Ifugao-Japan rice terraces project backed

BANAWE, Ifugao—The Banaue Rice Terraces of Ifugao and Noto’s Satoyama and Satoumi of Japan were identified as globally important agricultural heritage systems (GIAHS).

On January 18 to 19, 2018, the Ifugao State University (IFSU) and the Kanazawa University of Japan and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) once again came together for the 2nd Ifugao Satoyama Meister Training Program (MTP), a human capacity-building project that benchmarks the best practices from each GIAHS site to preserve their cultural and natural heritage.

Research and research progress presentations were presented by researchers from Ifugao and Japan, showing their new findings and best practices to revitalize and keep the beauty of their own GIAHS sites.

It is hoped that after their research, the Department of Agriculture (DA-CAR) will collaborate with IFSU and other concerned local government or agencies for the implementation of the research and development recommendations and suggestions for improvements of the Banaue Rice Terraces and also replicate fndings applicable in the other rice terraces of the region.

Japanese and Ifugao alumni of the program presented their completed researches followed by the next batches of research proposals.

From Japan, three representative alumni of Noto Satoyama MTP, presented their research projects from the last year. Mr. Hiroaki Sugimori shared the establishment and achievements of the Noto Satoyama Meister Alumni Network; Mr. Hidetoshi Koshida presented his research on the cultivation methods and marketing strategies of “Naturally Cultivated” rice in Noto and Ms. Naoko Koshida’s research was on the conservation and utilization of biodiversity in “Natural Cultivation” in the rice fields in Noto.

Researches from Ifugao reported by alumni from the ISTMP-Phase 1 included “Heirloom Rice-Based Japanese Fish, (Yuyu) Production,” by Jerry H. Nayoos; “A Survey of the State of Mayoyao Native Houses,” by Jeremy Gawnga; and “Community Based Eco-tourism: Local Participation and Perceived Impacts on Sustainable Development” by  Sylvette Joy Licyayo.

Research projects of the upcoming batch revolved in a mix of agriculture, tourism projects, media and marketing, business enterprises, surveys and documentations.

Among those that the DA-CAR can possibly support are the following research projects: “Oriental Weather Loach,” “Culture of Using Indigenous Fertilizers in the Terraces of Mayoyao Ifugao,” “Production of Quality Vermicompost for Organic Farming Using Plant Substrate” and, “Production of Roasted Native Rice as Alternative Coffee in Mayoyao.”

On behalf of the DA-CAR, Regional Executive Director Narciso Edillo met with Ifugao Governor Pedro G. Mayam-o, IFSU President Serafin L. Ngohayon and JICA Technical Cooperation for Grassroots Project Manager Koji Nakamura. All parties look forward to future convergence and project implementation for the improvement of the province’s rice terraces, which would in turn benefit the agricultural sector of the region as a whole.

By ynapuy

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