As a response to methane emission from rice production being flagged as part of the global climate debate, Thailand’s agricultural ministry, as reported in the Bangkok Post, has prioritised its research efforts towards developing climate-friendly rice strains.
Prasert Gosalvitra, Director General of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives’ Rice Department said:
We are developing a number of modern rice strains that will reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that are generated during rice production.
Traditional rice production practices generate large quantities of methane; a greenhouse gas more potent than carbon dioxide. The Thai ministry is developing strains of rice with smaller food conducting tissues which will assist in reducing greenhouse gas emissions during the photosynthesis process. Additionally, the ministry is researching strains to reduce carbon dioxide during the harvesting process.
Gosalvitra commented that in the future he hopes that this innovation in ‘green-rice’ will help Thai farmers gain access to markets with climate-conscious consumers, notably in the EU.