Switzerland to fund an innovative project in agriculture sector

Press releases, 17.07.2019

An agreement has been signed today by Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Lê Quốc Doanh and the Swiss Ambassador to Vietnam, Mrs. Beatrice Maser Mallor to fund phase 3 of the project “Remote Sensing-based Information and Insurance for Crops in emerging Economies”, or RIICE, over the next 24 months.

RIICE Phase 3 Signing Ceremony in Hanoi
RIICE Phase 3 Signing Ceremony in Hanoi © Swiss Embassy in Vietnam

The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) will contribute CHF 365,000 or 82% of the total funding for the last miles support, i.e. to institutionalize RIICE into the official rice monitoring system of Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD). The rest 18% will come from MARD.

SDC has sponsored the RIICE project since 2013 in several major rice producing countries in the region including Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam.

In the two fore-going phases, RIICE has been tested and technical parameters calibrated in cooperation with national counterparts. In Vietnam, the National Institute for Agriculture Planning and Projection (NIAPP) and Cần Thơ University (CTU) have collaborated by doing the field validation and generating technical products for the Red River Delta and the Mekong Delta, the two major rice bowls of Vietnam. “We are very happy to see that national partners have acquired the technical capacities to use advanced technologies such as remote sensing and cloud computing to help stakeholders along the rice value chain, and first of all small-holder farmers”, said Ambassador Maser. “Line agencies can now have access to accurate, un-biased and timely data to improve rice production, including risk management”, she said.

RIICE uses satellite data that is provided free of charge to produce information that is useable by relevant agencies. Information in the form of area map, planted area figures and yield estimations help agricultural agencies to monitor the progress of rice production. The mapping and monitoring of wide area disasters such as drought, flood, salinity, etc. help farmers and local governments to respond more timely, and more effectively. “Given the escalation of climate risks we cannot afford to rely on traditional risk management tools anymore. RIICE offers new and effective tools while a lot of human resource costs can be saved,” said Vice Minister Lê Quốc Doanh. “RIICE-produced data will be used for crop insurance in An Giang and Thai Binh province. The lessons learnt will contribute to a successful implementation of the agriculture insurance program of the Government in many other parts of the country”, he said.


RIICE is a public-private partnership program sponsored by SDC and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) with a view to support crop insurance systems for smallholder farmers through the use of technology.

It is implemented by a consortium of IRRI (International Rice Research Institute), GIZ (the German International Development Agency), Sarmap (a Swiss remote sensing company), SDC, and Swiss Re.


For more information, please contact:

Mr. Nguyễn Hồng Ninh, Embassy of Switzerland to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam

Phone: +84 24 39 34 65 89 (ext.803 983)