In pursuing its vision of modernizing and improving further its extension and advisory service (EAS) delivery to its clientele, the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Carabao Center (DA-PCC) through its Knowledge Management Division (KMD) has entered into a technical consultancy services contract with Grameen Foundation to work on the Phase 1 of a 30-month project titled “Consulting Services for Extension and Advisory Services Information System (EASIS)”.
In general, the project aims to enhance the dairy production management capacity of local dairy buffalo farmers in Nueva Ecija (the pilot site) through information and communications technology (ICT)-enabled EAS modality. The modality is envisioned to provide two main functionalities namely (1) a content delivery tool or CDT (learning videos) and (2) a quick response tool or QRT (mobile application for timely interaction or two-way communication between the field extension technicians or knowledge brokers and the DA-PCC national headquarters).
Phase 1 of the project, which started last March 9, involves identification of scope of work and learning modules development. Activities include focused group discussions, desk research, human-centered design exercises, learning needs, and resource assessment, which will inform the content of the five learning videos and design of the ICT-based EAS solutions. Phase 2 will involve solution development and implementation (i.e., creation of second set of learning videos, development and roll-out of CDT and QRT, and training of trainers) while Phase 3 will involve farmer profiling, complementary SMS extension service, and monitoring and evaluation.
“We are excited to engage with Grameen Foundation because for a long time we wanted to digitize PCC’s extension services using ICT tools, and such will be made possible through this project,” said Dr. Eric Palacpac, DA-PCC Knowledge Management Division chief, who spearheaded the project’s conceptualization.
Grameen Foundation provides technical assistance on smart-farming solutions geared toward the “evolution of digital technology for agriculture.” Ms. Christine Violago, Grameen Foundation’s Country Manager for the Philippines, serves as Project Leader for the EASIS Project.