DA to use satellite imagery, aerial sensing technology for sugar production

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Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol on Wednesday, June 13, said he recommended the use of satellite imagery and aerial sensing for accurate crop projection, including detection of plant diseases to all agricultural crop sectors in order to address the inaccuracy of production projection.

On his Facebook page, Secretary Piñol said he decided such move following consultation from sugar industry stakeholders who reported an unexpected shortfall in the supply of sugar this year due to inaccurate production projection.

Piñol cited as an example the rice industry in the country which has now been using EAS Sentinel 1A Satellite. He explained that the “EAS Sentinel 1A passes over rice production areas of the Philippines and other countries every 10 days and provides data on standing crops used for production projection which is why the rice industry could accurately project the production even before the harvest.”

For the sugar industry, Secretary Piñol said the use of a Satellite Imaging and Aerial Sensing Program “which would provide accurate data on projected production.” He added that the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) board approved his proposal and agreed to source funds for its implementation.

The Agriculture Secretary said the technology will also be employed for other high-value crops such as banana, coconut, cacao, coffee, and mango. He added that “with accurate production projection, market speculation and manipulation will be stopped thus protecting both the farmers and the consumers.” – Rey Pelayo / Marje Pelayo

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