Thursday, November 21, 2013

Raising Research-Development-Extension Capabilities of Cordilleran Agencies

from the ICRISAT website>

A training on Resesarch-Development-Extension for rain-fed agriculture was held for Cordilleran agencies with RDE mandates last January 2013, by the Philippine Rainfed Agriculture Research, Development and Extension Program (PhiRARDEP) – and jointly sponsored by  International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid-Tropics ( ICRISAT), Ifugao State University (IFSU), and the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) of the Department of Agriculture (DA).

PhiRARDEP’s goal is to develop, coordinate, monitor and evaluate the implementation of a vigorous rainfed agriculture research, development, and extension program to enhance food, nutrition and energy security, improve livelihoods and empower communities in the country’s rain-fed areas. The program was conceptualized through the concerted efforts of ICRISAT, DA-BAR, state universities and colleges (SUCs), and local government units (LGUs) in the Philippines.

Sixty participants from different institutions of the six provinces of the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) and BAR attended the training. Dr. Serafin Ngohayon and Dr. Eduardo Bagtang, Presidents of IFSU and the Kalinga-Apayao State College (KASC), respectively, both from CAR, expressed confidence that the training could provide the impetus for rain-fed development in the region through community seed systems. Rosana Mula, ICRISAT Learning Systems Coordinator, provided an overview of the training and its expected outputs.

Among the resource persons from ICRISAT were Rex Navarro (Innovations in knowledge sharing for community mobilization), Suhas Wani (Watershed management), and Myer Mula (Pigeonpea, chickpea and seed systems). Resource persons from the Philippines were Joel Lales of BAR (Overview of PhiRARDEP); Heraldo Layaoen of the Mariano Marcos State University (Sweet sorghum); Fernando Gonzales of Benguet State University (Chickpea); Rose Mary Aquino of the Cagayan Valley Integrated Agricultural Research Center (Groundnut); Karen T Barroga and Olive Asis of the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice Knowledge Management & Sharing); Susan Balanza of DA (Development plan of CAR); and Wilfredo Cabezon of the Bureau of Soils and Water Management (Soil and water conservation in Philippine rainfed areas).

One of the highlights of the training was the presentation of a collective plan by province, the outputs of which will be integrated into a single proposal for submission to BAR.

The closing program was presided over by Commissioner of Higher Education Dr William Medrano, a strong supporter of agricultural research for development who was instrumental in crafting the links and networks of SUCs with ICRISAT and the DA.

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