Food and nutrition security of Southeast Asian (SEA) countries still rely mostly in smallholder farmers whose farming systems are in vulnerable areas prone to various abiotic and biotic stresses. Biotic stress management remains a main challenge as this requires accurate estimations of viable conditions for efficient production. Not to mention the shifts in seasons and being aggravated by pest and disease, the attainable yields vary between fields at farm and landscape levels.
Modeling is a useful research tool that can help research to detangle key determinants of productivity under stresses. Decision-making support models can generate valuable specific information to improve farming systems productivity and its impact at different scales, ranging from the field to sub-local region, and to the entire country.
With the above premise, the University of Southern Queensland (USQ), in collaboration with the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) and the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), is developing the AgPractices&Domains tool. It aims to provide integrated pest and disease management options in rice-based cropping systems. From the use of tool comes the platform that will allow a network of researchers to carry out rice cropping systems’ monitoring and evaluation combined with a documentation of community of practices that will further facilitate learning and exchanges between institutions and countries.
Meanwhile, SEARCA is currently developing a knowledge platform for supporting research activities in the Southeast Asian region by tapping into relevant information on agriculture, forestry, and natural resources. The AgPractices&Domains tool by USQ will be a working foundation for the SEARCA know ledge platform and network to develop a large-scale application, that includes major rice growing areas in Southeast Asia, and broader application in different crops.