Here's what we think.....
Farmers, and the real assets under their management, represent a massive Natural Capital sector of the global economy where significant productivity reserves lay untapped, but equally significant obstacles to growth are present.
The potential to use Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Algorithmic Analysis and Machine Learning to develop RegenAg Designs and Practices to identify and unlock productivity reserves is enormous.
The ‘sleeping giant’ of farm productivity will be regenerated and provide economic benefits along the supply chain, and environmental and social benefits for all our communities.
Farmers use chemicals to produce the majority of our food. These chemicals put lots of carbon into the atmosphere - contributing to catastrophic climate change and devastating our capacity to produce nutritious food.
Put simply, we need to take carbon back from the atmosphere and put it in the ground to improve soil health and fertility.
We can do this using Regenerative Agriculture…or RegenAg for short. RegenAg goes beyond organic. It regenerates the life, fertility and resilience of the soil, and uses methodologies which can be adapted to use on any farm.
There is documented evidence that when RegenAg techniques are implemented at scale, they have a profound impact on whole ecosystems.
Few things are as interwoven with human existence and culture as
food. At the most basic level, we need it to survive. Beyond sustenance,
food can bring joy and takes a central place in cultures around the
world, often as the centrepiece of celebrations and festivities.
The current food system has supported a fast-growing population and fuelled
economic development and urbanisation. Yet, these productivity gains have come
at a cost, and the model is no longer fit to meet longer term needs. Shifting to a
circular economy for food presents an attractive model with huge economic, health,
and environmental benefits across the food value chain and society more broadly (Ref: "Cities and Circular Economy for Food; Ellen MacCarthur Foundation 2019) .
Natural capital underpins our economy and society. It is the foundation upon which rural economies are based and it protects and enhances the lives of all communities. Our natural capital is finite and under pressure. This pressure will increase further as the climate changes and the global population rises.
We need to find better ways of managing our natural assets, making them more resilient, or we risk losing the benefits that we receive. Research undertaken by the UK Government’s Natural Capital Committee showed that the state of natural capital is such that many of the benefits we currently receive are at high or very high risk of being lost. These benefits include: clean water; carbon storage; protection from hazards and our wildlife.
There is a very positive case for investment. If our governments are to meet their stated objectives for the environment then investing in natural capital is a necessity. Investing in natural capital is not a budgetary black hole. We know that the benefits of investing in natural capital far exceed the costs. . There is a positive case to be made for land managers, business and the state to invest in natural capital assets; until now, this is poorly understood and difficult to implement.