DA to employ real-time monitoring for sugarcane
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said the Department of Agriculture (DA), through the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA), will employ real-time monitoring of sugarcane production to avoid a shortage in sugar in the country.
He said that sugar industry and other agricultural crop sectors should make use of modern technology for accurate crop projection, including detection of plant diseases.
“The SRA board approved my proposal and agreed to source funds for the start of a Satellite Imaging and Aerial Sensing Program which would provide accurate data on projected production,” Piñol said.
“With accurate production projection, market speculation and manipulation will be stopped thus protecting both the farmers and the consumers,” he added.
The Satellite Imaging and Aerial Sensing Program will also be employed for such other crops as banana, coconut, cacao, coffee, mango and other high value crops.
He then emphasized that this is already something being practiced in the rice industry.
Through a coordinated effort among the Department of Agriculture, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), the Department of Science and Technology and other government agencies, the rice industry has alreayd been using the EAS Sentinel 1A Satellite for a program called Philippine Rice Information System (PRISM).
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.
On Monday, the SRA board approved the importation of 100,000 metric tons (MT) of refined sugar for the use of bottlers and processors, 50,000 MT of refined sugar for confectionery makers and 50,000 MT of brown sugar to address the rising prices of the commodity in the market.