The Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) has joined an inter-agency and inter-sectoral project that aims to design and develop a rice information system using remote sensing technology and support the development of innovative insurance products.

Remote sensing refers to the gathering of information about objects or situations without making physical contact; it involves, instead, the use of sensors in space.

The project is a major step forward toward developing new agricultural insurance solutions for the Filipino rice farmers, like the area-based yield-index insurance (ARBY).

It forms part of the regional program called “Remote Sensing-Based Information and Insurance for Crops in Emerging Economics (RIICE),” which is funded principally by the Government of Switzerland through the German Development Cooperation (GIZ).

The RIICE project is expected to generate an insurance policy prototype on rice using remote sensing data. The remote-sensing based rice information system will provide information that will enable experts to implement the ARBY insurance for rice.

An inter-agency and inter-sectoral consortium implements the RIICE project. Aside from the GIZ, PCIC and PIRA, the consortium includes the DA, DA-Bureau of Agricultural Statistics, Philippine Rice Research Institute and the International Rice Research Institute.

The PCIC has started to develop ARBY and other new products last year, through the same type of cooperation projects.