Tech developers converge in Los Banos for Bigas2Hack

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Local IT developers are congregating this weekend at the IRRI headquarters in Los Ba?os, Laguna for Bigas2Hack, an IT competition for software applications and devices to help improve rice farming and research.

In last year’s first BigAs Hackathon, the PhilRobotics team won the Most Innovative or Special Jury award for their innovation called the Environmental Logging System or Envilog, a portable device that can take actual readings of temperature, humidity, rainfall, wind direction, and barometric pressure in the rice field.

?Originally, I thought agriculture was only about planting and then harvesting,? said Franklin Binos II, leader of the PhilRobotics team.

?But through the BigAs Hackathon, I learned the importance of technology for agriculture, especially when doing research. I’ve learned that accurate and precise technology is involved when it comes to developing rice.?

Marco van den Berg, IRRI?s chief information officer, said contrary to popular notion, agricultural research is not old-fashioned or boring.

?We use state-of-the art information technology that includes mobile gear, cloud computing, high-end software engineering, and we have definitely moved away from collecting our data on paper.?

The event is jointly organized by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and Smart Communications, in partnership with the US Embassy-Manila, Amazon Web Services, freelancer.com, Windows Azure, Google Developers Group, Jollibee Group Foundation, Soft Microenterprises, USSE, and Mozilla-Philippines.

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