Through partnership with national research partners, IRRI applies sustainable global solutions to local needs through information and communication technology (ICT) tools like Rice Crop Manager (RCM).
During the 10th ICT for Development (ICT4D) Conference, IRRI presented with other humanitarian and international development organizations like mPower Social Enterprise from Bangladesh, Farm Radio International from Malawi, and the Grantham Center for Sustainable Futures of the University of Sheffield, shares how government collaboration has been a key pathway to ownership, adoption, and in achieving scale and sustainability of agricultural information platforms.
In an individual session and in a plenary discussion, IRRI associate scientist Benedict Jardinero shares how the collaboration with the Philippine Government has led to the localized development and wide scale dissemination of RCM in the country.
According to Jardinero, “IRRI’s partnership with the Department of Agriculture (DA) has resulted in large-scale deployment of RCM, generating approximately 350,000 recommendations per year from 2015 to 2017. Together with the Bureau of Agricultural Research, the Philippine Rice Research Institute and DA Regional Field Offices, RCM has undergone continuous research for improvement and dissemination across all 16 rice-growing regions that contributes to further enhancement of the tool.”
“Field trials show that RCM use has led to increase in grain yield by 375 kg per ha in rainfed environment, and 391 kg per hectare in irrigated fields. This amounts to an added net benefit of USD106 per hectare, per crop,” Jardinero adds.
RCM is a free, web-based decision support tool for farmers that generates easy-to-follow nutrient and crop management practices based on the science of Site-specific Nutrient Management (SSNM). In addition to the recommendations on right type, right amount, and right timing of fertilizer application, field-specific information on seed rate, weed, crop health, and water management is provided by the tool.”
During the conference, participants shared their experiences and how they used technology innovations to increase impact of their work, enhance program quality, improve decision-making, and accelerate progress toward contributing to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
The 10th ICT4D Conference was attended by more than 600 participants from public, private, and civil society organizations from humanitarian and from international development communities. It was held from May 8 to 10 at Lusaka, Zambia and was organized by a consortium led by Catholic Relief Services.