Bayer, GenZero Shell Parter on Emissions Project for Rice Cultivation - Smart Energy Decisions

Energy Efficiency, GHG Emissions, Industrial  -  August 21, 2023

Bayer, GenZero Shell Parter on Emissions Project for Rice Cultivation

Bayer, a global company in the life science fields of agriculture and healthcare, partnered with several companies to showcase the scalability of methane emissions reduction in rice cultivation.

The company collaborated with GenZero, a Temasek-owned investment platform company focused on accelerating decarbonization globally, Shell Energy India Private Limited, a subsidiary of Shell Plc and investor in nature-based solutions, plus other experts to develop a robust model.

The proposed approach will include training, support and guidance for smallholder farmers while utilizing Measurement, Reporting & Verification (MRV) mechanisms incorporating remote sensing technology. The project aims to set a benchmark for similar efforts in the rice decarbonization space.

Paddy rice cultivation is responsible for approximately 10% of global methane emissions, a potent GHG with a global warming potential over 27 times that of carbon dioxide. Rice farms occupy 15% of global farm area, equivalent to more than 150 million hectares worldwide, and consume around one-third of global freshwater.

During the past two years, Bayer laid out the groundwork and initiated a pilot Sustainable Rice Project across India. It started with an aim to generate carbon reductions by encouraging rice farmers to switch from the current practice of transplanting with continuously flooding fields to Alternate Wetting and Drying (AWD), which involves controlled and intermittent flooding, and Direct Seeded Rice (DSR), which involves no transplanting operations and very limited flooding.

To ensure scientific accuracy and credibility, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), a global scientific institution, will provide support in conducting scientific assessments of greenhouse gas reductions, water use reductions, and improvements in soil health.

"Bayer's commitment to rice cultivation is two-fold,” said Simon-Thorsten Wiebusch, Country Divisional Head of the Crop Science Division of Bayer for India, Bangladesh & Sri Lanka, in a statement. “Through our focus on rice, we want to solve two of the biggest challenges impacting humanity, namely, food security and climate change. With this program, we aim to get more insights into how regenerative agricultural practices can contribute to mitigating climate change by way of methane emission reductions, water conservation, soil health improvements and drive sustainable development of smallholder farmers. Having the expertise and support of organizations like GenZero, Shell, International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and others will go a long way in developing the ecosystem for faster adoption of such sustainable practices."

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