Coastal Communities

Green & 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 rainfed, often grown in deltas and other coastal communities. As the effects of climate change increase, rising sea levels flood rice paddies and increase soil salinity, hurting rice production—threatening farmers’ livelihoods and contributing to food insecurity. Furthermore, paddy cultivation consumes large amounts of water and is a major source of methane emissions, exacerbating climate change.

The Solution

Green & Seed addresses these issues with Seed Film Cultivation (SFC), a cost-effective farming technique that eliminates the need to flood fields. SFC includes three core pieces of technology: biodegradable film, a seed attacher, and a mulcher.

Farmers use the seed attacher to attach rice seeds to a biodegradable film. With the mulcher, they 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 instead of in rice paddies, reducing water waste and methane emissions while increasing yields.

Market Opportunity

  • SFC provides rainfed rice farmers a high single-season return on investment; though the biodegradable film costs $500, it enables farmers to earn an additional $1,000.
  • Green & Seed’s product creates new crop opportunities for farmers in regions that predominantly import their rice such as West Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia.

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 & Seed currently partners with various public 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

Organization Goals

Green & Seed seeks to achieve the following goals:

  • Raise funds to scale their first African pilot in Cameroon
  • Validate and independently assess their initial rice production results

Partnership Goals

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

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


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:

Seoul, South Korea


Working in:
Korea, China, Cameroon


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