[BUKIDNON VIEWS] FIRST PERSON: Smarter Approaches for PH Agriculture Industry

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MALAYBALAY CITY (BukidnonNews.Net/20 September 2021) In our meeting with SARAI (Smarter Approaches to Reinvigorate the Agriculture Industry) team yesterday, I emphasized the need for having a GIS-based farm registry.  This will establish more precise basis for government assistance.

Oftentimes, when we see somebody holding a plow, we think he is a farmer, but in fact 90% of the time he is the farm worker. His poverty should be addressed more by programs of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and/or the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and less by the Department of Agriculture (DA). The real farmer, his employer, maybe somewhere else having coffee in Jollibee.

But with Geospatial Information System (GIS)-based Farm Registry, we can actually enhance the accuracy of SARAI’s Remote Sensing Technology by incorporating farmers’ profile attached to every corn farming polygon (technically not merely the centroid).

Such farmer maybe planting white corn more often than yellow corn as his planting intention is for own consumption (not commercial intent like many yellow corn farmers). He could be selling only the excess to the market, plants in sloping area (marginal farm), uses inbred seeds, provides lesser fertilizer, relies on household labor, does postharvest himself and produces low yield - that is less than 2 metric tons per hectare.

Remote Sensing algorithm can automatically adjust crop yield estimate for production polygons with similar profile if data set (profiling) was tagged to such farm and farmer profile beforehand and increase accuracy of remote sensing (RS) results. This is artificial intelligence capacity.

This will be part of our core advocacy to compel DA and the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) to adopt GIS based RSBSA (Registry System for Basic Sectors of Agriculture) and take advantage of enhanced SARAI technology to forecast more accurately crop production among other applications of SARAI, which will become the PAGASA for the agriculture industry.

Philmaize can also promote this registry system and Remote Sensing technology to our local government units (LGUs) who may opt to implement ahead of DA in their jurisdiction.

The Mandanas-Garcia ruling will give more resources to LGUs and maybe less to DA. We can contract the mapping services and commission SARAI team, which in turn has a network of cooperators in state universities all over the country. This way we can make SARAI the data hub for national registry system.

Thank you Dr. Art Salazar for the amazing initiative. Thanks also to Dr. Edgar Po of USTP who oriented me the world of GIS, RS and AI.

[Note: Project SARAI (Smarter Approaches to Reinvigorate Agriculture as an Industry in the Philippines) is an action-research program, funded by the Department of Science and Technology –-PCAARRD) and implemented by the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), together with 11 State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) and six National Government Agencies. It implements a near real-time monitoring of production areas using remotely-sensed images. – Editor]

Roderico R. Bioco is the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry – Region 10 Regional Governor. He chairs the Bukidnon Giant Bamboo Resources Corporation. FIRST PERSON is a section in the BukidnonNews.Net website dedicated to select statements, speeches, comments and other views on public matters. If you want to contribute to FIRST PERSON, email your piece, contact details and bio profile to 



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