM IT coordinator at IRRI.
Plenary Session – Day 2
The second day of the convention was started by the welcome remarks of Dr. Sailila Adbula, Acting Executive Director of PhilRice, and Dr. V. Bruce Tolentino, Deputy Director General for Communication and Partnership at IRRI.
Since 2017 will be the transition period for PRISM, Asst. Sec. Laciste encouraged everyone, especially the RFOs, to work closely with IRRI and PhilRice.
“I wish to emphasize the importance of our Regional Field Offices in the sustainability of this initiative. Let us take ownership in this undertaking and work closely with our partners such as PhilRice and IRRI during this transition period,” said Asst. Sec. Laciste.
Asst. Sec. Laciste also acknowledged the PRISM Project for furnishing DA with reliable and timely actionable information on rice areas, yield, and factors affecting the rice program.
“With better understanding of our rice and the factors that affect its production, we are optimistic that we will be able to provide the necessary assistance through high-yielding varieties, infrastructure facilities, irrigation, technologies or facilities that needed assistance that will serve as a great advantage for us to achieve rice self-sufficiency,” added by Asst. Sec. Laciste.
There were also presentations and discussions on the second day of the convention:
- Using remote sensing and crop modeling to estimate rice areas and yields
- National rice crop health survey in the Philippines
- Analysis of the incidence of bacterial blight and blast in the Philippines
- PRISM Milestones toward sustainability
- PRISM data and their importance to the Department of Agriculture
- Video: Rice information system to aid damage assessment in the Department of Agriculture
- Drought-affected rice areas in Mindanao in 2016: An assessment using satellite imagery
- Crop health assessment in drought-affected areas
- Understanding rice farmers’ attitudes and adaptation to drought
- PRIME Project
Planning Workshop – Day 3
PRISM addresses the challenges to make an available, accurate, timely, and location-specific data and information to guide the DA in planning and decision-making. Through this, DA can provide the most appropriate interventions to meet its production targets and address production gaps.
“Our collaboration with IRRI and PhilRice has helped us in working towards our goal to have sufficient and affordable rice in the future. PRISM along with other DA-IRRI projects has been instrumental in coming up with science-based decision-making that will enable us to develop and implement policies and programs that will increase yield and income of farmers in the Philippines”, said Asst. Sec. Laciste.
PRISM’s transition and operation framework and PRISM 2017 calendar were also discussed on the third day of the convention. The facilitators were asked to identify and enumerate their list of activities in 2017 to be included in the overall PRISM 2017 calendar.
The three-day convention was a success. The goal to discuss the smooth transition of PRISM from research to operation was smoothly delivered. The 2017 plans were identified accordingly.
Dr. Eduardo Jimmy Quilang, PRISM Project Leader in PhilRice, ended the convention with his overall synthesis, “We will be able to achieve a smooth transition, together, towards an operational system.”
Source: Janica Gan, Philippine Rice Research Institute