Coastal Communities

Green and Seed

Increasing the sustainability of rice farming to counter sea-level rise

Team Lead

Sungjin Choe

Hear the Pitch

The Problem

Approximately 19 percent of the world’s rice is grown in deltas and coastal communities. As the effects of climate change increase, rising sea levels flood rice paddies and increase soil salinity, hurting rice production and threatening farmers’ livelihoods. As much of the rice produced in these regions is exported to countries in Africa and the Middle East, reduced production will contribute to food insecurity around the world.

The Solution

Green and Seed addresses these issues with Seed Film Cultivation (SFC), which allows farmers to grow rice outside of lowland rice paddies. SFC includes three core pieces of technology: biodegradable film, a seed attacher, and a mulcher.

The seed attacher is used to attach rice seeds to a biodegradable film. With the mulcher, farmers spread this film in rows in a dry field and cover it with soil. The film protects rice from harmful weeds, so farmers can grow it with simple drip irrigation. Biodegradable films degrade by 90 percent within 180 days and decompose into water and carbon dioxide byproducts.

Market Opportunity

  • Africa has 600 million hectares of uncultivated arable land. By investing $500 in SFC film, farmers are able to produce more than 6 tons of rice per hectare, compared to only 1 ton per hectare without SFC, improving wages by $1,000.

  • SFC allows communities in Africa to become fully self-sufficient on local rice production. Local NGOs, cooperatives, and governments provide farmers with SFC film through a loan program, and farmers repay the loan with their production proceeds.

Organization Highlights

  • In 2017, SFC was successfully used to grow rice in corn fields in Hebei Province, China.
  • In 2018, 50 farmers used SFC to grow rice in what had been a wheat field for 20 years. Farmers originally grew rice there, but when water was scarce, they were forced to grow wheat, and their incomes were cut in half. SFC brought rice farming back to these farmers.

Existing Partnerships

Green and Seed currently partners with various public and private sector organizations for pilot testing, such as:

  • Korea Rural Economic Institute for the development and dissemination of climate-smart agriculture strategies
  • Sangmyung University in South Korea, which advises on development assistance
  • The Upper Nun Valley Development Authority to scale SFC to West Africa with a pilot project in Cameroon
  • Agri-Climate Trust, a Zimbabwe-based nonprofit organization
  • La Joie du Tchad, a Chad-based nonprofit organization that leverages the Seed Film Loan method based on microcredit

Organization Goals

Green and Seed seeks to achieve the following goals:

  • Raise funds to disseminate Seed Film Loan program to African market
  • Validate and independently assess its initial rice production results

Partnership Goals

To reach the goals mentioned above, Green and Seed seeks partnerships to:

  • Refine marketing of their assets for clear messaging, especially through translation
  • Mentor and advise on agricultural experience in West Africa

Stats

SFC technologies can produce more than 6 tons of rice per hectare in vacant arable farmland in Africa.

Methane from rice paddies accounts for roughly 2.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Solver Team

Organization Type:
For-profit

Headquarters:
Seoul, South Korea

Stage:
Pilot

Working in:
Korea, China, Cameroon, and Chad

Employees:
3

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