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Author: Mary Clarenz M. Canlas, Project Assistant-I, PSTO-Tarlac

Being able to predict rice yields accurately allows the government to plan the production, distribution, and consumption of food more effectively, combat food insecurity, and prepare for shortages and supply shocks well in advance,” so said Dr. Rico Amy Lizbeth J. Rico, a professor from the Tarlac Agricultural University (TAU) in Camiling, Tarlac.

Dr. Rico is the project leader for a research study being funded by the Department of Science and Technology - Region III under the agency’s Regional Grants-in-Aid program (DOST3 – RGIA) entitled Satellite Imagery Crop Monitoring and Forecasting Systems for Agricultural Technology or Project SICAT for short.

Climate change and rapid population growth in the Philippines have brought huge pressure on food demand and production. Thus accurate prediction of rice yield within a specific field is important to determine total yield per region. Through Project SICAT which is a rice crop advisory system developed by TAU, yield forecasting can be done and necessary advisories could be issued accordingly.

Started in 2021, the project researchers are now validating rice growth satellite images and are now developing phenological characteristics and algorithm for rice growth and yield that will be validated with ground data for accurate and precise predictions.

Concurrently, information dissemination among target users such as farmer groups and agricultural technicians in Tarlac province are being conducted to ensure the eventual smooth deployment of the technology.

The project is expected to be completed by October 2023.

Land plots and presence of live green vegetation in some barangay areas of Victoria Tarlac