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Remote-sensing technology mitigates risks in agricultural production

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Accurate forecasts about rice and crop yields, as well as better monitoring of floods and natural calamities are needed to help policymakers come up with good solutions for agricultural production.

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The data provided to farmers, businesses, insurance companies, policy makers and specialists remain limited, leading to high risks in production. Remote sensing technology would help reduce the risks.

According to the National Institute of Agricultural Planning and Projection (NIAPP), remote sensing technology can replace the usual tools in monitoring agricultural production and give more reliable results.

In the past, Vietnam used statistical systems, which were time-consuming and led to big errors. 

Remote sensing technology surveys larger areas, and gives results after shorter time and with higher accuracy. And the cost of using remote sensing technology is lower than traditional methods.

Pham Quang Ha from the Agriculture Planning Institute commented that remote sensing technology, with accurate results, helps in monitoring rice production that serves food production planning; assesses the damages caused by natural calamities; and insures agriculture production to ease risks for farmers. 

It is also helpful in statistical work, food storage planning, and scientific research and teaching, and adaptation to climate change.

The recent historic floods led to rice crop failure in the north. The damages caused by the flood were serious, but farmers needed to give figures to prove the damages. 

In this case, remote sensing technology would help them measure damages in districts, communes and rice fields. The information would be referred to by insurers and the state to calculate compensation levels and necessary financial support to help ease farmers’ difficulties.

NIAPP’s director Nguyen Quang Dung said with remote sensing technology, scientists use signals provided by satellites in 6-day or 12-day periods to determine the time when crops begin, then calculate the expected rice yield. The calculation method gives high accuracy level at 90-92 percent.

Experts said remote sensing technology, together with simulation and mapping technology, can help give information to forecast risks, which can be used by state management agencies to consider giving support to help farmers fix damages and by insurers to compensate farmers.

Marcel Reymond recommends the use of remote sensing technology in agriculture production and agriculture insurance. 

He said in the near future, all farm produce must be insured, because agricultural production faces risk from natural calamities. And remote sensing technology will be helpful to both insured farmers and insurers.

“This technology will help provide accurate, timely and objective data on losses to rice production,” he explained. “It will also help insurance companies tackle a big problem – the high transaction costs in insurance programs targeting small-scale farming.”



Source: VietNamNet

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