Agricultural Development and Commercialization

Strengthening the region’s rice production resilience, Mekong Institute (MI) and the Rice Department of Thailand, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (MOAC), is cascading the Artificial Intelligence (AI) system, designed as a pest and natural disaster monitoring and forecasting system, through a hybrid regional training course on “AI System Maintenance and Utilization” from June 13 to 17, 2022 in MI Training Center, Khon Kaen, Thailand, and via Zoom.

The five-day training course will introduce the developed AI system functionality and capabilities, and train the participants on utilization and maintenance of the system. It is being attended by government representatives from the Lancang-Mekong countries (Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, People’s Republic of China, Thailand, and Vietnam) who are responsible for rice pest and disease or natural disasters monitoring and who are tasked to manage the AI system once installed in their respective countries.

Dr. Payorm Cobelli, Acting for Rice Protection Expert/Senior Plant Pathologist, Division of Rice Research and Development, and Project Team Leader, emphasized on the importance of building the capacity of the region on early warning systems and risk preparedness innovative approaches in agriculture, especially on rice production which most of the countries are major global exporters. She added that utilizing technology in this digital age would be a great opportunity for the region to move forward as one, increasing the countries’ competitiveness in the global rice market.

The AI system developer, Dr. Arthit Srikaew, Associate Professor of the Institute of Engineering at Suranaree University of Technology, together with Dr. Cobelli, will provide guidance to the participants on the system’s data parameter analysis which will predict the occurrence and distribution of pest and diseases outbreak and natural disasters, including rice blast, brown planthopper, flood, and drought. Results interpretation is also a focus of the course to capacitate the participants on how to analyze the data generated by the AI system. Participants will also have an opportunity to test their set of data and provide feedback regarding the operation of the system.

Supported by the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Special Fund, the activity is being implemented under the “Development of Rice Pest and Natural Disaster Monitoring, Forecasting and Warning Center for Sustainable Rice Production under Climate Change in the Mekong-Lancang Subregion” project.

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