UL, UR, Bottom: Training on ReTrAPP protocols at Sto. Domingo, Nueva Ecija; Training on “Pest Surveillance – Drone Handling and Remotely-Sensed Data Processing” at Tabuk City, Kalinga (Photo from Plant Pest Surveillance Cordillera Facebook page); Training on the application of ReTrAPP for Pest Monitoring at Pili, Camarines Sur
Thirty (30) technical staff from different regional agricultural units in Regions II, III, V, and CAR benefited from the hands-on training on the use of drones for plant pest monitoring and assessment facilitated by personnel of the National Crop Protection Center (NCPC).
The said training was originally part of capacity building under the NCPC project Remote Monitoring of Transboundary Plant Pests (ReTraPP) funded by DA-Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR) and aims to supplement and strengthen the knowledge and skills of regional technical staff on the use of drones particularly in the processing and analysis of aerial images for use in field monitoring and assessment of plant pests.
Participants were staff from Regulatory Divisions of DA-Regional Field Office (RFO) II and CAR; Integrated Laboratory Division, including Regional Crop Protection Centers (RCPC) III, V, and CAR; Research Division; and Field Operations Division.
Trainings were conducted separately per region. The first training was held on 15-16 June 2021 at San Jose and Sto. Domingo, Nueva Ecija and was attended by four participants from RCPC III. This was followed by the training at Tabuk City, Kalinga on 23-24 March 2022 attended by a total of nine participants from DA-RFO CAR and DA-RFO II. The most recent training was conducted at Pili, Camarines Sur on 19-20 April 2022 attended by 17 technical staff from DA-RFO V. The last two trainings were sponsored by their respective DA RFOs.
The trainings were divided into two parts. The first day was on hands-on computer processing and analysis including digital survey using Google Earth Pro, mission planning using Mission Planner and DJI GS Pro, photogrammetry using Agisoft Metashape Professional, image classification using QGIS, and analysis using MS Excel; the second day was on the actual operation of two types of drones, a custom-built Zeke quad captor with Red-edge Micasense camera and DJI Phantom 4 Multispectral.
NCPC staff who led the said trainings were Mr. Gideon Aries S. Burgonio, Ms. Sarah Jane B. Manaday, and Ms. Alliah Czarielle Mańugo from the Plant Biosecurity Division.