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: RIICE Phase I (2012-2015)
- RIICE project has been monitoring rice production on 13 demonstration test sites across six countries: Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. The total monitored area per season was almost 5 million hectares, with over 1.6 million hectares of rice within that monitored area per season. The project and its partners are planning to upscale monitoring and mapping activities towards a nationwide coverage.
- Accuracy assessments of the mapped rice area and yield lie mainly in the range between 85% and 93% across the different countries (mean 89% for rice area mapping and 87% for yield estimations in 2014). The accuracy assessment is based on over 1,300 ground validation points per season (over 100 per site) undertaken by the local partners of RIICE as well as comparison with official yield statistics. 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.
- 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.
- The RIICE programme trained over 300 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 314 people (40% female) had been trained in 30 training workshops.
- 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.