Thai researchers track greenhouse gases from rice field

Writer: Patcharin Sae-heng, Project Assistant, Thai-German Climate Programme (TGCP) – Agriculture

The Thai government is striving for more precise and verifiable field measurements in its quest to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from rice farming.

A training on measuring greenhouse gas emission from paddy fields was organized for the first time in Prachin Buri province, central Thailand, by the Rice Department in collaboration with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and Germany’s main international cooperation agency, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH to set up a  high quality greenhouse gas emission database.

About 20 researchers from the local rice research centers and rice seed centers that are responsible for six provinces in the Central Plains were trained to analyze and collect greenhouse gases from the paddy field.

This shall contribute to Thailand’s plan to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture in the future.  In December 2016, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha pledged to reduce emissions by at least 111 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalents at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris. It is foreseen that the local teams of researchers of Rice Department will collect and analyze gas content from paddy fields and send the data to headquarter, which works closely with the Office of Agricultural Economics and the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning, the country’s main agencies that monitor implementation of climate change policy in the agricultural sector.

The training was held at Prachin Buri Rice Research Center between 25 and 27 March 2019.

The training sessions spanned three days, aiming to enhance the understanding among trainees of the greenhouse gas measurement methodology and the logistics of operation and reporting among the Rice Department’s researchers and the team that will overlook the data collection at Rice Department.

Future training sessions will focus on the correct handling of gas chromatographs, which is sensitive scientific equipment needed for analyzing gas emissions.  

The Thai-German Climate Programme (TGCP) – Agriculture project has embarked on its journey to counter climate change since 2018, supporting Thai agencies in developing a national MRV system for the rice sector that meets international standards.

The local researchers collect greenhouse gas fluxes, primarily methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) in a paddy field by using a Manually-Operated Closed Chamber in the field in Prachin Buri province, Thailand. (Photo credit: Prachin Buri Rice Research Center)
The local researchers collect greenhouse gas fluxes, primarily methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) by using a Manually-Operated Closed Chamber in the field in Prachin Buri province, Thailand. (Photo credit: Prachin Buri Rice Research Center)
National and International experts from the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), rice research centers and GIZ Thailand hold a meeting to discuss a push for more effective database system to eliminate the impacts of climate change in Prachin Burin province, Thailand. (Photo credit: Prachin Buri Rice Research Center)
National and International experts from the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), rice research centers and GIZ Thailand hold a meeting to discuss a push for more effective database system to eliminate the impacts of climate change in Prachin Burin province, Thailand. (Photo credit: Prachin Buri Rice Research Center)

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