Smarter Approaches to Reinvigorate Agriculture as an Industry (SARAI) in the Philippines

Overview: Advances in information technology, cropping systems modeling, geographic information systems (GIS), and field sensors can be combined to develop decision support models and early warning system that will help farmers and policy makers to come-up with sound and science-based judgments under uncertain situation brought about by climate change.

The development of a Smarter Approaches to Reinvigorate Agriculture as an Industry in the Philippines (SARAI) that integrates different decision support systems and models into one set-up is the realization of such an early warning system.

Objectives: The main objective of SARAI is to recommend science-based crops and cropping system technologies, protocols and long-term strategies geared towards maximizing crop yield and minimizing adverse environmental and climate impacts on six priority crops: rice, corn, banana, coconut, coffee and cacao.

SARAI will generate an online environment decision support system which will provide timely crop advisories and crop forecasts for the agricultural sector.

Of the 5 component projects, SESAM is directly involved in two:

Project 4. Capacity and Knowledge-Building

• Analyzed training needs

• New and complementary training tools and activities

• Conduct of trainings, IEC and joint learning activities on smarter farming techniques, ICM, DSS, AWS/Sensors

Project 5. SARAI Mainstreaming

• Identification of policy issues and formulation of policy papers

• Publication of research results

• Organization of planning and scientific meetings

• Establish: Crop-Climate Forecasting and Modeling Laboratory

• Build consortium to ensure sustainability 

Social Network Analysis of Selected Community-based Forest Management (CBFM) Projects in the Philippines

General Objective: To assess the role of social forestry networks in the success of selected community-based forestry management (CBFM) programs in the Philippines.

Specific Objectives:

  • Assess the success of two CBFM sites in terms of environmental and socio-economic indicators
  • Evaluate the performance of the selected community-based forest management sites in terms of social networks and tenure security; and
  • Analyze how strengthened social forestry network performance could contribute to the sustainability of social forestry projects in the Philippines.

Building Capacity for Urban Agriculture in Santa Rosa City, Philippines

Objective: The project aims to explore ways how to effectively integrate urban agriculture into local plans, programs, and policies in Sta. Rosa City, Laguna. Specifically, it intends to:

  • Identify specific open urban areas that may be vulnerable to climate change yet possess high potential for different types or urban agriculture for pilot site demonstration;
  • Assess how urban agriculture activities that would answer both food security and climate change considerations be integrated into at least 3 city policies of Sta. Rosa; and
  • Recommend policy guidelines on how urban agriculture as a climate change adaptation strategy could be mainstreamed into local government plans, programs and policies.

Project Leader: Dr. Rico C. Ancog

Assessing the Efficiency and Prospects of Tunnel Vent Technology for the Swine and Poultry Industries in the Philippines


  • Determine the state-of-the-art of the tunnel vent technology in the Philippines and abroad;
  • Document the extent of adoption of tunnel vent technology in the Philippines including practices of the industry and the current innovations;
  • Determine the effect of the technology in the technical performance and efficiency of swine and poultry production;
  • Assess the financial viability of the tunnel vent technology in swine and poultry production; and
  • Estimate the environmental benefits and costs associated with the tunnel vent technology.

Project Leader: Dr. Rico C. Ancog

Monitoring and Detection of Ecosystem Changes for Enhancing Resilience and Adaptation in the Philippines (MODECERA)


The overall goal of this program is to set up a long-term monitoring system in selected ecosystems to enhance resilience and adaptation  of agriculture, fisheries, and natural resources sector, through the promotion of science and technology based management and policy decisions

Specifically, the objectives are the following:

  • Describe the unique features of sentinel terrestrial, aquatic and marine ecosystems;
  • Examine ecosystem elements and their interactions, including human components;
  • Detect ecosystem changes, in composition and function;
  • Determine influences of climate change and other drivers of change on agriculture, particularly plant and livestock production;
  • Enable generation of data for ecosystem simulation and modeling;
  • Develop expertise to forecast changes in ecosystem based on changes in key drivers;
  • Enhance the innate resilience and adaptive capacity of various ecosystems;
  • Use the database to advise the practices and management of agriculture and fisheries in the country; and
  • Integrate the monitoring results with mandated agencies’ and ongoing monitoring programs’ results and activities.

Project Components:

Project 1. Ecosystems Observation Network

Project 2. Field Crops

Project 3. Industrial and Fruit Crops

Project 4. Integrated Pest Management 

Program Leader: Dr. Rex Victor O. Cruz

Co-Program Leader: Dr. Maria Victoria O. Espaldon

Documentation and Evaluation of Disaster Mitigation, Preparedness, and Response Projects in the Municipalities Under the WFP-DPR Programme in Four Provinces: Cagayan, Benguet, Laguna and Sorsogon


  • Identify best practices based on the components of disaster risk reduction and the economic value of the different DRRM initiatives and the lessons learned of the eleven municipalities through the WFP DPR initiative;
  • Document the best practices and lessons learned by the LGU in Disaster Risk Reduction and Management; and
  • Package IEC materials ready for dissemination to assist WFP in improving their future DPR initiatives in other regions of the country 

 Project Leader: Mr. Thaddeus P. Lawas

Ten Years After the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment of Laguna de Bay: Towards a Sustainable Future

Project 1: Geologic Hazards

Objectives: Study geophysical hazards in the area and understand their potential impacts to communities for their consideration in their development plans.

Project 2: Pollution Monitoring Proxies

Objectives: Characterize the lake in terms of pollution levels through the analyses of water and sediment samples and develop pollution monitoring proxies using environmental magnetism.

Project 3: Watershed Management

Objectives: Characterize the biophysical aspects of the watersheds, evaluate land use changes and identify critical areas through watershed vulnerability assessment.

Project 4: Socio-ecological assessment

Objectives: Produce a synthesis of state-of-the-art information on Laguna de Bay and generate new baselines and provide indicators on how the targets recommended after the MA have been met or missed

Program Leader: Dr. Maria Victoria O. Espaldon

Assessment of the Benthic Resources of the Benham Bank Seamount (SM-Benthos)


  • Grossly characterize the bottom types and benthic habitats on the seamount of the Benham bank.
  • Assess, where possible, coral reef and associated fish communities, and associated seaweeds and invertebrates at selected sites/bottom types on the seamount.
  • Morphologically describe and archive benthos samples/specimens from the selected sites/bottom types; and d) to document sediment biogenic features and assess sediment communities (where possible) and microbial communities associated with selected benthic.

Project Leader: Dr. Hildie Marie E. Nacorda

Smarter Approaches to Reinvigorate Agriculture as an Industry in the Philippines

Program Leader: Maria Victoria O. Espaldon

With all the undesirable climate change effects in agriculture, the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) initiated and funded programs and projects addressing the negative effects of climate change in the agriculture, aquatic, and natural resources sectors through the utilization of modern tools and techniques or Smarter Agriculture. One of these initiatives under the Smarter Agriculture is the “Smarter Approaches o Reinvigorate Agriculture as an Industry in the Philippines (SARAI)” program, which is led by the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB).

The program has five component projects. Its main objective is to provide a decision support system (e.g. crop advisories, forecasts, and management) in dealing with climate change effect in the agricultural sector using advances in S&T. The program will help farmers and decision makers come up with sound and science-based judgments under certain situations. As of 2015, the program has already produced outputs that can be grouped into four categories: technologies, systems, data products, and networks or linkages.