can regenerative agriculture feed the world



A review of the literature written between 2007 and 2020 indicates that small-scale regenerative agriculture can indeed feed the world, but would require economic, dietary, policy, and cultural shifts. In terms of yields, smallholder farming already accounts for well over half of the world’s food supply.

Why regenerative agriculture?

 · With over 25 years of experience in agriculture, Donna Kilpatrick specializes in pasture-based livestock production, ecosystem restoration, and land stewardship. She leads Heifer Ranch in Perryville, