CarbonFarm Technology Raises $2.6M To Help Decarbonize Rice Farming

CarbonFarm Technology Raises $2.6M To Help Decarbonize Rice Farming - Carbon Herald

A new startup is making a significant contribution to reducing methane emissions from rice cultivation. Paris-based climate company CarbonFarm Technology offers satellite monitoring of practices in rice production that reduce greenhouse gases. 

The company provides “end-to-end services” that help producers generate high-quality carbon credits like quantifying greenhouse gas emissions, managing the carbon certification process, and brokering the credits on voluntary carbon markets.

CarbonFarm Technology also announced it has raised a €2.5 million ($2.6 million) seed round to help decarbonize rice farming through satellite monitoring for issuing carbon credits. The round included participation from Racine2, operated by Serena and makesense; TechMind, Ponderosa, AgFunder, Climate Capital, and BPI France.

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The company plans to expand across the world’s biggest regions for rice cultivation like Asia, Africa and South America.

Rice cultivation is one of the main global causes of methane emissions – a gas with 28-34 times higher warming potential in a span of 100 years than CO2. It accounts for around 12% of global methane emissions. 

Relevant: GHGSat Releases Satellite Images Of Methane Leaks Around The World

There are agricultural practices that help reduce this heavy carbon footprint like increasing nutrient efficiency, crop diversification and the Alternate Wetting and Drying (AWD) method that alone can reduce methane emissions by up to 48%.

“In terms of mitigation potential, it’s actually higher than other categories in agriculture,” explains CarbonFarm cofounder and CEO Vassily Carantino for AgFunderNews.

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Carantino and his colleagues founded the company in 2021, and at that time few were working to decarbonize rice production or issuing carbon credits for mitigation.

“We looked into it and realized MRV [measuring, reporting and verification] was really hard to perform… It was really hard to bring the proof that farmers had changed their practices and that this change led to a reduction in emissions,” explains Mr Carantino.

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

CarbonFarm chose satellite observation from space to verify the changes in practices as they offer stronger data and a simpler way of monitoring them. Adequately measuring emissions reductions over thousands of hectares also requires continuous monitoring of new practices. 

“It’s difficult to ask farmers to be the judge and the one providing this information to the buyer… When you’re using satellites, you’re using information that is independent by nature, unbiased. It’s a scientific way to observe what farming practices have been employed in very large areas,” said Mr Carantino. 

CarbonFarm’s AI model observes the practices to estimate emissions coming from that exact location. That acts as evidence of emissions reductions and allows the farmer to claim a carbon credit.

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