Smallholder Agriculture | May 13, 2024

Rize scores $14 million to reduce emissions and boost livelihoods for rice farmers

Roodgally Senatus
ImpactAlpha Editor

Roodgally Senatus

Rice is a staple crop for more than half of the global population. Demand is projected to double by 2050. But traditional rice cultivation practices, such as flooding the fields, consume large amounts of water and release methane gasses.

“Mitigating the environmental impact of rice cultivation is essential in the fight against climate change,” said Carmichael Roberts of Breakthrough Energy Ventures. Breakthrough, along with Temasek, Wavemaker Impact and GenZero, launched Rize last year to reduce the environmental footprint of rice cultivation.

The Singapore-based startup helps rice smallholder farmers implement sustainable farming practices, while lowering costs and increasing crop yields. “We are not just aiming to cut down 100 million tons of carbon emissions, we are also enhancing the economic stability of farmers, ensuring that improved farmer livelihoods and reduced emissions go hand-in-hand,” said Rize’s CEO Dhruv Sawhney

Water conservation

Rize aims to help farmers reduce water usage by 20%. Rize’s founding partners provided the $14 million Series A funding to improve the company’s measurement, reporting and verification and expand to Indonesia and Vietnam. Rize is building a team of 100 agronomists, to reach over 20,000 rice smallholder farmers by year’s end.

A bowl of rice requires over 53 gallons of freshwater and rice production accounts for more than one-third of global irrigation water. “The urgency to adopt sustainable methods is clear,” says Sawhney.