Series of lectures shared by the resource persons during the Bamboo app training held in ERDB-FWRDEC Malaybalay City.

Farmer cooperators of the Science and Technology Community-Based Farm (STCBF) on the bamboo project of the Forest and Wetland Research, Development and Extension Center (FWRDEC) collaborated with the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (USTP) in the launching and user testing of the Department of Science Technology- Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST- PCAARRD)’s Bamboost App- an Online Marketing Platform of Bamboo Farmers in selected STCBF sites which is a joint project of the USTP and DOST-PCAARRD’s Technology Transfer and Promotion Division on October 6, 2022, at FWRDEC- Malaybalay City, Bukidnon.

Generally, it aims to enhance digital inclusivity alongside the bamboo value chain by scaling up digital services and strengthening the online marketing of Bamboo products.

While the app is in Phase 1 of development, the user testing is meant to introduce the Bamboost App to bamboo farmers, especially to the STCBF farmer cooperators who are into marketing of Bamboo products (planting materials and other bamboo-based products), as well as processors, and entrepreneurs who will eventually be the target clients once it is already up and running.

Step-by-step online registration, user experience functional testing, performance, security, device and platform testing, and basic online transactions were demonstrated during the event.

Forester Conrado B. Marquez on his welcome message to the participants of the Bamboost app training.

FWRDEC Center Head, Forester Conrado B. Marquez, commended the significance of this endeavor and emphasized the commercial importance of bamboo in the Philippines, especially in various bamboo-based industries as it will pave the way for future marketing opportunities for farmer cooperators under FWRDEC’s project on S&T Community-Based Nursery, Plantation Establishment and Management of Giant Bamboo [Dendrocalamus asper (Schultes et.) Backer ex Heyne] in Dalwangan, Malaybalay City, Bukidnon as the province is one of the country’s known for its abundance of bamboo plantations specifically giant bamboo.

Participants of Bamboost App from different organizations/agencies compose of: farmer cooperators, PAGRO, BENRO, DTI , private farmer (8) and some FWRDEC staff.

Future developments and innovations are sighted based on the issues and concerns raised during the testing, such as Compatibility of the Bamboost app for installation of farmers’ mobile devices; High access internet connection requirement for operating the Bamboost app; Difficulty in online registration (entry), especially for farmers having no formal education background; Mode of transaction for online payment processing of item/product; and Sustainability of the Bamboost app.

The event was actively participated by STCBF bamboo growers, Bukidnon PLGU representatives, and FWRDEC personnel and staff. Bukidnon, Iligan, and Iloilo are the initial target sites of the project where the app will be adopted. Lourdes D. Agne, Lydia E. Tiongco and Franklin T. Mara, FWRDEC