Thursday, August 4, 2016

Philippine Rice Information System wins research award

LOS BAÑOS, Philippines – The Philippine Rice Information System (PRISM) has won the 2016 Philippine Agriculture and Resources Research Foundation, Inc. (PARRFI) Research and Development Award. PRISM received  the recognition during the recently concluded Syensaya, a series of activities and events held every year for National Science and Technology Week (NSTW).

Syensaya is an initiative of the Los Baños Science Community Foundation, Inc. in solidarity with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in its annual celebration of NSTW.

The award recognized research work conducted under PRISM as documented in the paper, Mapping and monitoring rice areas in the Philippines: The PRISM Project experience. The paper described collaborative work among the Department of Agriculture (DA), the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), sarmap, and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). The effort is integrating data from remote sensing, crop modeling, and smartphone-based surveys to deliver accurate, timely, and actionable information on rice crop seasonality, area, yield, damage due to flood and drought, and crop health.

PRISM is funded by the Bureau of Agricultural Research of the DA (DA-BAR). Watch the 16-minute video above for an in-depth overview of the project. In 2015, the PRISM team developed the first high-resolution maps of rice areas in the Philippines. The maps have an overall accuracy of 85% based on more than 2,200 ground observations and agreement with provincial-level official yield statistics.

Since the launch of the PRISM website in June, the project has made information on Philippine rice production more accessible. This information is available to the DA and other decision makers to guide them in planning or creating policy to improve Philippine rice production and in responding to needs that arise during and after disasters.

“The hard work and strong collaboration among PRISM team members from DA, PhilRice, sarmap, and IRRI has led to the team's early successes,” said Alice Laborte, who is the PRISM project leader and GIS and market research specialist at IRRI. “This award will surely inspire the team to work harder and contribute more toward making essential information on rice available to those who need it.”

Eduardo Jimmy Quilang, PRISM project leader at PhilRice, sent his gratitude to the DA and project team members: “I congratulate the PRISM team for this award. Truly, they deserve this as one of the fruits of their hard work and sacrifices. I also commend the DA for their full support, and look forward to more from this project as it is very timely and of great significance to the country."

Representatives from PRISM partner agencies who attended the awarding were, from IRRI, Laborte, Nancy Castilla, Arnel Rala, Joselito Villa, Emma Quicho, Ruvicyn Bayot, Jeny Raviz, Abel Callejo, and John Bethany Macasero; from PhilRice, Leonardo Marquez, Arturo Arocena Jr., Jesiree Elena Ann Bibar, Henry Cayaban, Michael Barroga, Janica Gan, and James Elwyn Leyte; from DA, Ronald Roces; and from DA-BAR Raymond Patrick Cabrera.

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