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Participants with the e-IRM app project team and Dr. Barbara L. Caoili, NCPC director (Photo by PMdeChavez)

On 15 December 2022, the National Crop Protection Center held a soft launch for the Electronic Insecticide Resistance Management Application or e-IRM app.

The e-IRM app is a mobile application for IRM of fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda Smith) and onion armyworm (Spodoptera exigua Hübner) in the Philippines. It aims to generate an insecticide rotation calendar based on the Mode of Action classification scheme tailored to the cropping season, susceptibility of insects, availability of insecticides, historical insecticide usage, and weather information in an area.

It also seeks to develop a digital library of the pertinent information on FAW and OAW, proper insecticide handling, and FPA-approved insecticides, as well as to generate maps on active insecticide recommendations, historical data on insecticide use, and availability of insecticide for Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan, Isabela, Pampanga, Cebu, Negros Oriental, Bohol, and Sultan Kudarat.

The program was held at the NCPC Auditorium and was attended by farmers, agricultural technicians, and extension workers from local government units around Laguna.

In a recorded message, Dr. Anthony B. Obligado, assistant director of the DA-Bureau of Agricultural Research, conveyed his hope that the e-IRM app will help intensify crop protection practices in the Philippines and lead to better economic productivity, reduced losses, and curtailed misspending on insecticides. “I am hoping that we also continue to monitor, evaluate, and assess the said application for further improvements and for its sustainability,” he added.

Meanwhile, Dr. Elpidio M. Agbisit, Jr., CAFS dean, congratulated the Center and the project team and underscored the role that the e-IRM app can play in promoting appreciation for farming among the youth.

Dr. Gelyn D. Sapin, study leader for the e-IRM project and assistant professor at the Institute of Weed Science, Entomology and Plant Pathology, provided the participants with the overview and rationale behind the project. Meanwhile, Mr. Angelo C. Guiam, app development consultant, demonstrated how the e-IRM app works.

Through an open forum, the attendees were given a chance to make clarifications about the app and consult about some of their crop concerns.

Dr. Barbara L. Caoili, NCPC director, closed the program by expressing her hope that the app will encourage the observance of good agricultural practices and urging the attendees to care for the environment for the sake of the next generation.

The e-IRM app can be downloaded from the Google Playstore of the App Store by January 2023. Its development was funded by DA-BAR.

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