Mitti Labs, a tech-enabled project developer, has launched five rice projects across India aimed at reducing methane emissions, increasing water security, and building farmer resilience.

Mitti Labs is working alongside the Syngenta Foundation, Ebro Foods and Dr Reddy’s Foundation for this.

A media statement said Mitti Lab’s first five projects will cover 30,000 hectares and will deliver an annual reduction of 120,000 tonnes of CO2e emissions. The emissions reduction will generate high-quality credits that help to diversify credit buyers’ portfolios, as well as making a significant positive impact on water scarcity and farmer livelihoods within the region.

10 more in the pipeline

To deliver these projects, Mitti Labs is working alongside more than 40,000 smallholder farmers to embed and measure more sustainable agricultural practices. The work will increase the financial resilience of participating rice farmers, who earn the majority of revenue from each carbon credit sold, increasing their annual incomes by up to 30 per cent, it said.

The company’s 120-person operations team works with on-the-ground community partners to activate grassroots networks and train participating farmers in new agricultural techniques that can reduce methane emissions by 50 per cent and water consumption by 30 per cent.

The statement said Mitti Labs has 10 more projects in the pipeline, and plans to mitigate 360,000 tonnes of CO2e per year by the end of 2025. This strategy will be supported by a planned funding round in early 2025.

It said that the company’s Digital Measurement, Reporting, and Verification (dMRV) technology ensures rigorous verification of project impact, enabling buyers to purchase carbon credits with confidence. The business has deployed AI models trained on ground data and remote sensing to accurately measure climate impact.

Climate solution

This is underpinned by its collaborations with leading academic and research partners to advance measurement practices around methane abatement.

Mitti Labs is backed by VC investors Lightspeed and Voyager, with early support from Harvard Innovation Labs.

Quoting Xavi Laguarta, co-founder at Mitti Labs, the statement said: “We embarked on this journey with the belief that every climate problem is a climate solution. Our goal is to transform traditional rice farming, changing both the environmental footprint of rice and the lives of farmers who are already battling extreme climate-induced drought. We can’t ignore methane in the quest for net zero, and this means driving finance straight to the source to help farmers adapt their agricultural techniques to a changing climate. We’re working closely with farmers and partner organizations to build confidence in a new type of rice farming, and a new type of carbon credit.”

Devdut Dalal, co-founder at Mitti Labs, said: “Our projects are a major step towards a more sustainable and resilient future for a critical crop in India. By leveraging our partners’ existing community networks, we are not only reducing emissions but also changing farmers’ lives with additional revenue streams and building an agricultural landscape in India that can thrive despite the climate challenges ahead.”

Hemant Mohapatra, Partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners, said the potential for change in global rice farming is immense. Not only is it a leading contributor to methane emissions, it is an industry at risk due to climate change. “We believe Mitti Labs’ innovative, tech-driven approach is set to be a game-changer in the fight against methane emissions, and we are excited about the potential for scaling its model across India and beyond,” Hemant Mohapatra said.