A new Technology called the Agricultural Land Information System (ALIS) will help experts to study every province in the country to provide accurate and clear agricultural information. Laos is already testing the system in Vientiane and Khammuan provinces and agricultural and forestry officials expect the program to expand in the future. After the system testing wraps up, authorities should observe the system providing clear data which will support agricultural planning.
ALIS is a platform which creates agricultural land data files from the survey of sample areas, which are then overlaid on interfaces such as Google Map to generate and categorize information. The system also provides supports for field surveys and helps estimate the total agricultural land area and crops planted on it. The program began in 2001 by the Planning and Cooperation Department of the Ministry of Agricultural and Forestry in cooperation with the ASEAN Plus Three Food Security Information System (AFSIS) and NTT Data Corporation Group from Japan. It is hoped that the quality of agricultural information in Laos will be significantly improved.
According to a meeting of an AFSIS Committee in Bangkok in May 2001, Laos was acknowledged as the first of the ASEAN countries to use ALIS. The Ministry of Agricultural and Forestry, especially, the Planning and Cooperation Department, has selected Vientiane as a model because it has high agricultural production potential. In 2012-2013, which marked phase two of the program, agricultural land in khammuan province was surveyed and discovered to have five main crops- rice, maize, cassava, sugarcane and soybean.
The system also uses other agricultural survey tools to study agricultural areas damaged by natural disasters, such as flooding and drought, the Director of the Centre for Agricultural Statistics and Information, Ms. Vivanh Souvannamethy reported at an ALIS ceremony in Vientiane yesterday. The country is currently using agricultural land statistics from local authorities without technological field surveys, which can be inaccurate.
To mark the successful survey in Laos , the Planning and Cooperation Department of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry on behalf of the government awarded a certificate to representatives of AFSIS and NTT Data Corporation Group, who contributed their expertise to support the program. Accepting the awards were AFSIS expert Mr. Shoji Kimura, Executive Manager of the Sales Section of NTT Data, Ms. Miwako Akahane, and President of Kyushu Branch of the NTT data Customer Service, Mr. Kiyoshi Ikeda. The awards were presented by the Deputy Director General of the Planning and Cooperation Department, Dr. Somphanh Chanphenxay, and the ceremony was attended by AFSIS Manager, Mr. Montol Jeamchareon and agricultural and forestry officials from Laos.
Source: Vientiane Times, Page 3.