Asian Development Bank Technical Assistance Project (Innovative Data Collection Methods for Agricultural and Rural Statistics in Southeast Asia)
RESTEC is the contracted consultant firm in the Asian Development Bank (ADB) technical assistance project*1 (TA-8369 Innovative Data Collection Methods for Agricultural and Rural Statistics) that will utilise SAR and other remote sensing satellite data to estimate rice planted area and crop production under the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction (JFPR). This is one of the cooperation projects for the application of the sophisticated satellite technology of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) for disaster management, climate change mitigation, and adaptation in the developing countries of Asia. The project is conducted based on the Letter of Intent (LOI) signed by JAXA and ADB in July 2010, and is the second largest initiative following the flood forecasting initiative, which was launched earlier.
Under the project, the capacity building program will be conducted to enable the agricultural statistics agencies of the four countries involved (Philippines, Viet Nam, Thailand, Lao People’s Democratic Republic) to estimate paddy rice cultivation area by province or prefecture, using INAHOR*2, the software developed by RESTEC under the contract with JAXA in a separate project to monitor rice growth, ALOS-2, the Advanced Land Observing Satellite launched by JAXA on May 24, 2014 and time-sequenced Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data*3 from the Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS). In addition to the agricultural statistical information already obtained through surveys based on interviews and sampling, remote sensing data will enable the four countries’ agricultural statistical agencies to obtain information about paddy rice planted p area and crop production in a timely manner.
RESTEC, as a contracting consultant firm with ADB, will implement INAHOR in the agricultural statistics sector and provide the necessary training to monitor paddy rice cultivation area by prefecture or province using INAHOR four times during the two-year period of the project. The first training session was held in August and September this year. ALOS archive data was used with INAHOR and estimates made of paddy rice cultivation area in the provinces of each participating country. In addition, requests for improvements to INAHOR were gathered from the agencies of each of the countries. In the future, RESTEC will upgrade INAHOR on the basis of those requests and convert the user interface to each of the national languages. Next year, paddy rice cultivation area will be estimated using real time data from ALOS-2, and work performed to confirm the results on the ground.
Through this project, RESTEC will contribute to regional food security by boosting capacity for collecting and providing agricultural and rural statistical information in an accurate and timely manner using the data-gathering tool that is the SAR satellite – a tool that provides data continuously, regardless of climatic conditions. RESTEC will promote the use of remote sensing data in the agriculture and rural developing sector working in closer cooperation with international agricultural agencies.
*1: TA (Technical Assistance) is one category of ADB assistance that involves capacity building and knowledge sharing with recipient countries.
*2: INAHOR=International Asian Harvest mOnitoring system for Rice.
*3: Observation image obtained using microwave radar on board a satellite. It is able to make observations of the Earth’s surface regardless of weather conditions or whether it is day or night.