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Rize, TLL, and TLA Forge Strategic Partnership to Spearhead Sustainable Rice Cultivation in Indonesia

Updated: May 9

[SINGAPORE, April 11 2024]


Rize, a pioneering agritech startup dedicated to transforming rice cultivation through innovative and sustainable practices, has announced a strategic partnership with Temasek Lifesciences Laboratory (TLL) and Temasek Lifesciences Accelerator (TLA). This collaboration focuses on decarbonising and enhancing climate resilience in rice cultivation by initiating field trials in Indonesia alongside local research institutions. Joint laboratories will be established in the region to facilitate future project expansions.


"Our collaboration with Rize represents a significant step forward in our efforts to develop sustainable agricultural solutions," stated Peter Chia, CEO of TLL and TLA. “This collaboration is a testament to our shared vision for a sustainable future through the translation of TLL’s decades-long research on climate-ready agriculture, tapping into Rize’s digital platform’s ability to aggregate and educate farmers on the ground, and TLA’s unique capabilities in driving large-scale project implementation and ensuring the project’s economic viability."


Rice is vital for global food security as it is feeding half of the world’s growing population. However, rice cultivation poses significant environmental challenges due to its greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and intensive use of water. Studies show that rice is responsible for  10% of global methane emissions, with methane being 28 times more potent than CO2 in terms of climate warming potential.


Indonesia ranks as the world's third-largest rice producer and a major consumer, with annual per capita consumption around 150 kg and a production total of 53.63 million tons in 2023. Despite these figures, the country grapples with significant agricultural emissions, accounting for 2.4% of global agricultural emissions from 2015 through 2021. Innovative green technologies, like those proposed by Rize, TLL, and TLA, are critical for advancing the sustainability and autonomy of Indonesia's agricultural sector.


The partnership will focus on developing a robust methodology to reduce emissions and improve yields, while also establishing local capabilities to evaluate and verify the project's impact. It sets an ambitious goal of achieving at least a 20% reduction in methane emissions from rice cultivation. Through this endeavour, Rize, TLL, and TLA seeks to boost farmer incomes with additional revenue streams from dry season crops and the potential for carbon credits, ultimately benefiting both the environment and the agricultural community.


Peter Chia, CEO of TLL and TLA, shared “What we are hoping is that through a successful demonstration via the field trials, where some farmers will be recruited and directly involved, they will be convinced to adopt these proven cultivation protocols. The goal is for the implementation partners to engage the local farming community to take it forward and scale it further.”


The partnership aims to leverage the collective strengths of each entity: Rize's innovative and direct approach in aggregating farmers on digital platforms and driving adoption of sustainable practices, TLL's extensive research expertise in plant genetics and agri-tech solutions, and TLA’s expertise in transforming life sciences innovations into scalable successes.


Rize, a joint venture by Wavemaker Impact, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, GenZero, and Temasek, is dedicated to revolutionising rice farming in Asia through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and the promotion of sustainable practices. Its platform identifies and implements effective strategies and economic incentives to encourage the adoption of environmentally friendly farming techniques. By addressing challenges such as market fragmentation, inefficient practices, and high costs, Rize has developed solutions that enhance yields and reduce the carbon footprint. In its first 1.5 years, Rize has impacted 2,500 hectares of rice paddies and aims to expand to 100,000 hectares within the next two years, working alongside key partners to achieve this goal.


Over the last 25 years, TLL scientists have focused on enhancing crop productivity by identifying superior genetics for higher yields and robust traits to counter climate change threats, crucial for regional food security. TLL leverages its scientific and agrobiological expertise to lead a comprehensive, nature-based approach aimed at cutting methane emissions and boosting rice yields.


TLA is a Singapore-based biotech and agri-tech incubator with high-tech and state-of-the-art infrastructure. TLA focuses on catalysing entrepreneurial life science innovations in Agri-Food Technology, Industrial & Synthetic Biology, as well as Human & Veterinary Sciences.


"We are thrilled to collaborate with TLL and TLA to tackle one of the most pressing challenges facing agriculture today," said Dhruv Sawhney, Founder and CEO of Rize. “By harnessing the synergistic effects of soil-health improvements, sustainable farming practices, and the selection and adaptation of naturally low-emitting rice cultivars, we aim to drive meaningful change in the industry. Rize as a platform aims to bring together the most cutting-edge solutions to deliver lower emissions and improve incomes for farmers."


"Our collaboration with Rize represents a significant step forward in our efforts to develop sustainable agricultural solutions," stated Peter Chia, CEO of TLL and TLA. “This collaboration is a testament to our shared vision for a sustainable future through the translation of TLL’s decades-long research on climate-ready agriculture, tapping into Rize’s digital platform’s ability to aggregate and educate farmers on the ground, and TLA’s unique capabilities in driving large-scale project implementation and ensuring the project’s economic viability."


The partnership between Rize, TLL, and TLA underscores a shared commitment to driving positive change in agriculture and addressing the urgent need for sustainable food production practices.

 
For more information, please contact:

Jeanne Ong - Assistant Program Director, Temasek Lifesciences Accelerator; jeanne@tla.com.sg

Siem Schreurs - Lead Partnerships, Rize; siem@rize.farm


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