Netafim announces carbon credit program for drip-irrigated rice

15-11 | |
Farmers pump water to irrigate a rice field in Zixing, Hunan Province, China. Netafim announced the first ever carbon credit program for drip-irrigated rice in order to reduce emissions and inputs. - Photo: CFOTO/Sipa USA
Farmers pump water to irrigate a rice field in Zixing, Hunan Province, China. - Photo: CFOTO/Sipa USA

Netafim announced the first ever carbon credit program for drip-irrigated rice. The aim of this inaugural program is to reduce methane emissions from rice cultivation to almost zero, while providing additional long-term income to growers.

According to Netafim, an Orbia business and provider of precision irrigation systems, rice cultivation uses 30-40% of the world’s annual consumption of freshwater while contributing to over 10% of the world’s methane emissions.

Less water, fertiliser, energy and almost zero methane

As compared to conventional rice paddy farming, Netafim’s drip irrigation technology for rice out-produces paddy cultivation while using 70% less water, 30% less fertilizer, 36% less energy while reducing methane emissions to nearly zero and arsenic uptake by up to 90%, claims the company.

Also read: Drip irrigation definitely viable for large farms

With Netafim’s innovation, the carbon credit program is to serve an important role in financially assisting farmers in adopting sustainable or regenerative agricultural practices that reduce or sequester emissions, with each credit representing one ton of CO2 equivalent emissions.

“If just 10% of paddy rice farmers switch to drip, the drop in emissions will be equivalent to taking 40 million cars off the road,” said Gaby Miodownik, Orbia’s Executive Vice President & President, Precision Agriculture (Netafim).

Carbon credit based on irrigation technology

“This program marks the first time a carbon credit is being generated based on the application of irrigation technology. Netafim is extremely proud to lead this initiative. In the face of climate change, the only surefire route to sustainable agriculture is to grow more with less – less land, less water and significantly less greenhouse emissions.”

The first project for this program is located at the LaFagiana Farm in Venice, Italy and will be registered with Verra. The carbon credits program will be available to farmers around the world interested in regenerative agriculture practices beginning in 2023.

Carbon markets are already providing income to Australian and some Canadian and US farmers for trapping carbon dioxide in their soil and reducing carbon emissions on the farm. How are these markets expected to grow? Future Farming’s Treena Hein went looking for the answer.

Claver
Hugo Claver Web editor for Future Farming



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