PHILIPPINES – Yanmar Agri is implementing the Alternate Wetting and Drying (AWD) water management technique to reduce methane emissions from rice paddies in the Philippines. 

The testing of this innovative method, developed in partnership with Yanmar Philippines Corporation and Faeger Corporation, will commence in November 2024.

The introduction of AWD aims to encourage early adoption of the method among local farmers, ensure stable incomes through carbon credit creation, promote decarbonization of rice paddies, and enhance nutrition security in the region.

According to Yanmar Agri, methane emissions from rice paddies in the Philippines represent approximately 20% of the country’s total greenhouse gas emissions across all industries. 

This significant contribution underscores the urgent need to mitigate these emissions. Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries advocates for the Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM) in the agricultural sector to support this goal, bolstered by a Measurement, Reporting, and Verification system. 

The JCM aims to encourage the widespread adoption of AWD in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) regions.

Traditionally, rice paddies in the Philippines are continuously flooded, fostering the activity of methane-producing bacteria in the soil. AWD, a water management technique, involves periodically drying the rice paddies to supply oxygen to the soil. 

This intermittent drying has been shown to inhibit the activity of methane-producing bacteria, thereby reducing methane emissions compared to the traditional constant flooding practices.

Moreover, conventional rice cultivation demands significant water resources to maintain the flooded state, posing a challenge in regions with water scarcity. AWD addresses this issue by reducing water usage through its intermittent drying process. 

Additionally, the technique is expected to decrease fuel consumption by reducing the need for water pumps.

Testing the System

Yanmar Agri emphasizes that the AWD method is gaining attention for its potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

The collaborative project with Faeger Corporation will involve demonstration tests to verify the efficacy of the AWD system in rice paddies and simulate farmer income from carbon credit creation.

The project aims to generate carbon credits in partnership with local producers by leveraging the Philippines’ network of farmers and agricultural stakeholders—established through the sales of agricultural machinery by Yanmar Agri and Yanmar Philippines—and Faeger’s expertise in carbon credits.

Furthermore, the Yanmar Group plans to use the credits generated from this initiative to support carbon offsetting efforts. This approach will contribute to developing sustainable agriculture that balances environmental impact reduction with increased producer income while bolstering the region’s future food and nutrition security.

For all the latest grains industry news from Africa, the Middle East, and the World, subscribe to our weekly NEWSLETTERS, follow us on LinkedIn, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.