The country’s agriculture planners and decision-makers at all levels have been contending with limited access to robust and timely information that would enable them to help farmers and fishers prepare for disasters, minimize damage and losses, and manage long-term risks.
While various products, tools and methods been developed over the years particularly for agriculture and fisheries, most of them have not incorporated the data sets necessary for disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) and climate change adaptation (CCA). Moreover, being lodged in different sources and channels, and having differing formats and level of analyses, they pose serious constraints especially in emergency situations.
To support the rapid and systematic analyses of the best available information required for decision-making, FAO and the Department of Agriculture (DA) are working together to establish an Enhanced Production and Risk Management in Agriculture Integrated Decision Support System (EPRiMA). It is envisioned to provide key actors in DA, including national, regional and local level planners, decision makers and agriculture and fisheries officers, with comprehensive and near real-time access to crop production, and risk and damage assessment information and tools.
“The resources that will be made accessible by EPRiMA could be translated into products for dissemination to farmers and fisherfolk such as robust farm-level advisories. The system will also improve our pre-disaster and postdisaster assessments, help us increase preparedness for incoming disasters, emergency response and rehabilitation planning,” said Ariel Cayanan, DA Undersecretary for Operations and Agri-Fisheries Mechanization.
EPRiMA Decision Support System
The project, which is part of FAO’s Technical Cooperation Programme in the Philippines, will strengthen the capacity of DA to organize and use DRRM-related information coming from different sources, and to utilize these in their decisionmaking processes and risk-reduction and response activities.
EPRiMA features a dynamic cropping calendar, a crop management tool that, with the increasing climate variability and weather anomalies and extremes, can aid agricultural technicians to guide farmers in planning their crop planting. It will also provide better guidance on production needs.
Rapid assessment tools such as drones and high-resolution satellite imagery will also be used to provide critical and timely information before and immediately after disasters. Slow onset disasters from drought will also be addressed by EPRiMA through the establishment of a national drought monitoring system.
Climate and weather forecast products, including for solar radiation and wave height, will also be made available through a partnership with Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) of the Department of Science and Technology