Monday, February 14, 2011
DA-Philrice wins AGFUND International Prize
A government program being implemented by the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rice Research Institute (DA-PhilRice) has won an international award given by a Saudi Arabia-based funding organization.
The Open Academy for Philippine Agriculture (OPAPA) won the third category of the Arab Gulf Program for Development (AGFUND). The category concerns the “Role of Government Ministries and Public Institutions in the Adoption of New Innovations to Enhance the Application of ICT (Information and Communication Technology) for the Development of Remote and Rural Communities”.
DA-PhilRice and the winners of the three other 2010 AGFUND International Prize categories will receive their prizes at a ceremony to be subsequently convened.
For the feat, OPAPA will receive $100,000.
OPAPA was recommended to the AGFUND award by Dr. Suresh Ghandra Raj, representative in the Philippines of the United Nations International Development Organization (UNIDO).
Launched in 2003, OPAPA is being implemented by DA-PhilRice, currently headed by Executive Director Ronilo Beronio, to forge a strategic alliance among knowledge and resource generators, content developers, network providers, learning centers, extensionists, and farmers in information generation, dissemination, and sharing.
AGFUND is a regional developmental funding organization that actively works internationally in the field of development. To date, it has supported 1,268 projects in 133 developing countries.
Headed by Saudi Prince Talal Bin Abdul Aziz, AGFUND launched its International Prize for Pioneering Human Development in 1999 to “incite and encourage innovation and creativity in the areas of human development.”
The AGFUND 2010 winning projects were selected from among 28 nominated from 25 countries representing three continents.
AGFUND has recognized OPAPA for “its genuine efforts in developing and testing ICT applications that address challenges in agricultural development in the Philippines.”
OPAPA’s entry highlighted various ICT interventions, among them the PhilRice Text Center, Pinoy Farmers’ Internet (www.openacademy.ph), OPAPA e-learning program, Palay Chikahan (e-forum), virtual consultations, Pinoy Rice Knowledge Bank (www. Pinoyrkb.com), cyber communities, and ICT trainings using the Mobile Internet Bus.
“These modalities,” said DA-PhilRice, “connect lowly rice farmers to reliable sources of information, and also encourage collaborative learning among scientists, extension workers, farmers, and other concerned organizations. By keeping farmers informed of the latest technologies, they are more equipped to make better decisions in farm management.”
By Good News Pilipinas
PhilRice has done so much to elevate the global rice industry with its innovative rice technology programs. We commend and recognize PhilRice for its outstanding past efforts, and continued future efforts helping the Philippines and the world in the production of rice.
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