Traditional methods of growing rice in Australia require large amounts of irrigation with rice submerged in a flooded paddy. In fact, to grow a single kilo of rice you need an average of 1,500 litres of water. According to the United Nations Environment Programme flooded paddy fields are also said to be responsible for 10 per cent of total global methane emissions.
But at The Natural Rice Co we do not grow using conventional growing methods. We believe water is one of our most important natural resources. Water management is key for sustainable agriculture. That is why our focus is radically reducing irrigation. How do we do this? Because we are located in a sub-tropical climate with high rainfall our crops are predominantly “Dryland”. In some rice paddocks we do use supplement irrigation, but flooded rice paddies are not required. This unique and environmentally positive farming technique is estimated to reduce water use by up to 65% as compared to traditional growing methods.
Estimates are that world-wide rice production will need to increase by 25% over the next 25 years to meet global demand. This increase will put greater pressure on our environments and water resources. The sustainable farm practices of Natural Rice Co are a positive initiative to manage this increasing demand whilst ensuring we succeed in more efficient land and water management. At Natural Rice Co we see that it is our responsibility to make sustainable decisions for not only today but future generations to come.