A startup is helping Asian farmers access funding and technology that can reduce the environmental impact of rice cultivation
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Spotted: Rice is a staple crop for more than half of the world’s population – and demand for rice is only set to keep rising. Yet, at the same time, rice production is responsible for over 10 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions in agriculture. Now, agri-tech startup Rize is targeting the decarbonisation of rice production.
Rize’s platform uses artificial intelligence (AI) to help farmers rapidly identify the most effective strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in rice cultivation, such as soil additives and different rice-sowing techniques. It can also help identify economic incentives that could aid in the adoption of more sustainable techniques.
To start, the company is focusing on Indonesia and Vietnam, where it already has local teams in place. Like other nations in Asia, rice cultivation in these regions is predominantly undertaken by smallholder farmers, who don’t have access to the latest technology. This is where Rize comes in, by providing access to new technology, carbon credits, and other economic incentives.
Rize is currently at the early VC stage of funding and has four investors, including Breakthrough Energy, GenZero, Temasek Holdings, and Wavemaker Impact.
Improving the sustainability of rice cultivation is just one of the ways that innovators are working to reduce the impact of agriculture. Other developments Springwise has spotted in the archive include using satellites to improve agricultural lending and using microorganisms for crop protection.
Written By: Lisa Magloff