The task of regenerative agriculture is to create profitable farms which deliver ecological services and the social benefit to agricultural communities. And profits really matter, as nothing can be sustainable if it is not economically viable. For sustainable food production, we need a fundamentally more profitable approach. Regenerative agriculture makes that possible. In fact, it can produce a whole series of positive benefits. Here are eight of them:
- Increasing food security by avoiding soil collapse and by making our food systems more resilient to both extreme weather events and changing weather patterns, while increasing the home-grown percentage of what we eat. This is about proactively enhancing food sovereignty.
- Reducing flood risk by exponentially improving the ability of the landscape to absorb rainfall absorption. This is about proactively managing for an effective water cycle.
- Restoring healthy populations of bees, other pollinators and predatory insects which will make food production even more resilient and anti-fragile. This is about proactively increasing biodiversity.
- Making agriculture an ecologically positive investment sector. Investments in regenerative farming not only offer profitable returns, but also the potential to build the core asset: the soil. This is about proactively re-shaping the investment marketplace.
- Empowering a consumer-led, demand-driven revolution. Growing affordable, healthy, nutrient-dense food on regenerating soils will create conditions under which the mass market will work in favour of nature by buying high-quality food, grown regeneratively not agrichemically. This is about proactively unleashing the potential for a new paradigm.
- Creating a new knowledge industry. Whereas industrial agriculture is input-intensive, regenerative agriculture is knowledge intensive. This means as the world moves in this direction, early adopters will have an opportunity to monetize their expertise across the world. On top of that, there are spin-offs and related technologies throughout the entire supply chain that offer opportunities for creating economic value. This is about proactively creating sustainable jobs for the future.
- Renewing rural communities not just economically but also socially and psychologically. Economically, rural poverty is well documented including the dynamics of young people tied to family farms earning pocket money in the anticipation of eventually inheriting the family business. Research shows how regenerative agriculture can create more employment, reduce the seasonality of that employment, be more attractive for the next generation and by being more profitable, transform the stress dynamics which are endemic in the current mainstream. This is about proactively managing for abundance.
- Unlocking land ownership. Many family farms are caught in the trap that the only way for the older generation to be able to retire is to sell the one asset they have: the farm. Its simply not viable for the next generation to buy land based on achieving a return through farming to finance the purchase. With regenerative agriculture we can reverse this trend and enable a new generation to afford to make careers in the countryside. This is about creating a new platform for freedom.