K-AGRINET Project Management Team

Posted January 2, 2007 by pinoyfarmer
Categories: Partners


The K-AGRINET management team – from DAP, PCARRD, PhilRice, and DAR in their last meeting for December 18, 2006  held at the DAP, Ortigas Center. In the background in the Pinoy Farmers’ Mobile Internet Bus (MIB) a mobile internet training facility to bring internet in agricultural extension workers and farmers in the remote areas of Luzon.


Pinoy Farmers Mobile Internet Bus (MIB)

Posted January 2, 2007 by pinoyfarmer
Categories: Advocacy


This custom built mobile internet training facility is operated by the Open Academy for Philippine Agriculture (OPAPA), a component project of the K-AGRINET project. It is an old 1991 Mitsubishi Rosa microbus,  converted into a mobile internet training center – complete with 10 notebook computers with WeRoam internet, LCD projection system, surround-sound audio speaker system with amplifier and VCD player, TV, and a split-type airconditioning system. During training, the bus draws electrical power from buildings using an extended cable.  A generator will power the bus in areas where there is no electricity. When mobile, the bus has its own uses its regular airconditioning system powered by the engine.  The bus can train 10 persons  at a time. Here in photo is the MIB during its first test run in Manila December 18, 2006.

Open Academy Project Managers Meet

Posted January 2, 2007 by pinoyfarmer
Categories: Partners


Open Academy for Philippine Agriculture area managers meet at the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), Elliptical Road, Diliman, Quezon City last December 19, 2006 during the final Advisory Council meeting for the year. L-R Dr. Virgilio Gonzales of PAC, Dr. Danilo Pacoy of USEP, Mr. Virgilio Oliva of USM, Jr., Roger Barroga, program director, Dr. Orlando Balderama of ISU, Dr. Sosimo Battad, president PAC; Mr. Asterio P. Saliot, ATI Director; Dr. Leocadio S. Sebastian, PhilRice executive Director; Dr. Pastora Coloma of CLSU, Dr. Jimmy Quilang of PhilRice-KMP, and Mr. Julian Lapitan of IRRI.

Posted January 2, 2007 by pinoyfarmer
Categories: Uncategorized


ICRISAT Director General Dr. William Dar (in pink shirt and jacket) got onboard the Pinoy MIB to see firsthand the first mobile internet training facility for agricultural extension workers. He was here to attend the final meeting for 2006 of the Advisory Council last December 19, 2006. The Open Academy for Philippine Agriculture project is the brainchild of Dr. Dar in 2003, together with Dr. Rex Navarro, Dr. Santiago R. Obien, Dr. Sosimo Battad, Dr. William Medrano, and Dr. Leocadio Sebastian.

School on Air Graduates 162 Farmers in Pampanga Site

Posted August 28, 2006 by pinoyfarmer
Categories: Content Development

Pampanga Agricultural College (PAC) Extension Director Dr. Virgilio Gonzales reported their successful completion of 3rd School On the Air program last May 15, 2006 – graduating 162 farmers from the various towns of Pampanga.

Dubbed “GMA SOA Go Modern Agriculture School On the Air”, it carried two major crop subjects – hybrid rice and hybrid corn. This was funded jointly by Open Academy and the DA-Agricultural Training Institute in collaboration with LGUs of Magalang, Mabalacat, Mexico, Arayat, and the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist.

The recently concluded school on the air program on hybrid rice aired over PAC community radio station DWEE 101.7 FM started on December 2, 2005 till the end of February 2006. Its time slot was every Tuesday and Thursday from 11 in the morning till 12 noon, plus a supplementary program title “Magtanong kay Doc,” started from 6 to 7 in the morning. Meantime, the broadcast on hybrid corn production started on January 27, 2006, with time slots every Wednesday and Friday from 11 in the morning till12 noon. Mr. Romel Basa from PAC hosted this GMA – School on the Air program for Pampanga farmers.

This event was graced by Magalang Mayor Pastor Z. Guiao; Mr. Edilberto Salenga from the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA); PhilRice Executive Director Leocadio S. Sebastian; Open Academy Program Director Roger F. Barroga, PAC VP for RET, Dr. Leopoldo F. Reyes, Agricultural Training Institute director Asterio Saliot, with Dir. Renato A. Maguigad of ATI Bataan and Mr. Roberto T. Masbang, ATI Division Chief.

This SOA also integrates Internet Technology and SMS. Inside the broadcaster’s booth is a computer connected to the Internet, and a celfone to receive farmers’ query. Aside from providing learning content, this activity tests and documents the impact of the interactivity of farmers and experts made available by the internet and sms technology.

