PRISM is an operational information system that generates rice production information through the use of remote sensing, geographic information system, crop modeling, and information technology-based field data collection.


Satellite-based rice monitoring towards a rice-secure Philippines


To support the Department of Agriculture In making informed decisions for policy formulation and planning through provision of timely and reliable rice information based on remote sensing, crop modeling, and information and communication technology.


  1. To provide reliable, location-specific and timely information on rice area planted, planting dates, yield estimates and damage assessment of flood due to heavy rains and tropical cyclones and drought affected rice areas
  2. To engage in Research for Development to improve operations in response to the needs of the Department of Agriculture


Mapping and yield estimation

PRISM derives data on rice area, including planting date estimates, using high-resolution SAR images that can provide a continual source of information, regardless of weather conditions. To validate the rice area products, ground truth surveys are conducted by trained staff from the Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Offices (DA-RFOs), the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), and other partner agencies.

SAR images acquired on specific dates throughout the season are also used to estimate rice yields. Processed SAR images together with weather data, variety, soil data, and crop management data are inputted into ORYZA, a crop growth modeling software, to estimate or forecast yields. The yield estimates are validated against crop cut experiments in all rice-producing regions and compared against official statistics from the Philippine Statistical Authority (PSA).


Damage assessment

In the recent years, the Philippines has experienced severe flooding that caused damages to rice fields. In the event of these recurring natural calamities, such as flood or drought, PRISM provides accurate information on the extent of damaged rice areas and production loss. Hence, required interventions are immediately identified and rice production shortfalls are easily assessed. PRISM makes it possible to deliver rapid assessment over a wide area using remote sensing.



Field monitoring

Field monitoring is conducted using standardized and smarthphone-based data collection protocols. Data that are collected every cropping season include field characteristics, crop management practices, field status and photos, crop growth stages, and production data. These data aid in the analysis and interpretation of satellite imagery and assess the accuracy of the output rice maps and yield. Field monitoring is also conducted to validate and assess crop damages due to heavy rains, flooding and drought.



The PRISM project holds series of training courses to improve the capacity of partner agencies in the Philippines on rice crop monitoring and pest surveillance. For rice crop monitoring, relevant personnel from PhilRice and DA-RFO’s are trained on the use of remote sensing and crop modeling. Likewise, their national and regional partners’ capacity in management, statistical analysis, and interpretation of data are also enhanced. For pest surveillance, the training includes identification and assessment of injuries caused by diseases, animal pests, and weeds in farmers’ fields; and characterization of production situation using a standardized procedure from IRRI, known as Survey Portfolio to Characterize Yield-Reducing Factors in Rice. In turn, trained staff are expected to train local partners using the same standard curriculum to ensure maintenance and management of the rice information system.