Student from UP Diliman Created an App that Provides Information About Careers in Agriculture Wins 2nd Place at the Hack4Rice Hackathon Last September 1

Hack4Rice Champions: Team Pilapil: Allison Gacad, Maria Beatriz Marasigan, Kristel Diane Artificio, with the event organizers: Marko Kärkkäinen, Jack Lagare (from left to right)

Manila, Philippines – The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), hosted a hackathon last August 30 to September 1 called Hack4Rice. The main focus of this is to research on rice within the country. Located at the IRRI Headquarters in Los Baños, Laguna, the theme for this year’s Hack4Rice is “Advancing Rice Research Through Tech and Innovation,” aiming to bring people with diverse backgrounds together and nurture a community of collaboration and innovation. 

Participants had the opportunity to interact with IRRI staff involved in rice research and operations, external partners, and so much more who can provide valuable insights and have a thorough knowledge about the pain points that the hackathon hopes to help alleviate. With the exception of those from outside the Philippines joining remotely, participants got to experience the idyllic scenery of Los Baños, wonderful food, and the peace and quiet an escape from the urban jungles brings. 

Through Hack4Rice 2019, the opportunity to expand their reach became available as the participants got to interact with people coming from different fields. As the hackathon aimed to provide the participants with as near a glimpse of the world of rice research, there are a lot of opportunities to ensure impact through what you build. 

Team Pilapil, who are Allison Gacad, Maria Beatriz Marasigan, Kristel Diane Artificio (from left to right), are students and graduates from the University of British Columbia, UP Manila, and UP Los Baños, respectively. The team landed in second place with a mobile app which serves as a career guide to high school students who’s about to enter college. It includes potential careers, universities, scholarships, and majors related to agriculture. It also has a personality quiz which will analyze the results to give a recommendation of a career that you will possibly fit in.

The other teams that participated were Team Blu, who won 1st-Place, and Team Croppynet that bagged 3rd-Place. A special award was also given to Team Humaygosh, with an artificial intelligence platform where crop breeders can upload their data, use developed tools to easily visualize their data, run machine learning algorithms, and collaborate with different domain experts to solve challenging problems in the field. 

One of the media partners of Hack4Rice is Amidextr, a content marketing and events management company focused on serving tech companies in Asia Pacific. 

“Agriculture is a commonly overlooked field, but it no longer has to be with Pilapil. Students who wish to take up agriculture for college will now be more informed on what steps to take next in order to pursue a career in the industry,” said Sofia Galve, a co-founder of Ambidextr

Hack4Rice a great opportunity to develop collaboration not only between teammates but with other participants and stakeholders thereby nurturing an environment for empowerment. 


The International Rice Research Institute is dedicated to abolishing poverty and hunger among people and populations that depend on rice-based agri-food systems. Through our work and partnerships, we aim to improve the health and welfare of rice farmers and consumers; promote environmental sustainability in a world challenged by climate change; and support the empowerment of women and the youth in the rice industry.

Source: Ambidextr Media