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Home>FFTC Document Database>Annual Reports>FFTC 2018 ANNUAL REPORT>Project 3: Strengthening the prevention strategies and early warning systems of agricultural disasters through ICTs

Collection of information & technologies
Seminars and workshops

Project 3: Strengthening the prevention strategies and early warning systems of agricultural disasters through ICT

Location: Taichung, Taiwan
Date: October 21-25
Participating countries: 6 (Japan, Korea, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam)
Papers presented: 14
Co-organizers: Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute (TARI)

Agriculture has been losing billions of dollars  every year because of drought, typhoons, floods and a host of other disasters caused by nature’s fury. Farmers remain helpless and defenseless. But experts say the picture isn’t all that grim and hopeless. The continuous development of science and technology has led to an efficient disaster reduction system to mitigate the impact of extreme weather. Through the help of Information and Communication Technologies or ICTs, pre-disaster warning could identify disaster alert areas quickly and could help clarify critical conditions of different crops and growth periods, as well as estimate the probability of crop losses occurrence and establish a complete knowledge database for crop disasters.
FFTC , together with the Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute (TARI), gathered 14 ICTs experts from Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Philippines and Vietnam to attend the international seminar on “Strengthening the Prevention Strategies and Early Warning Systems of Agricultural Disasters through ICTs.” The seminar aims to discuss the reduction of damage caused by natural hazards like floods, droughts, and typhoons, through adopting prevention measures, including greenhouse cultivation. Also, the seminar aims to share information on wise management of crops and the environment using innovative disaster prevention technologies, and setup of early warning systems by ICTs to send the disaster messages to farmers.

The 14 speakers mostly talked about the power of ICTs and how modern devices can help farmers prepare for imminent agricultural disasters. Some samples include the keynote speaker from Japan who talked about the Agro-Meteorological Grid Square data or AMGDS in his country to address climate change and the shrinking working population. The technology allows its registered users to obtain the needed data from an application. Combining accurate crop development predictions using this dataset could reduce damage and mitigate meteorological and climatic risks in farming.

Another speaker from Taiwan talked about the use of ICTs for decades specifically for agricultural disasters, early warning systems and gathering of environmental data. Honeybee monitoring systems, for example have been established to automatically monitor the environmental factors inside and outside beehives and provide help to honeybees, whose worldwide population has already started to dwindle. The speaker also talked about ICTs being used to monitor foehn, a warm, dry Southerly wind developing in mountain ranges. Modern devices can collect temperature and humidity information and remotely control a sprinkler system to cool down the negative impact of agri production caused by foehn.

Meanwhile, a Korean speaker reported about the results of a study using a multi-stage approach and skillful seasonal climate forecasts to support farming management that can reduce climate risks for rainfed lowland rice production. A proposed framework was found to be promising as a tool to prepare proactive farm strategies and policies for climate risk reduction.

Major findings and recommendations

1. Invite and involve both the farmers and the academicians in decision making when it comes to making policies on early warning and risk assessment systems for agricultural disasters;
2. Emphasize to researchers that equipment and technical hardware are mere tools in early warning systems and prevention strategies for agricultural disasters. The end goal is to understand climate information and make them useful;
3. Focus on the farmers in every decision making regarding agricultural disasters especially on how they can decrease crop loss;
4. Formalize a public-private partnership composed of industry experts from both the ICTs and agricultural disaster risk management fields and seek ways to create a platform that could share data and upgrade technology skills; and
5. Conduct training programs on management of big data, operation of ICT equipment and other topics on disaster risk management which would require continuous development of special skills.

List of papers

1. A 1-km grid meteorological data service and its use to reduce weather and climate risks for field crop production - Hiroyuki Ohno
2. ICTs for agricultural disaster management: case studies in Taiwan - Joe-Air Jiang
3. Climate related agricultural risk management systems (CREAMS) for lowland rain-fed rice productivity in Lao PDR - Jong Ahn Chun
4. The history, improvement and current information service to farmers of early warning system against cool weather damage - Sayuri Ohkubo
5. Taiwan using ICTs in agro meteorological forecast and early warning mechanism - Hsin-Hsing Chia
6. Intelligent image sensor network and early warning system for insect pest management - Ta-Te Lin
7. Capitalizing on multi-range forecast climate data for agriculture: a case study on evaluating crop responses of crop model and its uncertainty - Uran Chung
8. Establishment and application of a disaster assessment platform for agricultural loss - Hsin-Chi Li
9. Applying ensemble probabilistic forecasts to optimize the decision making - Hui-Ling Chang
10. A field-specific agro meteorological early warning service for weather risk management in Korea - Kyo-Moon Shim
11. Prevention strategy and early warning system to reduce natural disasters in Vietnamese crop production: systematic effort and tools - Pham Quang Ha
12. Prevention strategy and early warning system for paddy production in Malaysia - Mohd Akmal Bin Yussoff
13. Geo-informatics and space technology development agency (public organization) (GISTDA), Thailand - Pakorn Petchprayoon
14. Developing disaster early warning system and adaptation strategies for crop production in Taiwan - Ming-Hwi Yao

Mitigating the impact of extreme weather in agriculture is the overall goal of this international workshop on “Strengthening the Prevention Strategies and Early Warning Systems of Agricultural Disasters through Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).”  Held at the Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute in Taichung, Taiwan, the workshop had 14 speakers from Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Philippines and Vietnam.

Workshop speakers and participants visit TARI’s Geographic Information System Center, Agricultural Chemistry Division. Photo shows Division head Mr. Horng Yuh Guo briefing the seminar speakers on the work and activities that they do namely soil mapping, climate database, satellite image analysis, field surveillance, aerial photo interpretation, etc.

The workshop speakers and participants also visit the Soil and Water Conservation Center. Photo shows Dr. Yao-Ming Fang, Professor at the Fong Jia University, explaining the equipment and technology used in the Mobile Debris Flow Monitoring Station. Professor Fang explains that his university helps build the program software for the government equipment.