Pilot 1.3 | Vegetation-Index Crop-Insurance in Ethiopia

Pilot 1.3 | Vegetation-Index Crop-Insurance in Ethiopia

The project provides a (i) geodata driven drought monitoring services and (ii) a financial service delivery to smallholder farmers based on a geodata-driven risk-mitigation (insurance) product that offers a basic safety net to protect them against the weather related peril ‘drought’. It builds on the existing ‘VICI’ single-perildrought- insurance product from the G4AW funded GIACIS project (Geodata for Innovative  gricultural Credit Insurance Schemes), which was targeted at Ethiopian small holder farmers, by continuing to serve that user base with a more sustainable and future proof delivery service.

For various ‘new’ regions of Sub-Sahara Africa, this pilot will develop new user-oriented services that relate to drought monitoring and financial mitigation measures (insurance). Specifically, new services
will consist of (i) detecting and insuring false starts of the main growing season, (ii) introducing a ‘new-generation’ drought monitoring service that provides locally accurate semi-quantitative impact assessments (0-100%), and (iii) creating support through a versatile App to create ground-inventories of farmers assessments regarding suffered yield-gaps.

These services are in demand because of the increased intensity and frequency of drought and  ssociated impacts on the environment and societies. Our unique workflow and use of long term Earth observation
data has been shown to provide accurate, timely and highly spatially detailed information on drought. We address specific requests to repurpose and repackage the existing workflow to meet user needs beyond
the original use case in Ethiopia.

/ Objectives
  • To create long-duration sustainability and country-specific independence of the geodata workflow so that it can serve multiple users and their needs related to drought monitoring and its impact on agricultural production systems.
  • To maintain the existing service as an operational drought peril insurance programme in Ethiopia.
  • To co-create new user specific services in Sub-Sahara Africa related to drought monitoring and financial services related to drought peril insurance.
  • To co-create a smartphone-based app to capture baseline, monitoring and validation data concerning perils and their impacts as experienced by farmers.
/ Partners
  • ITC/UT is the coordinator of the pilot and is the knowledge partner for the NDVI processing chains and repurposing them in a co-development process to meet the above specified range of user needs.
  • VITO (recently added and replacing the role of MEKELLE), is creating the required DIAS that contains the EO data and processing (maintenance) lines for the novel drought assessment services, with built-in options to address a versatile set of environments and user-needs. In addition, VITO will aim to carry out monitoring and drought assessment as a data-provider given foreseen client-provider agreements.
  • IIASA is developing a field validation Smartphone-App and aims to provide training and e-support, to transfer know-how to users who are keen in creating a benchmark dataset on perils and yields gaps, monitoring the temporal variability of these perils, and of validating drought and insurance models operated by ITC/VITO.
  • The original role of MEKELLE’s in the pilot remains uncertain due to political instability and conflict that has severely affected the Tigray region in Ethiopia. We maintain them as a “silent partner”.
/ Key Users
  • At present, in Ethiopia: KIFIYA, ATA, MoA, State Bank, Public Finance Enterprise Agency (PFEA), Insurance companies, Farmers, ICIP (JICA-Project), Wasasa (Microfinance).
  • Foreseen elsewhere: AfriCultuReS (Rwanda), Unesco S-Africa.
/ Key Datasets
  • 1999 – June 2020: Recently re-processed BDRF-adjusted 1km Spot-VGT & PROBA-V NDVI Catalogue [NDVI 1km V3, from the Copernicus Global Land Service]
    Note: originally the V2 dataset was used. A catalogue with BDRF-adjustments was required to create compatibility with:
  • July 2020 - present: BDRF-adjusted 300m Sentinel-3 OLCI-based VGT-S like NDVI-Imagery [NDVI 300m V2, from the Copernicus Global Land
    Note: initially ample efforts were put into using the OLCI-SLSTR Synergy (Sentinel-3) based NDVI-imagery, but these data proved too erratic due to cloud-contamination.

Later than expected (early 2021), the final versions of the above specified datasets became fully available. Accordingly, during spring
2021, all EO-based specifications of VICI were fully recalibrated. Those VICI-data were immediately used by the ICIP-project in Ethiopia for the main 2021 growing season. The dependency on the availability of suitable past and present NDVI-data created a delay in all other co-design activities.

/ ID Card
Expected outcome of the pilot

At present the achieved and still expected outcomes of the project are:

  • To maintainsupport to users that implement the VICI crop Insurance product in Ethiopia.
  • Caterfor the required product maintenance and knowledge transfer from ITC to VITO (previously to Mekelle University).
  • Theabove process will be combined with the creation of digital support services through TerraScope (the VITO managed DIAS).
  • Re-purposethe use of the developed drought-monitoring models to focus on insuring the perils of “delay of season-start” and “false starts”.
  • Re-purposethe use of the developed drought-monitoring models to create a ‘next generation’ drought monitoring service that provides locally accurate semi-quantitative impact assessments
  • To createthrough a versatile App, one’s ability to capture ground-inventories of farmers assessments regarding suffered yield-gaps.

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