Manila, Philippines: Department of Agriculture, Philippines, inked an agreement with the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) to implement a PHP 70 million (PHP: Philippine Pesos) project. The project aims to help develop the country’s rice information management system and provide insurance products for farmers.
Antonis Malagardis, programme manager of the Micro-insurance Innovations Program for Social Security at the GIZ, said that with this agreement, Philippines joined the RIICE project which would be funded by the German agency. RIICE, or ‘Remote Sensing-based Information and Insurance for Crops in Emerging Economies’ project aims to develop rice information systems through the use of radar-based remote sensing technology to gather data from the fields such as yields from harvest areas.
Jimmy Loro, senior adviser for the RIICE, said that currently, data on yields from harvest areas are gathered manually while the pilot-testing of the radar-based remote sensing technology to gather data from the fields is being undertaken in the province of Leyte.
He noted that the pilot-testing, which started last year, covered some 129 farmers in Leyte. The target, he said, is to cover 500 farmers in that province.
While the pilot-testing of radar-based remote sensing technology to gather data from the fields is being undertaken, a micro-insurance programme is also being implemented in Leyte. Under the programme, farmers may receive insurance coverage if they fail to meet the projected harvest.
Loro said that each farmer could receive a maximum insurance coverage worth PHP 10,000 per hectare if they fail to meet 80 percent of the historical production average of 79.3 cavans per hectare.
“By 2014, we will be shifting to remote-sensing technology and we will also be covering Nueva Ecija and Caraga,” he added.