Remote sensing-based Information and Insurance for Crops in Emerging economies (“RIICE”) is a public-private partnership aiming to reduce the vulnerability of rice smallholder farmers in low-income countries in Asia and beyond.
The parties make use of remote sensing technologies to map and observe rice growth in selected regions in Asia (Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam). Such information helps governments to make the necessary provision to meet potential food shortages given that rice is the most important crop for most Asian countries.
Additionally, such information can help stakeholders involved in rice production to better manage the risks involved. A key option at hands for governments is to establish agricultural insurance solutions to protect rice smallholders. In the same way, the risks involved in agricultural lending by banks to rice smallholders can be reduced through insurance that protects the farmers’ loans against defaulting due to yield losses and thus trigger more investments in agricultural production.
How does RIICE improve food security?
Food production is said to have to rise by 70% between today and 2050 in order to keep pace with population growth. Several factors jeopardize food security in developing countries and emerging economies, among them most prominently increasing crop losses due to extreme weather events aggravated by climate change, an increasing migration to the urban centres by the rural population and ever more volatile commodity market prices. Food insecurity leads to poverty. This is most obvious in Asia, where over 70% of the world’s poor (900 million people) live and where almost 90% of the world’s rice is produced and consumed. For the poor in Asia, rice can account for over 50% of their calories and consumption rates can top 100 kg per person per year.
In which countries is RIICE currently active?
India, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Philippines, Bangladesh (on hold) and Indonesia (on hold)
Why rice in RIICE?
Rice has been chosen as the key crop for the project as it is the staple food for the world’s poor. Worldwide, more than 1 billion people depend on rice cultivation for their livelihoods. Rice is cultivated on some 158 million hectares annually and has an annual yield value of 122 billion USD (based on FAO value of yield data) of which 110 billion USD is produced in lower income countries.
Who will be the primary beneficiary of RIICE?
Rice smallholders are the key target group – but RIICE invites other interested parties to put forward their interest in the project and describe how they would plan to use the information provided.
What is the legal structure of RIICE?
RIICE is a project which is carried by the five parties, described in the Project Partner section. The parties of RIICE are bound by an agreement and each party brings in its own funding to the project, though most costs are borne by SDC.