By Estrella Z. Gallardo
The ongoing SARAI (Smarter Approaches to Reinvigorate Agriculture as an Industry) in the Philippines Phase 2 was reviewed at the E.O. Tan Hall of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) on January 28, 2019.
The review aimed to identify potential breakthroughs, evaluate accomplishments and strategize for the improvement of its implementation and also in preparation for the program’s renewal.
The main goal of SARAI Phase 2, according to Dr. Maria Victoria O. Espaldon is to upload, download, and share the outputs of SARAI Phase I including its ongoing Phase 2 activities. She noted its focus on refinement, field testing, and expansion of technologies developed during Phase 1 to institutionalize the integrated crop monitoring and forecasting system, and disseminate relevant crop advisories to farmers.
Accomplishments and breakthroughs of the program were highlighted through the presentations of the project leaders of the 15 projects under the program.
Representatives from SARAI’s 11 partner State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) also presented the status and accomplishments from their project sites across the country.
Dr. Antonio J. Alcantara of the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office (MENRO) of Los Baños; Dr. Nathaniel C. Bantayan of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB); Mr. Rodolfo O. Ilao, retired ARMRD Director of DOST-PCAARRD; and other researchers and experts from DOST-PCAARRD served as evaluators during the review.
Present also during the review were researchers and scientists of the SARAI program from UPLB, UP Diliman, and partner SUCs; staff from DOST-PCAARRD; and researchers from other involved agencies.
“We believe that SARAI is an important solution to the persistent problems in the agricultural sector,” said Dr. Melvin B. Carlos during his opening message. (MegaManila Science Journalists)