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What is regenerative agriculture & what benefits does it bring?

What is regenerative agriculture?

It refers to an approach to farming that restores a more natural balance between the soil, crops, and livestock. Regenerative agriculture involves topsoil regeneration, boosting biodiversity, enhancing the water cycle, and promoting biosequestration (carbon storage through plant growth and soil).

Why do we need regenerative agriculture?

Half the world’s fertile soil has disappeared over the past 150 years, and the remaining half is forecast to last only 60 more years, posing a threat to global food production, according to groups including WWF and Sustainable Harvest International. This means there is an urgent need to restore fertile soil through more sustainable farming and land-use practices. Many argue that the overuse of artificial fertilizers and other chemicals has created imbalances in the microbial structure of soils, reducing their quality.

What does regenerative agriculture involve?

Regenerative agriculture is not a specific farming method. Rather, it can include a variety of techniques. Elements of regenerative agriculture include the avoidance of chemical pesticides and fertilizers, using composted materials by recycling on-site sources of waste biomass, no-till or reduced-till techniques (minimising the disturbance of soil from ploughing), crop-rotation, and the use of mulch or manure to improve soil fertilisation.

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What are the benefits of regenerative agriculture?

Regenerative agriculture can yield benefits that accrue to society at large as well as the farmer or landowner. These benefits include improved soil fertility, cost savings on avoided use of chemicals and imported materials, increased pasture and grazing land productivity, increased sequestration of atmospheric carbon (helping to slow climate change), improved water cycle, and increased plant and insect biodiversity. Landowners who choose to increase soil carbon sequestration may also be able to generate an additional revenue stream by registering their project through the voluntary carbon markets, earning carbon credits that they can sell in the market.

The Voluntary Carbon Markets can help farmers finance the transition to regenerative farming by enabling them to generate and sell carbon credits issued through the reduction in emissions and the removal of carbon from the atmosphere.

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