Programme Partner: Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory
Region: India, Indonesia, Laos
The escalating impacts of climate change, characterised by rising temperatures and extreme weather conditions, pose a dire threat to global food security. This vulnerability is acutely evident in rice, as the industry not only is susceptible to climate shifts but also significantly contributes to this global challenge by emitting methane, a potent greenhouse gas (GHG). The rice industry faces the challenge of soaring prices and risks of production shortages, driven by weather fluctuations. At the same time, rice cultivation accounts for 10% of global methane emissions, further aggravating climate change.
Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory (TLL) is harnessing its two decades of science and agrobiology expertise to pioneer a holistic nature-based strategy to reduce methane emissions and increase yield in rice cultivation. This strategy takes an integrated and adaptable approach, designed to harmonise with diverse geographical contexts and local rice farming practices. This strategy seeks to mitigate methane emissions and increase yields in rice cultivation through the combination of the selection and adaptation of climate-resilient varieties, customised bio-based fertigation solutions, and resource-efficient irrigation methods to collectively reduce methane emissions and increase yields in rice.
Overall, TLL aims to achieve 5% higher yields and at least a 20% reduction in methane emissions from rice cultivation. Concurrently, this strategy envisions enhancing farmer livelihoods via supplementary income from dry season harvests and carbon credits. To materialise this vision and facilitate large-scale implementation, TLL seeks $5 million in philanthropic funding to support its regional field trials in Indonesia, Laos, and India, representing an expansion of its ongoing “Methods to Decarbonise Rice” initiative presently underway via small-scale test-bedding in Singapore and India.
Successful adoption of TLL strategy, protocols, and high-yielding rice varieties by farmers in these regions, enabled by philanthropic funding, will further kindle a global momentum towards decarbonising rice cultivation.