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DA Partners with Nokia, WWF on Farm Info Project PDF Print E-mail
Written by DA-Press Office   
Wednesday, 23 June 2010 11:07

The Department of Agriculture (DA), leading cellular phone maker Nokia and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-Philippines) are pioneering in the country the use of the Nokia Data Gathering solution, which will enable collection and sharing of critical data anytime and anywhere in the Philippines.

“The applications are practically boundless - from tracking regional temperatures to comparing provincial fish yields. Eventually we wish to apply the technology to health, agriculture, education, emergency services, census and so forth,” said Greg Elphinston, Director, Corporate Social Investment, Nokia Finland. “Nokia E71 mobile phones with the Nokia Data Gathering solution will now be deployed to 100 pre-identified areas. Our ambition is to service all 1,500 Philippine municipalities within a decade,”

The Nokia Data Gathering solution and its initial outputs will be presented to a six-country Coral Triangle conference in Manila this September.

Nokia, DA and WWF officials are hoping that the technology will be adopted soon by other government agencies and private organizations.

In Manaus, Brazil, the software had greatly helped the Brazilian Ministry of Health to fight back dengue fever. The Nokia Data Gathering solution allowed Brazilian provinces to craft effective response strategies using data that established both the epidemic’s extent and the responses to treatment.

“If it can be used to avert outbreaks,” said WWF-Philippines CEO Jose Ma. Lorenzo Tan, “it can also be used to avert a looming food crisis brought about by climate change.”

Rice is the staple food in the Philippines, where upwards of four million hectares are devoted to cultivation. Overpopulation, droughts, storms, wasteful processing methods plus the uneven cost of seeds and fertilizer have hurt local production, forcing the government to import a part of the nation’s rice needs.

“We are trying to develop realistic solutions to this problem,” said DA Secretary Bernie Fondevilla. “However, the current wave of climate change impacts - from massive droughts spawned by the El Niño phenomenon to more destructive typhoons - has greatly hampered our efforts.”

“The Nokia Data Gathering solution will augment and eventually replace our data-gathering systems so we can concentrate on crafting programs and solutions to further boost farm yields despite the erratic weather patterns,” he said.

Regularly updated market supply-and-demand data will lead to the swift analysis of basic agricultural commodities such as rice, coconuts, meat and vegetables.

“The Philippines is an archipelago with over 1,500 municipalities, most of which are separated by water,” Fondevilla said. “Tracking each area’s grain and water distribution, monitoring productivity and market prices - all in real-time – pose a huge logistical challenge to the DA,” said Fondevilla. “The lack of fresh data often hampers the decisions and policies we so badly need.”

Concluded Tan, “What separates fantasy from reality? Human imagination! By pioneering data gathering technology, Nokia, the DA and WWF are allowing our generation to look for realistic solutions to farm woes. Now that’s connecting people.”

 

About DA

The Department of Agriculture is a government agency responsible for the promotion of agricultural development by providing the policy framework, public investments, and support services needed for domestic and export-oriented business enterprises. Its primary concern is to improve farm income and generate work opportunities for farmers, fishermen and other rural workers. It shall encourage people’s participation in agricultural development through sectoral representation in agricultural policy-making bodies so that the policies, plans and programs of the Department are formulated and executed to satisfy their needs.

About Nokia

At Nokia, we are committed to connecting people. We combine advanced technology with personalized services that enable people to stay close to what matters to them. Every day, more than 1.2 billion people connect to one another with a Nokia device - from mobile phones to advanced smartphones and high-performance mobile computers. Today, Nokia is integrating its devices with innovative services through Ovi (www.ovi.com), including music, maps, apps, email and more. Nokia's NAVTEQ is a leader in comprehensive digital mapping and navigation services, while Nokia Siemens Networks provides equipment, services and solutions for communications networks globally.

About WWF

WWF is the world's largest and most experienced conservation organization, operating in over 100 countries through the support of nearly five million people worldwide. Since 1997, WWF-Philippines has been spearheading practical solutions to help the country adapt to changing climates, secure food sources to alleviate poverty, conserve local ecosystems to preserve natural benefits, empower communities to live low-impact lives, help corporations develop equitable, low-impact supply chains and promote renewable sources of clean energy.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 August 2010 05:11
 

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