THE Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) and the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. (PCIC) said they entered into a partnership with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) to develop a satellite-enhanced crop insurance program which will compile a map of riceland yields.
“This partnership is a step towards making insurance protection available to Filipino farmers at a crucial time when we are facing severe weather challenges,” PhilRice Executive Director John C. de Leon said.
The yield database will help the PCIC assign a value to policies taken out by rice farmers.
The three organizations intend to collaborate in bringing crop insurance to about 2.4 million rice farmers.
The program will use data from the rice mapping and monitoring system known as PRISM (Philippine Rice Information System) to design and test an Area-Based Yield (ARBY) index.
ARBY considers historical yields of plots of land to help determine insurance payouts in the event of losses.
“The fusion of satellite technology and advanced modeling is revolutionizing how we can insure crops,” IRRI Interim Director-General Ajay Kohli said.
“(The) satellite-based ARBY index insurance for rice can help simplify the much-needed coverage for small farmers,” Mr. Kohli added.
PCIC President Jovy C. Bernabe said technology has the potential to help improve insurance products and services.
“(It) can bring efficiencies to our operations compared to traditional indemnity-based crop insurance models which involve site visits and verification of every claim,” Mr. Bernabe added.
The PCIC said about 1.6 million rice farmers carried insurance in 2022. — Adrian H. Halili