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A digital color-coded agricultural guide map conceptualized by President Rodrigo Duterte when he was still Mayor of Davao City was featured in the Global Forum on Food and Agriculture (GFFA) here where over 100 Agriculture Monisters gathered to discuss the digitalization of agriculture for greater efficiency and productivity.

“The concept of a National Color-Coded Agriculture Guide Map was discussed by President Duterte with me when he was still Mayor of Davao City and long before he even decided to take a shot at the Presidency,” Agriculture Secretary Manny Pinol said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel delivered the keynote address during the main session of the 3-day 11th Berlin Agriculture Ministers' Conference 2019 which focused on "Agriculture Goes Digital - Smart Solutions for Future Farming."

The Philippines presented its experience on digitalization through the Philippine Rural Development Program (PRDP), a World Bank and Philippine Government funded project which uses digital technology and drones for geo-tagging and aerial mapping.

The National Color-Coded Agriculture Guide Map (www.farmersguidemap.gov.ph) is one of the technological instruments used by the PRDP in the implementation of the program along with the Expanded Vulnerability and Suitability Assessment (E-VSA), the Applied Geo-Tagging Technology (AGT) and the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).

“When I presented the program before other Agriculture Ministers during one of the sessions of the GFFA 2019, I felt a sense of joy and fulfilment realizing that what was just a simple idea which then Mayor Duterte discussed with me would now become a model for digital agriculture which other countries could learn from,” the agri chief said.

Duterte informed Pinol that many of the country's farmers do not even know the type of soil they have in their farms and other factors like climatic conditions which would affect their productivity.

Shortly after Duterte appointed Pinol, the Color-Coded Agriculture Map concept was immediately studied by the Adaptation, Mitigation and Intervention in Agriculture (AMIA) and the Bureau of Soils and Water Management.

A young Subanen computer programmer handled the loading of the data into the Color-Coded Guide Map which was completed eight months after the start of the Duterte Presidency.

It was officially launched by Duterte in Malacañang on March 7, 2017 and called the National Color-Coded Agriculture Guide Map.

The www.farmersguidemap.gov.ph provides farmers access to very important information on the type of soil he has in his village, the kind of crops suitable to his area and the hazards and risks he must watch out for.

The farmer will also have access to a map showing sources of water and the depth of water level in his area, including weather forecasts through a link which will bring him to the PAGASA website.

By typing his Region, Province, Town and Barangay in designated boxes in the website, the farmer will get the list of crops suitable for his village.

The farmer has the option to determine where in his barangay he could plant a specific crop by clicking any of the listed crop, like Cacao or pineapple.

When he does that, the interactive map will be layered with several colors indicating where the crop could be ideally grown which would be shown by the color Green and where it is not advisable to plant as shown by color Red.

“The NACCAG is expected to protect the farmer from the expensive and time consuming experimental planting in his farm where after wasting time and money, he cuts down a crop that does not bear fruit simply because it is not suited in the area,” Pinol said.

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