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MUNOZ, Nueva Ecija - The Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) is asking high school students to become “infomediaries” or information intermediaries, and help upland farmers gain access to information on rice farming.
PhilRice researcher Jaime A. Manalo IV said young people may be mobilized to search for information, online and offline, on new farming technologies.
"We believe that the high school students can be tapped as facilitators of knowledge sharing,” he said, adding that the school should serve as the nucleus of agricultural extension as this is a point of convergence for the farmers’ children.
He said the strategy would also help ease the burden of agricultural technicians to individually visit upland rice farmers and help reduce cost in extension work.
Manalo also said the youth-as-infomediaries strategy sits well with the PhilRice Farmers’ Text Center (PFTC), a texting facility that answers all queries on rice farming and has 30,000 registered users.
At present, he said, a similar strategy is being tested in Aurora and in Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat through the “Sagot ko ang Magulang ko," a campaign that trains high school students to search rice farming information for their parents.