Tacloban, Philippines: The German Agency for International Cooperation will sign an agreement with six Philippine government agencies and non-government organisations to advance the implementation of the new crop insurance scheme, a Philippine daily reported. The Area Based Yield Index Insurance (ARBY) scheme is based-on remote sensing technology.
The ARBY scheme is the part of the project, Remote Sensing-Based Information and Insurance for Crops in Emerging Economies (RIICE). The project will be undertaken by Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in partnership with the Department of Agriculture, Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation, International Rice Research Institute, Bureau of Agricultural Statistics, Philippine Rice Research Institute and Philippine Insurers and Reinsurers Association.
Jimmy Loro, GIZ RIICE senior adviser-lead expert, said the agreement will maximise the opportunities that can be derived from remote sensing technology to determine area yield for rice. RIICE will particularly focus on designing and developing of a rice information management system using remote sensing technology linked to a crop growth simulation model.
“The outputs from the rice information management system, namely the rice area estimates and the rice yield estimates, will be evaluated by the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) during the 2012, 2013 and 2014 rice cropping seasons to determine if they can be used to develop a crop insurance solution that improves upon existing insurance products,” Loro said.
The GIZ supported by Swiss Development Corporation is investing CHF 1.2 (CHF: Swiss franc). “There is no financial contribution from the Philippine government. What we requires from participating agencies is the manpower and support in putting the technology in place. They will help us process the data and come up with results,” Loro added.
The ARBY is now being piloted in three national irrigation systems in Leyte and it will expand next year to Nueva Ecija and CARAGA region. Nationwide expansion will be on 2014 after establishing the remote sensing technology. The technology will be mainly used to assess rice growth of areas covered by ARBY.
ARBY is a type of parametric crop insurance which compares the current rice yield of an entire irrigation system with its average rice yield in the past 15 years. Through ARBY, insured farmers receive payments from PCIC once the current rice yield of their irrigation system is lower than its average yield in 15 years.
The Philippines is the first of the 130 countries where GIZ is operating to use remote sensing technology for rice plantations. GIZ already employed the technology in India, Bangladesh, Thailand, Indonesia for other purposes.