Improving Crop Production Monitoring and Agricultural Insurance Solutions through Satellite Technology
Countries: Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam
Duration: February 2012 – December 2019
Project Partner: German Development Cooperation (GIZ), International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Sarmap SA and Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) (funding organization)
and Swiss Re
- The RIICE project developed an innovative earth observation-based service for the provision of comprehensive information on rice crop production. The information includes the stage of growth cycle, identification of losses due to flood and drought as well as yield forecasts. The target of RIICE is to reduce vulnerability of smallholder farmers engaged in rice production in two ways:
1. The increased information on rice growth areas and expected yields helps governments, agricultural intermediaries, traders and relief organizations in better managing domestic rice production and distribution during the normal growing cycle as well as after natural catastrophes struck.
2. The generated information can further be used to make agricultural insurance solutions more efficient and transparent. RIICE provides capacity building for and technical advice to decision-makers on the design and implementation of satellite-supported insurance solutions which can cushion the negative financial effects caused by natural catastrophes for governments, agricultural intermediaries and rural farmers. Beside that technical trainings to in-country research institutions are implemented to build local capacity.
What we did so far: RIICE Phase I and II (2012-2017)
- RIICE project has been monitoring rice production on 13 demonstration test sites across six countries: Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. During Phase II RIICE managed to scale up to a monitoring coverage of more than 15 million hectares per season.
- Accuracy assessments of the mapped rice area and yield lie mainly in the range between 80% and 93% across the different countries. The results demonstrate that RIICE technology can capture a substantial amount of the variability in yield across countries, seasons and environments at a level of detail equal to or better than what is available from statistical offices.
- The RIICE programme trained representatives of government-linked or government-mandated agricultural institutes to enable them to conduct the fieldwork, process and interpret satellite-based information and run crop simulation models by themselves. In total over 50 training courses across six countries have taken place.
- Several training workshops on satellite-supported crop insurance solutions were conducted. First prototype crop insurance products (area yield index insurance) using the satellite-generated yield information were developed in selected RIICE countries and performance was simulated throughout a season.
- RIICE was able to respond to flood events in Thailand and the Philippines which occurred during RIICE Phase I with detailed flood map information within a couple of days both times.
- In November 2016, the government of Tamil Nadu introduced the RIICE technology into its new insurance system. After a severe drought in 2017, the local insurance partners paid approx. 255 EUR compensation to 15,000 farmers after only 3 months, which normally takes at least one year.
- In Cambodia and Vietnam, crop insurance literacy material has been developed and tested in the field. Training of Trainers took place, so that insurance literacy activities for smallholders are read.