Global
Agriculture

Italy

Farming Stories project: Protecting Water in Rice Farming

Protecting Water in Rice Farming

Italy is not only a large producer of pasta, but it is also Europe’s number one exporter of rice: Italian short-grain rice varieties are held in high regard by chefs and gourmets all over the world since they are particularly suitable for making risotto. The Piedmont region is said to be the “rice bowl” of Italy and is home to the Coppo-Garrione family who owns and runs the “Tenuta Darola” rice farm located in Trino Vercellese: 1,000 hectares of farm land are managed by the family, including 400 hectares which are owned by the Coppo-Garriones. Due to its significant size and technological advancement, the farm is regarded as a trendsetter in rice production. Furthermore, the history of the farm is deeply connected with that of the region which is why the family has a large responsibility in caring for the land and supporting rural culture. Water is the most important component for rice production, and diligent water management is key for sustainable rice farming. Tenuta Darola, which is part of the BASF Farm Network, focuses on excellence in rice cultivation and on how this traditional farming practice can balance high-quality harvests as well as respect for farmers, operators, consumers and the protection of biodiversity, water and natural resources.

 

Why

Water is a key element in rice production all over the world: it is crucial for the growth of the plant but also for the life of birds as well as amphibians and other aquatic organisms who populate and reproduce close to flooded rice paddies. In addition, in the Po Valley in Italy, rice paddies contribute to hold water coming from mountains before they reach main rivers and finally the sea, in fact filtering water and recharging groundwaters that replenish drinking water. Therefore protecting the quantity and quality of this rice paddy water is vital. 

How

Tenuta Darola supports rice cropping excellence and assesses the environmental sustainability of BASF solutions like the Provisia® rice system and Seltima® fungicide. In partnership with DISAFA (the Department of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences at the University of Turin) studies on correct water management before and after using plant protection products were conducted to determine how best to reduce the risk of crop protection residues in downstream waterways. Based on the study we confirmed that label instructions related to good water management practices are essential to protect water quality in rice paddies.


Result

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1.800
hectares of Provisia® rice monitored and used for trainings

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330
water samples and 126 soil samples analyzed

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210
farmers, advisors and technicians trained on good agricultural practice with focus on resistance management and water management

SDGs

SDG 15 – Life on Land

Our product stewardship team does not compromise on safety for humans, animals and the environment. At Tenuta Darola, we develop good agricultural practices for managing water quality in rice cultivation.

SDG 17 – Partnerships for the Goals

We partner with the Department of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences at the University of Turin to determine the best possible agricultural practices to ensure optimal water management and reduction of residue risk.

Farming Stories project: Riso Chiaro - Transparent Sustainability in Rice Farming

Riso Chiaro - Transparent Sustainability in Rice Farming

In partnership with specialized digital start-up Ez Lab, BASF and the Tenuta Darola farm started their first blockchain project for rice production in Italy. The Riso Chiaro project traces data from the rice grain to sowing and harvesting, providing transparency from the grower to the end-consumer.

 

Why

Traceability in the agri-food industry is key to consumer confidence. Blockchain technology brings the needed high level of transparency, using a shared database for the secure saving, storage and transfer of data. The innovative digital technology offers a new model for granting and certifying good cultivation practice, origin and quality of the “made in Italy” rice. Combining the agronomic, technological and digital competences of the three project partners, the Riso Chiaro promotes sustainable agriculture along the value chain.

 

How

For Riso Chiaro, Tenuta Darola uses the AgriOpenData system provided by Ez Lab to collect and save various data, including details on the geography of the land, the varieties planted or measures like irrigation, fertilization or use of crop protection products. The grower can then transfer this information to all interested parties along the value chain, ideally all the way to the end-consumer, to promote the excellence of his product.


Result

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40
farms have introduced Riso Chiaro on 30 ha each

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30
tons of Carnaroli rice certified in 2019

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9.000
tons of paddy rice planned to be certified in 2020

SDGs

SDG 12 – Responsible Production and Consumption

With the Ez Lab AgriOpenData system we achieve highest transparency on good agricultural practices used in rice cultivation, like irrigation, fertilization or use of crop protection products.

SDG 17 – Partnerships for the Goals

We partner with specialized digital start-up Ez Lab to introduce blockchain technology to rice cultivation to support value chain transparency from grower to end-consumer.