SEARCA holds GIS seminar to show profs, Ngos how climate change ruins farming

  • 26 October 2015, Monday

Source: BusinessMirror
26 Oct 2015

LOS BAÑOS, Laguna—A two-day training course on the Geographic Information System (GIS) and how it shows the impact of climate change on agriculture was conducted here by the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (Searca) just as Typhoon Lando was battering Luzon.

GIS, said Searca director Dr. Gil C. Saguiguit Jr., is a graphic system that shows the direct effects of typhoons and the El Niño and La Niña episodes for the benefit of farmers.

The short course was organized and conducted by Searca from October 19 to 20.

Thirteen participants from state universities and international organizations joined the course conducted by Ms. Colleen Curran, project officer of the Philippine Disaster Recovery Foundation (PRDF.)

“Recent events have shown that extreme weather conditions and climate change do much damage to agriculture and pose a big challenge to food security,” added Saguiguit in his message during the opening of the course.

“I hope that this training will help enhance your research, extension projects and study programs, to benefit more people in your communities,” he concluded.

The short course covered fundamentals of the GIS application—QGIS, an open source application for GIS and how it can be used for research.

Discussion also centered on the status of GIS/Geospatial Data in the Philippines, which was rendered more important due to the hands-on map making as well as data management.

The course also the following: creating data from Google Earth; importing KML files to QGIS; geo-referencing; building rasters from point data; projecting climate grids using raster calculator, and; and uploading and revising GPS data.

Participants also went on a field trip to the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) station in Los Banos, Laguna and two private rice farms in Victoria, Laguna, where the participants went hands-on in collecting soil samples, tracking GPS points and determining GPS coordinates.

This short course was the fourth of the series of short courses sponsored by the Food Security Center (FSC) of the University of Hohenheim.

FSC is one of the five excellence centers of the program “Exceed- Higher Education Excellence in Development Cooperation” supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) with funds from the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) of Germany.

Searca has been one of the strategic partners of FSC since 2009.