In support of deploying government interventions needed for the rice industry, PhilRice will serve as the operations hub of an information system starting this second semester.
The system, called Philippine Rice Information System or PRISM, uses remote sensing, crop modelling technologies, cloud computing, 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 farmers’ practices on fertilizer and pesticide use and the rice varieties they planted.
“The information system can be used to inform the implementers about where to place priority programs especially during typhoons when damage assessment is crucial,” Dr. Eduardo Jimmy P. Quilang, project leader, said. It also enhances the efficiency in handling pest outbreaks as accurate assessment are provided.
With PhilRice as the information system center, PRISM unit was created to house the infrastructure and human resources required for its operations. Research and development activities will also be conducted to further improve the system’s technology. Jovino L. de Dios, PRISM unit head, said that continuous research and development is critical in maintaining the technology, as its tools, including its hardware, need constant updating.
In its full deployment, PRISM is envisioned to provide monthly advisory to DA and DA-RFOs about rice health and other rice related data. This will help the department in assisting rice areas with low yield. Data on assessing farm risks will also be soon gathered.
A collaborative project of Department of Agriculture, International Rice Research Institute, and Bureau of Agricultural Research, it has widened its partnership with Department of Information and Communications Technology and Department of Science and Technology-Advance Science and Technology Institute. The Philippine Statistics Authority was also tapped to validate the data gathered through the information system.