Remote sensing-based Information and Insurance for Crops in Emerging economies (RIICE) - Phase 3

Project completed

Extreme weather events increasingly affect small-scale producers in Asia. Satellites and other information technologies present tremendous potential for improved country-wide monitoring of crop growth and insurance solutions for extreme weather events. With RIICE, SDC supports the integration of expertise from Swiss private actors and international public research centres toward modernizing public agricultural services and crop insurance programmes, offering performant solutions to Governments and producers to cope with production shortfalls.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Agriculture & food security
Employment & economic development
Agricultural financial services
Agricultural services & market
Rural development
Agricultural co-operatives & farmers’ organisations
01.08.2018 - 31.08.2022
CHF  3’686’000

Increasing crop losses are increasing due to extreme weather events aggravated by climate change. Governmental instances have difficulties to plan for food shortages due to lacking information on seasonal production. These are prominent factors jeopardizing food security in developing countries and emerging economies. Practical solutions using new earth observation capabilities for improved risk management exist; this includes crop insurance with triggers that are more accurate than weather-indexes or statistical based yield estimations.

Since 2012, SDC is playing a pivotal role in the RIICE public-private partnership that has developed an innovative operational solution combining radar satellite-based technology (from the Swiss enterprise sarmap) and software modelling capabilities (from the International Rice Research Institute, IRRI) to monitor the growth and to forecast / estimate rice production information such as cultivated area and rice yield.

The major ambition of RIICE III is on one hand facilitating and supporting institutionalization processes toward post-project sustainability; on the other hand - and specifically in India – to explore further usages of the RIICE technology for climate risk mitigation and farmers resilience.

Objectives Crop insurance reduces vulnerability of smallholder farmers and promotes their economic development thus contributing to national and regional food security.
Target groups

Final but indirect beneficiaries of RIICE are:

  • small-scale (rice) producers in Asia; 0.5 million directly targeted with crop insurance coverage using RIICE.

Institutional targets are:

  • Governmental bodies, mostly central ministries but also decentralized authorities involved in crop monitoring, natural risks management and insurance, principally in India, Vietnam and Cambodia;
  • National insurance (and re-insurance) companies, private ones mostly in the same countries
Medium-term outcomes

In India, Vietnam and Cambodia:

  • Small-scale (rice) producers are covered by RIICE-supported insurance solutions and climate risk mitigation advisories.
  • Institutions in the target areas offer demand-oriented, effective and efficient remote-sensing supported insurance solutions.
  • Governments have integrated / accepted RIICE-supported insurance solutions in the respective agricultural insurance schemes or guidelines.
  • Governments and other stakeholders use the crop / yield information system in agricultural and disaster risk management policies, strategies and actions plans to strengthen food security and to transfer risks to the insurance sector.

Expected results:  

  • A sustainable business model for RIICE remote-sensing technology and products is established.
  • The remote-sensing technology based rice monitoring system is institutionalized within governmental structures.
  • The national policy dialogue, awareness raising and stakeholder coordination in India, Vietnam and Cambodia on the acceptance and use of RIICE remote-sensing technology is improved.
  • Regional policy dialogue, awareness raising and promotion of (sovereign) climate risk transfer solutions is strengthened in the Asia region.
  • Insurance companies and distribution partners are enabled by RIICE to develop and sell insurance solutions which cover production shortfalls of small-scale (rice) producers.
  • The knowledge on financial management including insurance literacy of smallholder farmers is strengthened.

Results from previous phases:  

  • The RIICE technology has been developed, tested and confirmed as an operational solution for rice monitoring.
  • National implementation partners within or in relation with ministries of agriculture in the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia and three states in India have developed own capacities to operate the technological solution developed by sarmap and IRRI. In 2017, they all together monitored 1.7 million ha of rice producing 80-90% accurate and timely available data down to commune level.
  • In 2017, insurance companies in Tamil Nadu (India) have used the information produced with the RIICE processes to settle claims and compensate early losses for 200’000 rice producers.
  • The Philippines produces its official rice statistics using the RIICE technology at own cost. Odisha and Andhra Pradesh in India have engaged own budgets for 2-3 years pilots. The ministries of agriculture in Vietnam and Cambodia have expressed their interest to institutionalize the technology.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
Foreign academic and research organisation
Private sector
Foreign state institution
Swiss Academic and Research Institution
  • Central State of South East
  • Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research
  • Other Swiss academic and research institutions
  • Foreign private sector South/East
  • Swiss Private Sector

Other partners
  • The ministries of agriculture in Vietnam and Cambodia.
  • ICRISAT and sarmap (for the GPCCE component in India).
  • A partner to be specified for post-2019 global coordination.
Coordination with other projects and actors Links with E+I / Swiss Capacity Building Facility (SCBF)
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    3’686’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    3’166’825
Project phases

Phase 3 01.08.2018 - 31.08.2022   (Completed)

Phase 2 01.05.2015 - 30.09.2018   (Completed) Phase 1 01.06.2011 - 30.04.2015   (Completed)