A cutting edge technology called remote sensing will help boost the country’s rice production, according to a scientist. Remote sensing uses satellite imagery and ground data processing to generate data and information on agricultural conditions.

During the recent 2015 Asian Conference on Remote Sensing, Dr. Enrico Paringit, explained that through the said technology, experts can make an inventory of the agricultural resources and immediately discover any irregularities in the crops before these spread. Paringit is the program leader of the Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) Disaster Risks Exposure Assessment for Mitigation (DREAM).

“The El Niño phenomenon was detected using remote sensing technologies,” says Paringit while explaining the benefits of remote sensing technologies in the areas of agriculture, forestry, and disaster mitigation.

Remote sensing is the technology used in getting information on an object or phenomenon without making any physical contact. It is done through aerial scanning of a location or through satellite images. “We can say that remote sensing is more like feeling without touching,” says Paringit.

Under the DREAM program which Paringit heads, DOST will be sending two microsatellites in two years starting 2016 to enable the remote transmission of data. These images will be verified using data coming from other sources.

The data which will be obtained on a daily basis and will be sent to a ground receiving station in Subic, Zambales. The station, to be called the Philippine Earth Data Resources and Observation Center (PEDRO), will provide crops and climate experts with information on a particular area’s vegetation conditions. Also, it will receive, process, and distribute spatial data to provide government officials with intelligent decision-making tool on various areas of concern such as the occurrence of pests, annual yield of rice to prevent shortages in the production, and other issues.

“Just imagine, we can now determine if our rice production is sufficient by comparing our annual yield data against our needs. Through this we can now have empirical basis if there is a real need to import rice so we can truly help our local farmers in optimizing their profits,” said Paringit.

Initially, PEDRO will run for two years and promises to strengthen the country’s capabilities in weather information and forecasting as well as in forest and agricultural resource assessment.

According to Dr. Gay Perez, president of the Philippine Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society, the recent remote sensing conference aims to update the country’s experts on the latest technologies and enable participants to take a peek at what global leaders in remote sensing are working on in the past years. The country likewise presented its initiatives on Phil-LiDAR technology, a high-resolution hazards mapping of the 15 major river systems and the two microsatellite program.  The Philippines hosted the conference for the second time in almost two decades. #remotesensing   #agriculture   #dostPH  #dostdream  #PEDRO #philLiDAR 

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