Switzerland: A coalition supported by the Swiss government launched a project Remote Sensing-based Information and Insurance for Crops in Emerging Economies, or RIICE project. It aims to make use of remote sensing (RS) technology to observe the growth of rice and thereby provides an independent and transparent tool to ascertain rice information in developing countries, according to an article published in allAfrica.
Rice has been chosen as the target crop given its importance as a staple food in Asia, where 90 percent of the world’s rice is produced and consumed. Some 70 percent of the world’s poor live in Asia. The programme will be implemented in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines over the next three years.
The parties of the RIICE partnership are Allianz Reinsurance, an arm of the international insurance group; German’s GIZ; the International Rice Research Institute; sarmap, a Swiss-based remote sensing company; and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.
The project will be using European satellite systems to observe and forecast rice growth in developing countries and link this to insurance solutions to improve food security of more than five million small-holder farmers in developing countries in Asia.