The 2012 IFA Norman Borlaug Award recognized two laureates for their outstanding work in providing extension services to farmers, Dr Greta Gabinete of the West Visayas State University, Iloilo City, Philippines (the second woman and the first Filipino in the history of the award)¬† and Mr Rikin Gandhi of India.
Dr. Gabinete has been instrumental in the development and transfer of site-specific nutrient management (SSNM)-based technology for rice in the province of Iloilo in the Western Visayas region.
From 2006, she has used a systematic approach involving the validation of SSNM-based technology for rice, the establishment of guidelines derived from SSNM principles, the development of locally adapted decision tools and aids for dissemination and for the establishment of partnerships. Some of the advanced technologies and innovative tools that Gabinete has been involved in to facilitate the transfer of technology are: a quick guide to rice fertilization; web applications of decision support software in English and 6 local dialects; and videos for improved nutrient management.
By the end of 2009, about 4000 farmers in the Iloilo Province had been reached through training programs, lectures and demonstration plots. In 2010/11, an additional 2000 farmers were oriented and trained on the SSNM technology. Through this approach, yields increased in most cases, raising farmers‚Äô net incomes by the target level of US$ 100 per hectare per season.
Dr. Greta Gabinete and Rikin Gandhi were nominated by Atlas Fertilizer Corporation and the International Plant Nutrition Institute, respectively, and they were selected by an independent jury. Both laureates accepted their award at the Opening Session of the IFA Annual Conference on Tuesday, 22 May in Doha, Qatar.
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