PRISM collects data and generates rice production information using mobile technology, remote sensing, Geographical Information System (GIS), and crop modeling to address the need of information on rice such as rice area planted, yield estimates, planting dates, and the extent of rice area affected by flood and drought.

It supports the DA in strategic policy and decision-making, technology implementation, and disaster preparedness and rapid response to emergency situations through provision of remote sensing-derived information.

VISION

Satellite-based rice monitoring towards a rice-secure Philippines

MISSION

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.

OBJECTIVES

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

WHAT WE DO

RICE AREA MAPPING AND YIELD ESTIMATION

PRISM aims to estimates the rice area planted every semester. The current method of collecting data on area harvested, production, and yield in the country is through a quarterly survey of approximately 13,000 farmers conducted by the Philippine Statistical Authority (PSA).

To complement with the PSA data, PRISM uses remote sensing technology to generate more detailed and location-specific data on rice area and yield. The application of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) in rice monitoring has been used in the country as the primary source of remote sensing information, with optical image considered as optional and secondary source. SAR technology is based on active sensors that emit microwave radiation that is long enough to penetrate clouds.

Rice yield is expected to vary across and within fields thus, yield mapping is essential for detecting areas where yields could be improved or where adjustments in inputs are needed to optimize farmers' productivity and profitability.

Yield estimation requires SAR-derived data such as planting dates and leaf area index (LAI) generated from the rice mapping. Once these data are available, together with weather, crop management and soil parameters files, the yield estimation can be carried out using ORYZA.

 

EXTENT OF FLOOD AND DROUGHT-AFFECTED RICE AREAS

Accurate, timely, and location-specific estimates of damage resulting from natural calamities, such as typhoons, floods due to torrential rains, and drought, are necessary for rapid decision making on emergency response, early assessment of potential shortfalls in food production, and planning and implementation of rehabilitation programs. Since our country is a natural disaster hotspot, PRISM developed and implemented protocols for monitoring rice areas and assessing damage to the rice crop due to flood or drought using remote sensing and field surveys.

Upon receipt of a request from the DA national and/or regional offices and based on a weather advisory from PAGASA, PRISM performs damage assessment following a protocol that includes the identification of the area to be assessed and satellite images to acquire, processing of satellite data, and rapid field appraisal. In the current protocol, an initial assessment providing estimates of area with standing rice crops that will most likely be affected by the events of typhoon, flood, and drought based on the PAGASA weather advisory is submitted within three days after the request from the DA. Within 10 days, a more detailed assessment that includes estimates of rice areas affected by the events is submitted. The delivery of the complete assessment depends on the availability of satellite images and the rapid field appraisal.

As part of the damage assessment conducted in PRISM, field work and validation are carried out after the event to assess the actual ground conditions at the time of the events. This involves taking the coordinates (latitude and longitude) and photos, recording crop status and ground conditions, and conducting focus group discussions and interviews with farmers.

 

GROUND-TRUTHING

PRISM estimates on rice area planted and yield using remote sensing, GIS, and crop modeling. These generated information are validated through field monitoring which is conducted by using standardized field protocols and smartphone- based data collection forms and applications.

A set of field protocols and forms was developed for seasonal field data collection on monitoring field locations, farm profile, photos, field status, crop growth stages, crop management practices, crop damages due to extreme weather events and yield. These protocols aim to collect field data and determine factors that can contribute to increase in rice production or yield losses.

 

TRAINING

In adherence to PRISM’s vision of enhancing the capacity and infrastructure of the DA to use information technology for a more food-secure future, PRISM conducted a series of training activities and workshops on data collection protocols, data management and analysis, rice mapping and monitoring, yield estimation, and crop health assessments.

Before the PRISM project reached its last year as R&D, the DA RFO representatives conducted training workshops for their regions, LGUs, and other partners. Majority of the identified participants from the regions were their focal persons for the components on mapping and monitoring, crop health, IT staff and data collector.