With numerous farmers now texting their questions, Open Academy Program Director Roger F. Barroga ordered the deployment of a Farmers Texting INFOTEXT software that comes equipped with its own GSM Modem/SIM holder. From here, the operator can use the PC to receive and send text messages, register all users in a database, broadcast farming tips, and route questions to experts in PAC, and capture questions and answers for content analysis.

Pilot Sites Support ICT Initiatives of LGUs

Posted August 28, 2006 by pinoyfarmer
Categories: Advocacy

Isabela Site has new Team Leader

Dr. Orlando Balderama is the new Team Leader or area manager of the Isabela Site. He is the Research Director of the Isabela State University based in Echague, Isabela. He is currently working out the connectivity of a farmers’ coop and LGU of San Mateo, Isabela into the ISU pilot site in order to create their own Cyber Community where ICT applications will be tested.

PhilRice-Los Banos Trains CALABARZON extension workers

DA-Region IV has tapped PhilRice Los Banos to provide Rice S&T updates for to its Extension Workers in the CALABARZON area this whole of August 2006. Techno Promo leader Mr. Diego Ramos has included an ICT component in the updates – which is an introduction to the concept and operations of the Open Academy for Philippine Agricluture. Mel Olvida, who is one of the organizers of the Bicol ICT Caravan, is now handling the introduction of the Open Academy to the participants. She works with a notebook computer equipped with Weroam internet enabling her to demonstrate the OPAPA website, information search thru the internet, and text/sms services.

USM Cotabato Site has new Radio Antenna Transmitter

Team Leader Mr. Jun Oliva Jr. reported they have completed construction of a 130 ft tower transmitter for the school’s 5kilowatt FM radio station. This facility will be used as community radio and will serve as laboratory for its communication students. The OPAPA is exploring its possible use for a SOA + SMS program within the Kabacan area.

USEP conducts ICT training for Magsaysay Coop Members in Davao del Sur

Team Leader Dr. Danilo Pacoy, who is also Director for Extension at the USEP, reported that they have recently trained cooperative members who are linked to the Magsaysay Cyber Town. The training includes basic operations of the PC, productivity tools such as word processing, presentation and spreadsheet; and internet surfing.

Ilocos Site conducts ICT training for Extension Workers

PhilRice Branch station, led by Dr. Rey Castro, reported their recent orientation training on ICT for Palayamanan extension workers in Batac, Ilocos Norte last June. The Palayamanan project of PhilRice showcases rice and rice based farm technologies integrated in a village level operation. Alma Aguinaldo, project in charge, said that ICT tools are now introduced in these areas – such as texting and sms service, email and internet – in order to provide immediate feedback and information in the areas.

Agusan Site Conducts Follow up Training for DA-Caraga staff

Branch Manager Dr. Cesar Tado reported that the local DA CARAGA chief spearheaded a follow up training on ICT for its staff and extension workers after the successful conduct of the ICT Caravan in the area. PhilRice Agusan was tapped to conduct the ICT training. Meg Carangcarang and Dodong Varquez formed the training team that introduced important ICT concepts, basic computer operations, the OPAPA website, the farmers text services to the participants. The training was held last June 2006.

DavSur Connects Remote Town

Posted July 7, 2006 by pinoyfarmer
Categories: Last Mile Connectivity


After the successful launching of the connectivity of the Magsaysay Farmers MPCI in December 2005, Mayor Arthur Davin asked, how can we provide Internet for this whole town – we do not even have landline? The coop used the latest in wireless internet technology – the PLDT WeRoam technology which connects one PC to the Internet. Jun Oliva, head of the ICTC of the University of Southern Mindanao (USM), and Open Academy Network Expert proposed a “cluster” network design – with a wireless link to the Digos City – 23km away – where the telepone lines and DSL are available.

Inspired by this, Mayor Davin requested Internet connection to the municipal office, including other coops and schools. The USM drew up plans for the wireless interconnection of the town. The plan involves the linkup of the PAO office in Digos – where internet facilities are available – and the Municipal Office of Magsaysay, which will be the central access point for the farmers coops and schools.

This Cybertown project is led by the local government of Magsaysay, with strong from PhilRice, and USM, through the Open Academy project. The infra was funded by the LGU, the Open Academy provided an E1 (2mpbs) Internet link for one year, and the USM installed the wireless infrastructure and is providing technical support.

“With this link, we hope to make this town the test bed of all rural-based ICT initiatives in the next 2 years, providing solutions to farmers’ problems from production, to marketing, from education and simply communication with their relatives abroad. We will be documenting success stories of how farmers will use technology, how the local government and farmers groups will work together in a networked environment. The project will also integrate all ICT-based initiatives in the area in order to establish a coordinated approach and sharing of resources. And finally, we hope to encourage other local government units to take this initiative in providing connectivity to their constituent,” said OPAPA Program Director Roger F. Barroga.