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Nestlé Indonesia and IRRI team up to reduce the carbon footprint of Indonesian rice production

Jakarta, 28 October 2021 – Nestlé Indonesia recently inked a partnership with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), a member of the CGIAR , which will provide technical expertise in the monitoring and reduction of rice production-related emissions. The signing was done by Ganesan Ampalavanar, Nestlé Indonesia President Director and Jean Balié, IRRI Director General.

DIRECTION-Zero C, the collaborative project of Nestlé Indonesia and IRRI, focuses on reducing carbon emissions of rice production in the country through precision nutrient management and sustainable water management. The project will employ several innovations and digital tools developed by IRRI and partners. Among these are Crop Manager for Rice-based Systems for site-specific nutrient management; a water management system called Alternate Wetting and Drying (AWD); and Internet of Things-based AutoMon, which enables information sharing for irrigation scheduling, real-time monitoring, and reporting.

"We welcome the IRRI collaboration as this program is aligned with our ambition to halve emissions by 2030 and achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. This collaboration is very important in terms of greenhouse gas emissions reduction, as we will use rice as our primary raw materials for infant cereals products. In this collaboration we involve 1,600 rice farmers in nine municipalities, such as the Special Region of Yogyakarta (Sleman, Kulonprogo, Bantul), Central Java (Magelang, Klaten, Sukoharjo, Purworejo) and East Java (Madiun, Ponorogo),” said Jean-Luc DeVuyst, Nestlé Indonesia Technical Director.

Dr. Sudhir Yadav, Research Leader for Soil, Water and Environment at IRRI said that the project will leverage on their innovations which have already yielded positive results in other parts of Asia. “For instance, AWD results in a 30% reduction in water consumption and 48% decrease in methane emissions. Through the Rice Crop Manager, we have managed to increase the average yield at cropping season in several countries. Similarly, AutoMon has helped irrigation managers and farmer groups in managing their water effectively and saving 10-15 percent on irrigation water in pilot tests covering small and large scale irrigation systems in several locations.”

The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change notes that heat extremes have increased while cold extremes have decreased, and these trends will continue over the coming decades in the whole of Asia. The project aims to validate the effectiveness of this type of intervention as part of Nestle’s broader goals for GHG emission reduction.

“We are glad to share our science-based solutions with Nestlé towards reducing emissions,” said Remy Bitoun, Head of IRRI Tech Transfer. “Crucial shifts in farming practices and innovative partnerships are necessary to minimize or mitigate trade-offs while ensuring sustainable and equitable agri-food systems for all.”