Venture Capital: Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Temasek And Others To Launch Agritech For Rice Cultivation Decarbonization

Rice cultivation is the second-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in agri-food due to methane-emitting bacteria generated from flooded rice paddy fields.

Wavemaker Impact, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, GenZero, and Singapore’s Temasek have come together to create an innovative agritech that will promote rice decarbonization in Southeast Asia and the rest of Asia. The agritech will identify strategies to cut rice field emissions using a combination of climate-tech, agri-food, and venture-building capabilities. (TechNode)

Rice cultivation is responsible for up to 33 percent of Southeast Asia’s methane emissions, with methane having over 80 times more global warming potential than carbon dioxide. Unfortunately, the region suffers from other problems that exacerbate the issue, including highly fragmented farm plots, and poor rice productivity per hectare of cultivated land.

Though solutions are available to reduce rice cultivation emissions and increase yield, factors such as outdated farming practices, lack of access to high-quality inputs and incentives, and infrastructure challenges are a hindrance.

“There has been little emission-reduction innovation in the rice industry due to the fragmented nature of rice cultivation. We see the urgent need to create innovative, scalable solutions that have a sustainable model of incentives to ensure adoption, and that is why we have partnered with Temasek, GenZero, and Wavemaker Impact to bring together our different areas of expertise to tackle this challenge,” said Carmichael Roberts from Breakthrough Energy Ventures.

“Rice produces 12 percent of global methane and, on a 20-year equivalence basis, rice cultivation is a top 10 contributor of climate change with its GHG impact greater than even the global aviation industry. Despite the magnitude of this problem, it has not gotten adequate attention from the global community,” said Anuj Maheshwari, Head of Agri-Food at Temasek.

“Through this first-of-its-kind venture, which will have a sole focus on reducing the carbon intensity of rice, we hope to raise the awareness of farmers, government, consumers, and investors and pave the way for a transition to low-carbon rice to sustainably feed the future generations,” he added.

Related Story: Fossil-Free Hydrogen Systems Company Electric Hydrogen Lands $198M

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