_MG_9249The Philippine Rice Information System (PRISM) received the Outstanding Research and Development Award given by the Los Baños Science Community Foundation Inc.’s (LBSCFI) during the 2016 National Science and Technology Week (NSTW), July 29, 2016.

LBSCFI celebrated the NSTW through Syensaya, a science festival celebrated in Los Baños, Laguna with the support of its 22-member agencies and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

The paper Mapping and monitoring rice areas in the Philippines: The PRISM project experience analyzed data of mapped rice areas of the whole country using high-resolution satellite images.

PRISM, an information system based on satellite data and ground observations, helps the Philippines monitor rice production and prepare for and mitigate the effects of natural disasters.

Since 2014, the monitoring and information system has been generating timely seasonal data on rice areas and yield, and assessment of crop health and damage in the event of typhoons and El Niño phenomenon.

“It integrates three cutting edge technologies into a usable system to serve rice stakeholders.  The space technology gives us updated maps; the information technology delivers information at the right time and entity; and the agricultural technology uses mobile field gadgets to capture data and observations,” explained Jovino De Dios, head of the Information Systems Division at PhilRice.

For rice mapping and monitoring, PRISM uses remote sensing, crop modeling, cloud computing, and smart phone-based surveys. Throughout the rice-growing season, it uses high-resolution Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery.

In 2014-2015 cropping seasons, 443 satellite images across the country were acquired and used in rice area mapping and damage assessment. Some of these images were used to map flood-affected areas of Nueva Ecija when Typhoon Koppu (Lando) hit the country. PRISM also assessed drought-affected areas in Mindanao due to El Niño.

“This award is the fruit of the team’s hard work and sacrifices. PRISM has proven its significance in helping our rice farmers fight the effects of climate change. I also commend the Department of Agriculture (DA) for their full support. We hope to keep this up and continue to innovate solutions for rice production woes,” said Dr. Eduardo Jimmy P. Quilang, PRISM’s project lead and PhilRice’s deputy executive director for research.

The team received a plaque of recognition, certificate, and P20, 000 cash prize during the awarding ceremony.

PRISM is one of the seven projects under the Food Staples Sufficiency Program (FSSP). It is a collaborative project among DA, PhilRice, and IRRI. It is funded under the DA’s National Rice Program and managed and monitored by the Bureau of Agricultural Research.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) is a government corporate entity attached to the Department of Agriculture created through Executive Order 1061 on 5 November 1985 (as amended) to help develop high-yielding and cost-reducing technologies so farmers can produce enough rice for all Filipinos.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute