Creating ImPACT in the Highlands of Benguet

April 15, 2019

Two years after its implementation in Buguias, Benguet, the project Improving Productivity in Agriculture through Climate-Smart Technology in the Philippines or ImPACT PH, formally closed last February 28. With the aim improving the farmers’ practices and livelihoods through the use of climate-smart technology, the project was launched in partnership with Pessl Instruments and KfW DEG.

Throughout the course of ImPACT PH, a total of 32 Pessl-manufactured METOS instruments were installed in the municipality of Buguias. The METOS instruments serve as weather stations that provide farmers with relevant information, such as granular weather, air temperature, solar radiation, and relative humidity, that can help achieve farming success.

“I used to just look up at the sky and see whether it would rain or not. Sometimes, I spray insecticides in the morning and it would just rain in the afternoon. I have to spray again the next day. It’s a big waste of insecticide,” Florante Belo-o, a highland vegetable farmer, recalls. With the introduction of the ImPACT Project, Florante now claims that he no longer has to rely on his hunches, as the METOS instruments provide him with the information he needs.

Another output of the project is the ImPACT Weather App, a mobile application designed to provide easy access to data from the weather instruments. Through this app, farmers are able to view and assess information through their cellular phones.

May Ann Babag, a regular ImPACT Weather App user, states that the application has helped her in managing her time in the farm and in the house. “Now, I don’t have to go to my garden every now and then to water my plants. I save up a lot of my time and energy. I am now able to do our household chores,” May Ann, shares.

With the conclusion of the project, Florante holds a positive outlook for the people of Buguias, “I would like to thank ASSIST and Pessl for providing us and our municipality the METOS instruments. My fellow farmers need to be educated about this technology so they can also utilize it.”

Further developments on the project and the app are still underway. Long term goals for the project include the widespread use of the app amongst more farmers in Buguias; and the continual maintenance of the METOS Instruments. Additionally, ImPACT PH was also expanded to Tagbilaran, Bohol and Baler, Aurora.