Masaganang Agrikultura, Maunlad na Ekonomiya!

DA, PhilSA tie up to revolutionize PH food production sector

Author: DA-AFID | 26 February 2024

The Department of Agriculture has entered into a partnership with the Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA) to use advanced space technology to increase farm productivity, improve resource utilization, and enhance project monitoring.

The DA, through the Bureau of Agricultural and Fisheries Engineering, and PhilSA signed on February 21, 2024 a memorandum of agreement (MOA) to modernize data collection, analysis and dissemination, fostering informed decision-making and sustainable growth in the agriculture and fisheries sector. 

DA-BAFE Director Engr. Ariodear C. Rico and PhilSA Director General Joel Joseph S. Marciano signed the MOA for the implementation of the Digital Agri Project Phase 1. DA Undersecretary for Operations Roger Navarro, who represented Secretary Francisco P. Tiu Laurel, Jr., witnessed the ceremony. 

“This MOA signing signifies a convergence of expertise, resources, and innovative thinking aimed at harnessing the power of technology to transform our agricultural landscape,” said Sec. Tiu Laurel. 

The project entails joint research, exchange of expertise and information, capacity-building exercises, and project implementation focused on monitoring of farm-to-market roads and major agricultural commodities such as onion and corn. This partnership will utilize space technology, remote sensing, and sophisticated agricultural systems to drive innovation and efficiency in the sector, with the pilot testing taking place in Nueva Ecija. 

Sec. Tiu Laurel said embracing technological advances is crucial in addressing challenges faced by farmers and ensuring food security in the country. He added that digital agriculture is essential to unlock opportunities for farmers and fisherfolk, providing them with tools and knowledge to increase productivity. 

“Using technology and data analytics, we can gain invaluable insights into crop health, soil conditions, enabling us to make informed decisions and implement targeted interventions,” he added. 

He said information will help policymakers with near real-time data and insights for strategic planning and decision-making. The Secretary also urged collective efforts to overcome challenges related to limited access to digital infrastructure and costly technology, ensuring that the benefits of digitalization are accessible to all. 

“The collaboration between DA-BAFE and PhilSA exemplifies the spirit of partnership and synergy that is essential for driving meaningful change. By pooling together our respective expertise and resources, we can co-create innovative solutions that have the potential to revolutionize the way we approach agriculture,” the agriculture chief said.

He stressed that by working together, the transformative power of technology can be harnessed to foster a more resilient, sustainable, and inclusive agricultural sector. 

“As we embark on this journey together, let us envision a future where every Filipino farmer has access to cutting-edge digital tools and technologies that empower them to thrive in an ever-changing environment,” Sec. Tiu Laurel said. 

As the central engineering arm of DA mandated to ensure effective and efficient mechanization and infrastructure interventions to modernize the agriculture and fishery sector, BAFE will utilize other digital technologies including Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Management Information System  and Geographic Information System for Agricultural and Fisheries Machinery and Infrastructure. ### (Kristel Joyce Merle, DA-AFID) 

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