Poor farmers in East Java have only limited reserves to fall back on when their crops fail. If they have to sell their scarce possessions to survive, they get caught in a poverty trap. Crop insurance - an initiative from the Indonesian ministry of Agriculture - can stop this happening. Information is required that allows for the more accurate assessment of possible variations in crop yields. The G4INDO project provides both the farmers and insurance companies with the required technical support. It provides data about individual plots of land by combining information from processed satellite signals with information from weather forecasts, hydrological models and crop models. The resulting predictions should improve the lives of at least 200,000 farmers on East Java. The system can then be rolled out to other regions in Indonesia.
Deltares is developing services to deliver early warnings of floods and drought. G4INDO is focusing on the assimilation of satellite data, the establishment of hydrological models, coupling models and the establishment of the integration platform. An example is the model for linking hydrology and crop growth models. In that way, we can model crop growth and predict it in relation to the availability of water.
This project, in which Alterra is the lead partner, began in 2014. Deltares got together with partners to produce the proposal, which was one of the few to be accepted by the Dutch ministry of Foreign Affairs. The ministry wants to improve the lives of at least 200,000 Indonesian farmers. The first version of the integration platform will go operational in October 2015, allowing farmers and insurers to benefit from the recommendations and predictions that are produced. It is expected that it will be possible to roll the system out to other Indonesian regions after three years. It will provide major benefits for 27 million more Indonesian rice farmers.
The lives of Indonesian farmers could be considerably improved if they get a clearer picture of variations in their crop yields as a result of the weather and climate in the future. Our recommendations - which we submit to the Ministry of Agriculture and the insurance companies involved - are very valuable in that respect.