Rice: A Deep Dive with Paul Nicholson, VP & Head of Rice Research and Sustainability at Olam Agri

Rice holds a multifaceted and entrenched place in the global food chain. It provides about 20% of the world’s calorie intake, and is fundamental to the lives of the almost 40% of the global population who rely on it. Given its resource-intensive production, rice plays a critical role in our global climate future, and strategies to decarbonise agri-food value chains must factor in the material impact of rice and the feasibility of scaling sustainable cultivation practices. 




Heavily concentrated in Asia, methane from rice production is responsible for 1.5% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and consumes about 24-30% of the world’s fresh water. This resource intensity has led to lower availability of rice in export channels. Increasing use in feed and biofuel production has further worsened shortages, contributing to rising inflation in rice-importing countries. 

To unpack these challenges and better understand the current and future state of the rice industry, Terrascope Decarbonisation Specialist Liu Xinlu sat with Paul Nicholson, Vice President and Head of Rice Research and Sustainability at Olam Agri. Paul currently oversees rice sustainability, and his own work has made huge contributions to sustainable practices in rice, resulting in increased income for farmers, reduced GHG emissions, and the introduction of fortified rice across Africa.

Click on the video to find out more about the fundamental shift that has occurred in the climate conscience and reality of companies involved in the rice value chain; understand the key pain points that technology and software like Terrascope can solve; and discover why a more holistic approach to green labelling and consumer marketing of ubiquitous commodities such as rice is critical.

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