Regenerative agriculture is the key to our future.
It increases soil carbon, biodiversity and climate resilience. It improves water quality, regenerates the land and provides good livelihoods for farmers.
More companies and farming organisations are taking regenerative agriculture seriously than in the past. Many are now seeing it as an essential strategy to achieving net zero commitments and offering an alternative to unsustainable, intensive agriculture.
However, challenges remain regarding how to bring regenerative agriculture to scale. The process of transitioning from conventional agriculture to regenerative agriculture within supply chains is only now starting to be more widely explored. Questions remain about the strategies that work, the costs involved, the partnerships required and the inclusion of smallholder farmers.
About Regenerative Agriculture: Growing Pains?
Practical Action, in partnership with IDH The Sustainable Trade Initiative, hosted a series of sessions entitled ‘Regenerative Agriculture: Growing pains?’ in September 2021, which explored specific challenges and opportunities that are related to implementing regenerative agriculture in the Global South.
Moderated by Katie Hyson from Business Fights Poverty and Sarah Roberts, CEO of Practical Action, each session created a space for organisations and companies to take a deeper dive into the emerging role of regenerative agriculture and discuss new approaches to overcome existing and pending challenges.
Session 1: Tuesday 14th September
The first session “Making regenerative agriculture work for smallholder farmers” explored the challenges of implementing regenerative agriculture at a project level, with discussions highlighting the ‘on the ground’ experience.
Session 2: Thursday 16th September
The second session “Developing company-wide action on regenerative agriculture” looked into how organisations can shape regenerative agriculture into companywide strategy, with panellists discussing how to implement learnings from a project, and build it into the overarching company strategy.
Session 3: Wednesday 22nd September
A recording of the final session ‘Bringing regenerative agriculture to scale’ can be viewed below. This session brought together experts from across the agriculture system to share experiences of successful partnerships and explore the role of collaboration and multi-stakeholder action across sectors to advance equitable and regenerative food systems.
Benefits of Regenerative Agriculture in Kenya
Evalyne Akoth, a farmer from Kisumu County, Kenya and Sarah Roberts and Oliver Furechi, the CEO and Project Manager at Practical Action respectively, conducted a podcast interview with Katie Hyson at Business Fights Poverty based on the “Regenerative Agriculture: Growing Pains?” sessions, to help dig deeper on what farmers really think about regenerative agriculture and what it means in action.
During this podcast, Evalyne Akoth, whose farm is in Kisumu County, Kenya, – shares her perspectives on mixed regenerative farming, climate change, and getting young people into farming for the future. During this conversation, Practical Action’s CEO, Sarah Roberts, and Oliver Furechi, – the project manager who has been working with Evalyne in Kenya – also joins Evalyne in this discussion. Together, they discuss why innovations in finance and payments for conservation are needed; how we can help bridge the gaps between bigger businesses and small holder farmers; and what advocating for those hardest hit by climate change really means.
You can listen to the podcast here.
This event was a vital staging post on our journey to the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow 2021.
As official observers at the talks, Practical Action used examples and research from our regenerative agriculture projects to work with negotiators from the Global South.
Together, we helped to strengthen their arguments against intensive farming techniques, and made the case for putting regenerative methods at the forefront of the global response to climate change.