Why is Regenerative Farming So Important?
Regenerative agriculture is a system of farming and grazing practices that can reverse climate change by building healthy, biologically-diverse and mineral-rich soils, all the while sequestering carbon from the atmosphere. Global soils contain 2 to 3 times more carbon than the atmosphere. It is estimated that at least 50% of the carbon in the earth’s soils has been released into the atmosphere over the past few centuries, partly due to destructive agricultural practices.
Moving forward, regenerative farming practices presents an amazing opportunity to restore both carbon balance and the climate. This is because agriculture is the one sector that has the ability to transform from emitting CO2, to sequestering CO2. Sequestering carbon is key to halting the warming of our planet.
Even if emissions dropped to zero the planet would still continue to warm because of all the greenhouse gasses already in our atmosphere. Stopping emissions isn’t enough. We need to take carbon out of the atmosphere. Project Drawdown, has estimated that regenerative agricultural could remove an astonishing 23.15 gigatons of CO2 from our atmosphere by 2050! All the while making our soils healthier and our food more nutritious. It’s a win-win for people and the planet!
Industrial agricultural techniques like deep tilling, mono-cropping and an overuse of chemical fertilisers and pesticides, have diminished our soil’s natural ability to sequester carbon from the atmosphere. This means that the C02 that would normally be drawn down into a healthy, carbon-pumped soil, is now staying in the atmosphere and contributing to the warming planet. We need to change this quick smart!
Switching to regenerative practices will restore soil health and function, reboot plant activity aka photosynthesis, and enable nature to re-balance our currently out-of-whack carbon levels. Regenerative agricultural techniques include: using cover crops and perennials to protect the soil, no tilling, no pesticides or synthetic fertilisers, multiple crop rotations and bringing grazing animals back on the land in ways that mimic natural cattle migration. Regenerative agriculture also offers many benefits beyond carbon storage! It increases the soils water holding capacity, stops soil erosion, protects the purity of groundwater and sets up the conditions for crops to become more disease and pest resilient. The benefits are many-fold.
This kind of farming system improves our health by increasing the nutritional value of our food, the health of our planet by regenerating our soils and increasing the ability for soil to sequester carbon from the atmosphere, and the livelihoods of the farmers by providing better yielding crops in the long term.