Home News Funds, paperwork hinder PHL implementation of satellite tv for pc information for agriculture 

Funds, paperwork hinder PHL implementation of satellite tv for pc information for agriculture 

Funds, paperwork hinder PHL implementation of satellite tv for pc information for agriculture 

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By Patricia B. Mirasol, reporter

Satellite tv for pc know-how that may velocity up the work of crop insurers and assist the federal government make macro-level choices hasn’t gained traction within the agricultural sector attributable to price range constraints, bureaucratic resistance from these whose jobs could also be rendered out of date, and insufficient technical capability amongst workers, in response to a former official on the Division of Agriculture (DA).

“Assessors who go to the sphere to examine the extent of harm and losses will turn out to be redundant with this know-how,” mentioned economist Fermin D. Adriano, an Agriculture undersecretary in the course of the Duterte administration, in a July 18 e-mail to BusinessWorld, noting that “if one is the top of the crop insurance coverage firm receiving a authorities subsidy of greater than P4 billion a yr, what’s the incentive so that you can change the established order when it serves you effectively to keep up powers and perks?” 

Satellite tv for pc know-how may be utilized to watch present crop circumstances and predict future yield, making it a useful gizmo for crop insurance coverage.  

In June 2020, the DA partnered with SatSure AG, a Karnataka-based deep tech multinational, to provide satellite imaging for 100,000 hectares planted with rice and 40,000 hectares planted with different crops in Nueva Ecija, Iloilo, and North Cotabato. 

The pilot undertaking targeted on estimating the harm and losses attributable to climate disturbances or pests. Area information could possibly be used as a foundation for extending crop insurance coverage and increasing credit score, mentioned Mr. Adriano in the identical e-mail. 

This info is “badly wanted to ensure insurance coverage firms or banks that precise planting of such crops was made, [and also to] measure precise crop density, whether or not there have been … losses to crops,” he added. “This information is especially wanted by our susceptible farmers in this age of climate change challenges.”

Except for paperwork, price range woes additionally forestall the undertaking from scaling up. Even when the satellite tv for pc know-how may be funded by grants, further monetary assist will probably be wanted to geo-tag particular person farms.

“The issue is that the federal government is in a decent fiscal state of affairs now and appears at such improvements as a value relatively than an funding sooner or later,” mentioned Mr. Adriano, who was Agriculture undersecretary for coverage and planning.


The Philippine Crop Insurance coverage Company (PCIC), in the meantime, instructed BusinessWorld in a July 14 e-mail that the proof of idea of the pilot undertaking is “encouraging however not but convincing.” 

PCIC — which was underneath the DA in 2020 when the undertaking was rolled out — examined SatSure’s satellite tv for pc know-how for post-planting inspection and harm evaluation in Isabela, Cagayan Valley, and Butuan, Agusan del Norte, from June to October that yr. 

The validation that must be carried out for insurance coverage underwriting is usually carried out by subject personnel, in response to Manuel J. Cortina, officer-in-charge of PCIC’s enterprise growth and advertising division, and Luther Romeo C. Salting, PCIC’s vp for its company enterprise affairs group. 

“The know-how made the validation quicker,” mentioned Mr. Cortina in a July 14 cellphone name, including that SatSure AG offered information analytics in addition to a platform for viewing the gathered photographs. “We had a problem with harm evaluation, nonetheless, as a result of we insure individually [per hectare], and the pictures proven had been per cluster [per region]. We would like a extra micro view of the areas.”  

“We’re open to adopting the know-how if it might probably deal with particular person evaluation,” Mr. Cortina mentioned. “Indemnity-based kasi kami [We protect based on indemnity].” 

Arvind Kumar, SatSure AG’s Philippine nation director, in a July 21 textual content message mentioned: “[PCIC’s requirement] may be offered as soon as geotagging is completed. We already made it very clear in our scale up proposals submitted to the DA.” 


In a July 11 name with BusinessWorld, SatSure co-founder Abishek Raju mentioned: “We’ve been working with states and governments, and we really feel the extent of enthusiasm for digitalizing agricultural practices within the Philippines could be very excessive.”

Area information will help present predictive assessments based mostly on how a particular panorama has modified, Mr. Raju defined. Archival info and pictures from greater than 8,000 satellites orbiting the planet can inform the selections associated to agriculture.

“By doing a scientific audit of historic actions, a variety of predictive assessments may be carried out. Are there extra cities? Is there extra demand for meals? What sort?” he mentioned.

Knowledge will also be used for the continual monitoring of crop yields each inside a rustic and a bigger area. Understanding whether or not there will probably be a deficit will help the federal government plan on which crops to import, mentioned Mr. Raju.  

“Satellite tv for pc know-how can do a world evaluation and discover out who’s going to surplus or deficit,” he mentioned. “Governments can use this as a commerce deal for deficits and exports. Our work allows governments to make choices at a macro degree.” 

The Philippines has had current examples of crop yield excesses. A report that tomatoes had been thrown out by a farmer in Bukidnon attributable to oversupply prompted the DA to issue a statement on July 10 that it was pushing for a nationwide cropping calendar to cut back wastage. 

The DA instructed SatSure in 2021 it was eager on exploring learn how to scale the undertaking at a nationwide degree, mentioned Mr. Raju. 

“I believe that if agriculture has the main target of the president himself, then it’ll have a variety of successes,” he added. “We’re trying ahead to working with the DA. We’re ready for them to inform us learn how to begin.” 

Mr. Kumar likened the crop insurance coverage state of affairs to a chicken-and-egg story. 

With out insurance coverage, banks received’t lend, he mentioned. “Till farmers are enabled with entry to formal financial institution credit within the type of agri-agra loans, it’s tough to see any main modifications, as credit score is the life blood for small farmers,” added Mr. Kumar. “Crop insurance coverage reformation is significant.” 


Economist Bernardo M. Villegas described the neglect of the agricultural sector as “nearly prison” in a June 28 opinion column on this newspaper. He referred to as the sector the number one weakness of the Philippine economy by way of productiveness as in comparison with its friends within the ASEAN. 

The agricultural disaster can’t be solved unless the agrarian reform law is amended, mentioned Calixto V. Chikiamco, a enterprise course of outsourcing entrepreneur and president and co-founder of Foundation for Economic Freedom, a company that advocates the reason for financial and political liberty and market-oriented reforms. 

Mr. Chikiamco, in a July 6 discussion board organized by the German-Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Trade (GPCCI), mentioned that the largest downside is land limitation. 

“How will you apply science and technology innovations if you happen to solely have one hectare and might’t personal greater than 5?” he mentioned, noting the way it “doesn’t make sense to use equipment” to small plots of land.

Farmers posted the very best poverty incidence in 2015 at 34.3%, per the Philippine Statistics Authority

That President Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr., is holding the agriculture portfolio will “hopefully make the division extra responsive and use its cash higher,” Mr. Chikiamco added. 

Mr. Marcos has recognized meals safety among the many priorities for the primary few months of his administration.

“Meals isn’t just a commerce group. … It’s an existential crucial, and an ethical one,” he mentioned at his June 30 inaugural handle. “Meals sufficiency should get preferential remedy.” 

The Division of Agriculture couldn’t be reached for remark.

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