Agriculture goes digital, high tech in Nueva Ecija
The Department of Agriculture (DA) has inaugurated the national center for precision and digital agriculture in the Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija, a first in the country.
It allotted P50 million from the Bureau of Agriculture Research for the development of the Precision and Digital Agriculture Center (PreDiC) facilities housed in the Central Luzon State University, one of the country’s leading centers for agriculture research.
“Through these technologies, the Center aims to achieve the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal on Zero Hunger and to make Philippine agriculture more productive and more efficient in its use of time and resources through accurate data gathering,” said the DA in a statement.
Improve agri products
Among its facilities are a greenhouse, irrigation canals, field monitoring system, microclimate monitoring equipment, fabrication tools and farm machinery including a 40-hp tractor.
The center has begun implementing projects including the mapping of the spatial variability of soil fertility as well as the development of a variable rate fertilizer applicator and a 12-row onion direct seeder.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar encouraged PreDiC officials and staff to continue bringing in the latest precision and digital agriculture technologies and to adapt them to the Philippine setting to further improve agricultural production in the country.
He likewise told them to determine their research priorities and organize a technical committee to bring together all agencies located in the area.
“There are lots of national research institutions of the Department of Agriculture now located and hosted by CLSU. So let’s bring in and harness the synergy between and among agencies in agriculture. There will always be something to do in precision agriculture and digital agriculture,” Dar said during the inauguration ceremony.
For his part, CLSU president Edgar Orden reiterated their commitment to help the DA achieve its goal of a food-secure and resilient Philippines. INQ
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