Remote-Sensing based Information and Insurance for Crops in Emerging Countries

Rice is one of the most important crops for global food security, and 90% - or about 140 million hectares - of the world’s rice-growing area is in Asia. Rice production and hence millions of rice smallholder farmers are regularly exposed to the risk of damage from drought, flooding, and tropical storms. Timely and accurate information on rice, i.e., crop area, crop growth, and losses due to calamities) is thus very important to rice-growing and -consuming nations. 

Governments traditionally assist their farmers when a catastrophe has led to massive yield losses which threaten sufficient food supply. Disaster relief remains a strain on national budgets and is often impedimental for developing more sustainable solutions to handle the risks. Consequently, governments seek tools to transfer their fiscal risks resulting from natural catastrophes to cope with the financial burden and the negative impact on its smallholding constituency. 


The objective of RIICE is to reduce vulnerability of smallholder farmers engaged in rice production in two ways:

Intervention Areas:

  • Rice crop information and monitoring system 

Increase the information on rice growth areas and expected yields to help governments, agricultural intermediaries and relief organisations in better managing domestic rice production and distribution during the normal growing cycle as well as after natural catastrophes struck. 

  • Crop insurance 

Provide access to insurance solutions for governments, agricultural intermediaries (such as cooperatives or rural banks) and individual rural farmers to cushion the financial effects on farmers that stem from natural catastrophes such as flood and drought. 


The RIICE project focuses on rice-growing areas in five Asian target countries, namely, Cambodia, India, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. A public-private development partnership is implementing the project. The partners are sarmap SA, a Swiss-based technology company supplying the necessary remote sensing technology; IRRI, (International Rice Research Institute) providing capacity building in field data collection and estimating rice yields; Allianz Re developing insurance solutions and GIZ providing capacity building to local aggregators and leading the implementation of the project in Thailand, Philippines and India. The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, SDC, is the main funder of the project and is leading implementation in Cambodia and Vietnam.


  • Food Planning and Security
  • Rice Crop Production Monitoring
  • Radar-based Satellite Technology
  • Crop insurance


Value chains:    

  • Rice
  • Expandable to other crops and other sectors


Contact information

  • Anja Erlbeck
    Tel:+66 2 255 4202   Fax: +66 2 255 4202
  • 39/1 Soi Sukhumvit 13 Sukhumvit Road, 
    Klongtoey Nua, Wattana,

    Bangkok  10110 Thailand