Rice and poverty coincide in Asia, home to over 70 percent of the world poor (900 million people) and where almost 90 percent of the world rice is produced and consumed. The Asian population continues to grow rapidly while rice production is stalling and available arable land area is decreasing. In most of the developing world, rice availability is equated with food security and closely connected to political stability: When rice prices increased, social unrest spread quickly, as during the food crisis of 2008.
The overall purpose of the Remote sensing based Information and Insurance for Crops in emerging Economies (RIICE) is to reduce vulnerability of smallholders engaged in rice production by setting up an easy accessible rice information system which opens the way for involved public and private stakeholders to better manage domestic rice production and the risks it is exposed. RIICE – implemented by a public (SDC, GIZ, IRRI) private (SwissRe, sarmap) partnership and primarily funded by the Swiss Development Cooperation – has the following key objectives:
- Provision of reliable (estimated and forecasted) rice production information in major rice growing areas;
- Transfer of appropriate know-how to national partners;
- Setting up technology-backed sustainable crop insurance schemes to better protect rice growing farmers against natural catastrophes.