Improved Rice Cultivation, China

Type: Nature-based Solutions | Soil Carbon and Agriculture
Region: Asia
Standard: VCS

Rice provides one-fifth of all calories worldwide. Rice is also responsible for up to 20% of global methane emissions per Project Drawdown. The baseline scenario in China, where rice paddies are continuously flooded, allows for methane-producing microbes to thrive as they feed on decomposing organic matter in the water. 

This project provides the ditches, reservoirs, and training needed for controllable irrigation and drainage which can conserve water, increase production, and reduce methane emissions. Methane (CH4) emissions from rice cultivation can be reduced by nearly 50% with improved irrigation and drainage systems.

This nature-based solution taps into the microbial process of rice production to reduce global methane emissions. Farming is a major source of income for families in the area, so increased yields are valuable. Rice is a crucial staple for local farmers and the whole country, so higher yields will help increase food security and resilience in the face of climate change.

Methane (CH4) is an extremely potent greenhouse gas that can have up to 20x more warming potential than carbon.

In addition to delivering methane emission reductions to take climate action (SDG 13), the project delivers other benefits:

  • No Poverty: In each project area, a team of local farmers are hired as technicians in each project area to manage the new processes, which brings addition income to their families and improving living standards. 
  • Zero Hunger: The application of a intermittent flooding method can increase local rice yields.
  • Quality Education: In addition to training farmers in new advanced skills, a portion of the proceeds from carbon finance goes to local schools to buy books and supplies. 
  • Gender Equality: Women are given priority in recruiting technicians, and so far the majority, well over half, of the local technicians are women.
  • Decent Work and Economic Growth: Constructing the ditches and reservoirs for intermittent water management creates thousands of job opportunities for local farmers.

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