In response to the challenge posted by climate change, Project SARAI, funded by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) was launched in November 2013. SARAI which stands for Smarter Approaches to Reinvigorate Agriculture as an Industry (SARAI) consists of five component projects. One of the main components of the Project SARAI is Project 1. Model Development and Crop Forecasting , is based at INSTAT, with Dr. Felino P. Lansigan as Project Leader. The project aims to construct crop models using processed based and/or empirical models for six major crops namely: rice, corn, coconut, banana and coffee/cacao. These models will be used to provide timely crop advisories to farmers and other agricultural stakeholders. INSTAT Director Dr. CE Reaño serves as Commodity Leader for Coconut in Projects 1 and 2 of SARAI.
Other INSTAT faculty members are also busy with research. Ms. Rachelyn Ann S. Arana, Mr. Maurice C. Borromeo, Prof. James Roldan S. Reyes, INSTAT Statistical Computing Division head and Dr. Nancy A. Tandang, INSTAT Survey Sampling Division head, are writing a paper entitled A Sampling Strategy for Social Survey with Rotating Panel Design.
Extension activities also abound last quarter. Ms. Arana and Dr. Tandang were resource persons to the training entitled Survey Operation and Questionnaire Design held at TESDA. This was followed through with basic statistics for research to the same participants. Dr. Tandang, together with Mr. Borromeo, also taught nutritionists at DOST-Food and Nutrition Research Institute statistical methods for nutritional assessment. Moreover, Prof. Roselle V. Collado held an educational program for student from Tokyo University of Agriculture. Mr. Dating held a review class on Probability and Statistics last July 26 for Chemical Engineering students who were about to take the board exam. Dean Lansigan was also busy with extension activities. He attended the Outstanding Young Scientist, Inc (OYSI) 9th Annual Meeting and Scientific Convention and the DENR PhilCCAP Training Workshop on Monitoring and Evaluation Systems for Climate Resilience. He graced the National Science and Technology Week Celebration and was moderator to the session on Food Security, Ecosystems and Climate Change held at Richmonde Hotel. He launched a book together with four others, as editors. The book, under the UP Press, is about the changing Philippine climate and its impact on agriculture and natural resources. He went to the National Remote Sensing Symposium at UP Diliman and the 3rd NAST-OM Lopez Center National Climate Change Conference. Basic statistics and statistical report writing was led by Ms. Marie Joy F. Lopez and Ms. Maria Salve C. Vasquez in a training held in Nabua, Camarines Sur, while Prof. Reyes and Mr. Jared Jorim O. Mendoza taught statistical forecasting and missing data estimation. Dr. Reano attended the 2014 PSAI annual conference in Cebu together with Hon. Dir. Zita VJ. Albacea. Director Albacea served as chair of the papers and program committee of the conference. The Pesticide/Fertilizer Bioefficacy and SPRT researchers’ accreditation training and workshop was held with Dr. Reano as trainor.
Indeed, it has been a busy but fruitful quarter for INSTAT. We commend the faculty members and staff of the institute. May our researches grow ever relevant and ever hard-working, our extension activities more abundant, and our resource persons always significant.