Satellite data provider Tenchijin launches climate-adaptive rice brand: Space Big Data Rice

A new brand of Japanese rice is grown in traditional paddies but enabled by an offshoot of JAXA, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. That offshoot, Tenchijin, developed Space Big Data Rice in partnership with a large rice wholesaler and Paditch, an agricultural startup focused on water management. 

Rice has been cultivated in Japan for over 3,000 years. Around 300 varieties are marketed and consumed, many of which require specific soil and climate conditions. Due to climate change, farmers might not be able to grow rice reliably where they once did. This is where satellite imagery comes in. Using images and data captured from space, Tenchijin Compass — a land evaluation engine — can identify suitable plots of land and help farmers plan their seasonal operations accordingly, allowing them to adapt to changing conditions. 

Tenchijin's project also uses big data from space to advise farmers on irrigation, which Paditch facilitates with app-controlled sluices that open and close to let water in and out of rice paddies. Space Big Data Rice's first harvest soon sold out when it was introduced in December 2021; this year's batch is available now.

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Climate change is here and now, and the consequences need dealing with. With its Space Big Data Rice, Tenchijin links a B2B solution to a B2C product. The startup isn't just using big data from space to create climate adaptation for a daily staple; it's also telling consumers that story through product and branding.

In the face of a crisis so massive and all-encompassing that it can seem insurmountable, brands can offer consumers solace by presenting concrete solutions that demonstrate resilience. How can your organization bring its background fixes to the fore?

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