As we mentioned when looking at lowland irrigated rice, the method of establishing the rice in nurseries and then transplanting into fields has higher methane emissions than direct seeding.
In countries which produce transplanted rice, it can either be carried out manually (typical in countries with low labour costs such as India and China), or it can be done mechanically. The image here is of rice initially established on mats floating in a nursery pond in Malaysia which are about to be mechanically transplanted for lowland irrigated rice.
As we mentioned, this type of production is a major source of methane and also accounts for a large amount of fertiliser use. It can also have a negative effect on the physical properties of the soil such as impaction.
If this is done manually, the labour rights of workers are also a cause for concern. We will explore labour rights in food systems later in the course.