Government pilots climate-smart pest management system for rice

Posted by: RAFIS DA6 | Posted at: July 19, 2023

For Filipino farmers to obtain higher crop yields and remain competitive in the global rice trade liberalization, the Department of Agriculture (DA) in partnership with the International Research Institute (IRRI) are innovating new climate-smart pest management systems with replicable practices to address the emerging and future pest problems.

To address the serious threat of crop pests and diseases to the country’s rice production, stakeholders from IRRI, DA National Rice Program, Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), Philippine Rice Research Institute, and Regional Field Offices from Cagayan Valley, Western Visayas, and Soccsksargen convened in Iloilo City for a two-day inception workshop which aims to develop an innovation system for climate smart pest management in rice.

Dr. Lilia Portales, Senior Technical Staff of the Office of the Director of the Bureau of Plant Industry

Dr. Lilia Portales, a senior technical staff member at the Office of the BPI Director, emphasized the workshop’s aim to identify and address gaps in rice pest management research and operations. “With the global shift in temperature, precipitation, and weather patterns brought about by climate change, studies reported that the distribution and severity of crop pests are believed to be associated with these occurrences. There is a need to come up with an immediate and effective action plan to keep up with the challenges in crop pests’ management.”

Project implementers and stakeholders created strategies for new guides, tools, and plans related to surveillance of crop health and pathogen population structure, biological control agents, and sustainability.

The DA and partners plan to adopt a climate-smart pest management system in the three pilot areas to generate key results on the most effective pest control approaches that will be disseminated in other regions.

Dr. Nancy Castilla, Senior Associate Scientist of IRRI

According to Dr. Nancy Castilla, Senior Associate Scientist of IRRI, the system they developed targets to reduce crop losses caused by pests, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, enhance ecosystem services, and ensure the environmental and economic resilience of rice farmers.

DA Western Visayas’ Regional Executive Director Dennis R. Arpia urged the Regional Crop Protection Center to mobilize the local farmer technicians for regular field monitoring and prompt reporting of crop pest incidents to prevent outbreaks. Furthermore, the DA should focus on improving crop pest control measures and increasing technology adoption among farmers. ###

Texts by: Sheila Mae Toreno/DA-RAFIS 6 & Photos by: Johwela Marie Cabrias/WVSU DevCom Student Intern

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