Studies on ICT and satellite-based crop monitoring and typhoon-resistant farm structure were recognized in the 16th International Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Conference and Exhibition held in Negros Occidental, April 21-27.

Out of 31 technical papers, “Operationalization of Philippine Rice Information System (PRISM): Revolutionizing Agriculture through ICT and Satellite-Based Crop Monitoring” emerged as the best paper. Judges noted the technologies’ contribution in providing reliable data for crop, pest, and damage monitoring.

PRISM uses remote sensing, crop modelling technologies, and ICTs to map and monitor rice areas. It also provides data on rice yield, production losses due to flood or drought, occurrence of pest injuries and diseases, and the rice varieties planted.

“PRISM will look forward to deliver timely, policy relevant, and science-based rice information to assist our government in formulating and implementing agricultural policies and technological interventions,” said Elmer D. Alosnos, main author.

Meanwhile, “Development of Kwebo: Simplifying the Design and Construction of a Typhoon-Resistant Multi-Purpose Farm Structure” defeated 58 poster entries. As first place, it showed the advantages of kwebo including its D-I-Y (do-it-yourself) design and durability. Kwebo, from Filipino words – kweba (cave) and kubo (nipa hut), is a farm structure designed like a nipa hut, but is durable like a cave. It is low-cost structure for small farm holders, and can withstand typhoon signal 4 and 200 km/h wind.

Dr. Ricardo F. Orge, PhilRice scientist who developed kwebo, said the technology is already being pilot-tested as farm storage.

The event was organized by the Philippine Society of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineers (PSABE), formerly Philippine Society of Agricultural Engineers (PSAE).

With reports from Elsie E. Reyes

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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