Bayer, GenZero And Shell Partner On Reducing Methane Emissions In Rice Cultivation

German multinational pharma and biotech group Bayer (ETR: BAYN) is partnering with GenZero, owned by Singapore’s state investment company Temasek, and Shell Energy India, part of British oil and gas major Shell (LON: SHEL), together with other experts, to jointly develop a robust model aimed at examining the scalability of methane emissions reduction in rice cultivation.

Through the project, the partners seek to set a benchmark for similar efforts aimed at rice decarbonization. Their approach includes providing training, support, and guidance for smallholder farmers while utilizing measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) mechanisms incorporating remote sensing technology.

Methane is a potent greenhouse gas (GHG) which has a global warming potential over 27 times that of carbon dioxide (CO2), and paddy rice cultivation is responsible for about 10% of methane emissions. Globally, rice farms occupy 15% of farm area and consume around one-third of the fresh water.

Relevant: GenZero Launches With $3.6 Billion Investment From Temasek

“Through our focus on rice, we want to solve two of the biggest challenges impacting humanity, namely, food security and climate change,” Simon-Thorsten Wiebusch, head of the Crop Science Division of Bayer for India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, said in a comment.

The German company has already been working on a pilot Sustainable Rice Project across India over the past two years, paving the way for the current initiative.

In its first year, the joint initiative will aim to significantly scale up the coverage to 25,000 hectares (approx. 62,000 acres) of rice cultivation during the Kharif 2023 and Rabi 2023-24 seasons.

In addition to GHG reduction, other benefits expected from the project include water savings and soil health improvement, to be scientifically assessed by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), as well as enhanced community livelihoods for smallholder rice farmers.

Read more: Bayer Sets Up New Soil Carbon Capture Company In Israel

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