Drones, Sensors and AI enable Farmers to Produce More and Adapt to Climate Change

The heart of Southeast Asia’s economy beats to the rhythm of agriculture, as Asia Fund Manager’s Namrata Sen Chanda puts it, contributing 10 percent of the region’s GDP and more than 30 percent of jobs in some countries. Those benefits are, however, threatened by climate change. And, equally alarming, agriculture is one of the top causes of carbon and methane emissions that cause climate change in the first place. Agtech start-ups are leveraging IoT, sensors, drones and more to create solutions to reduce emissions and help farmers adapt.

A Simple Biochar Solution Increases Farmers’ Production by up to 95 Percent

When he was looking for his next role in 2021, WasteX CEO Pawel Kuznicki said, “I wanted to make an impact.” And that led him to set up WasteX, to turn agricultural waste into biochar. Biochar is the residue remaining after the pyrolysis - burning - of biomass such as agricultural waste. Biochar is a solution for both climate mitigation and climate adaptation, Pawel noted. “For mitigation, you remove carbon. For adaptation, you're making agriculture much more resilient, improving soil health, increasing yields, and reducing fertiliser usage. Given the climate crisis and how agriculture is affected by it, and how fertiliser prices affect farmers, we are creating mind-blowing value for them.” Farmers get higher yields and more income, and rice, corn or sawmill operators turn waste into cash.

Start-ups Key Role in Slashing Carbon Emissions from Buildings

Walk past a construction site, office building, home or factory and it might not seem like they’re spewing out any carbon dioxide at all. In reality, those buildings account for nearly 40 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions and more than a third of energy usage. To reduce their impact on climate change, leading-edge startups in Southeast Asia and globally are at the forefront of developing innovative solutions to reduce emissions from buildings.

Looqal Makes Shopping for Exquisite Sustainable Products Easy

Solving the pain point for consumers who want to shop for products from small sustainability-oriented companies was the reason for founding Looqal, said founder Joyce Teh. The problem consumers have, Joyce added, is that “Supply is fragmented. They chance upon them. The quality and authenticity are not verified. It’s made worse with greenwashing.” Looqal offers a single site for consumers to find quality products from small impactful businesses that support their communities and the environment.

Wear a T-Shirt & Reduce Climate Change - Xinterra Sucks Carbon Dioxide from the Air

To help solve one of the most pressing problems humanity faces, said Xinterra CEO Patrick Teyssonneyre, Xinterra focuses on developing materials such as textiles to remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air. “We know materials can help solve the problem. We started with textiles to make an impact,” he said. “Textiles can be bedding, tablecloths, towels or even national day flags.” The same concept can also be used in paint and other materials.
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