Vietnamese Methods to Reduce Methane


  • Vietnamese rice farmers are pioneering new methods to cut down on methane emissions.

Vietnamese Model of Rice Cultivation

  • Irrigation Methods: Vietnamese Rice farmers are adopting a water-saving irrigation technique called alternate wetting and drying (AWD). AWD reduces methane emissions because it keeps paddies moist but not constantly flooded, unlike traditional methods.
  • Using Drones: To save labor costs they are opting for drone technology.
  • Stubble Disposal: Once crops are harvested, he no longer burns the rice stubble — a major cause of air pollution in Vietnam. Instead, it’s collected by the Loc Troi Group for sale to other companies that use it as livestock feed and for growing straw mushrooms, a popular addition to stir-fries.

Rice Cultivation & Climate Change

  • Rice is a semi-aquatic plant cultivated in flooded fields, where it thrives under a layer of stagnant water.
  • This creates the ideal anaerobic conditions for bacteria to thrive on decomposing organic matter (mainly rice straw residue) and release methane.
  • Poor absorption by the rice plant of nitrogen-based fertilizers, often overused by farmers, leads to nitrous oxide emissions.
  • This phenomenon contributes significantly to global methane emissions, with rice production alone accounting for approximately 10% of these emissions worldwide.

India’s Methane Emissions through Agriculture

  • India’s methane emissions in 2016 were 409 million tonnes of CO2e of which, 73.96% were from the Agriculture sector, 14.46% from the Waste sector, 10.62% from the Energy sector, and 0.96% from the Industrial Processes Product Use sector.
  • The two predominant sources of methane emissions in India are enteric fermentation and paddy cultivation.

Measures to Reduce Methane Emissions

  • National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA): This mission by the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmer’s Welfare promotes climate-resilient practices, including techniques that reduce methane emissions during rice cultivation.
  • Livestock Management: The National Livestock Mission promotes practices that can reduce methane emissions from livestock. These practices include:
  • Green fodder production
  • Silage making
  • Chaff cutting
  • Total mixed ration feeding
  • Biogas Programs: The New National Biogas and Organic Manure Programme (NNBOMP) and the gobar-Dhan scheme encourage the use of biogas produced from cattle dung and organic waste.
  • Though India has opted for various measures, however, India is not currently part of the Global Methane Pledge, an international agreement to reduce methane emissions by 30% by 2030.