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Bulacan gov supports shift to digital precision farming
By: PPAO
Friday, 12 March 2021
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DRONE SPRAYER FOR DIGITAL PRECISION FARMING. Governor Daniel R. Fernando together with Anthony Tan, CEO of New Hope Corporation after the demonstration of the functions of the DJI Agras T16 drone sprayer to the farmers of Brgy. Dulong Malabon, Pulilan, Bulacan earlier today whose rice fields were infested with brown plant hoppers. Also in the photo is Provincial Agriculturist Gloria SF. Carillo (right) and the operator of the drone. View Larger Image.
CITY OF MALOLOS - Bulacan Gov. Daniel R. Fernando personally witnessed the demonstration of DJI Agras T16 drone sprayer earlier today and encouraged the farmers whose rice fields were infested with brown plant hoppers (BPH) in Brgy. Dulong Malabon, Pulilan, Bulacan to shift from traditional to digital precision farming.

He also said that he supports the transition because of its advantages to increase the yield of farmers.

"Ito'y part ng ating Farmer's Training School na itatayo kasi kailangan natin talagang lumaban not only here in the Philippines but globally. Itong ipinakita sa atin, isa ito sa mga magiging katulong ng magsasaka. 'Yung mga dinapuan na ng brown plant hopper, ngayon mas marami, 'yung problema natin sa sakahan natin talagang lumalawak, kailangan naman dagdagan natin 'yung technology natin," Fernando said.

He also added that the province will procure two drones that can be used not only in farming but also in the disinfection against COVID-19.
According to Anthony Tan, founder and CEO of New Hope Precision Agriculture Corporation, the said drones have many benefits.

"Just imagine, 1 hectare takes 1 man a day to spray, this drone can do it in less than 10 minutes. The capacity is about 30 to 40 has per day, per unit and the price for the drone alone is P850k, full package could be around 1 to maybe P1.1 million. You can also be serviced by a licensed commercial applicator like new hope, our price per hectare is very reasonable P850 per hectare," Tan said.

He added that "nakikita ng farmer na magagamit din ito sa sabog tanim. We can apply 15 kg-20 kg of hybrid sa isang ektarya, same drone, we just swap the tank and replace it with the broadcaster. It's possible now na from the time you plant, until the time you harvest, 'di mo na tatapakan 'yung palayan".

Provincial Agriculturist Ma. Gloria SF. Carrillo said that based on data, almost 1,600 hectares in the province are affected by the BPH, green leaf hopper and other pests and diseases.

"Nais ng ating gobernador na maipakita sa mga magsasaka ang kanyang pagnanais na mapagaan ang pamamaraan ng pagsasaka. Sa pamamagitan nito, we are moving forward sa digital precision farming na isa sa future ng agrikultura sa bansa at isa sa strategy ni Sec. William Dar. Naka-align tayo sa mga layunin ng DA," Carrillo explained.

Meanwhile, Deogracias Magtalas, president of Dulong Malabon Irrigators Association shared their stories of being infested.

"Merong nakaani na sa ibang portion nito, merong 10 kaban merong 2 kaban, kasi pag severe talaga halos 80-90 percent nasisira. Usually, ang average kung inbred rice mga 100-120 cavans, 'pag hybrid mga 250 cavans. Sa mahal ng labor ngayon sa pagsasaka minsan wala ka ng mahanap na laborer dahil sa mga pabrika, napakamura naman ng palay, mapepeste pa. Kung ganyan ang gagamitin, mas mabilis, kaya gob kailangan talaga ito ng mga magsasaka. Kung sa tao may COVID, dito naman sa palayan ay may BPH," Magtalas shared.

Anthony David, Regional Crop Protection Center Region 3, also explained how BPHs infest the rice fields and how to manage the outbreak.

"Nagdudulot ang BPH ng hopper burn, ito po 'yung pagkatuyot ng ating palay, tumataas ang populasyon nito base sa environment. May mga nire-recommend po tayong lason pero bukod don 'yung cultural management muna bago tayo mag-resort sa lason dahil sa ngayon talagang nagiging health conscious tayo. Mahalaga 'yung sabayang pagtatanim. Kailangan mag-conduct ng halinhinang pagpapatuyo at pagpapatubig ng ating palayan at paggamit ng mga variety na hindi susceptible sa BPH," David added. ###

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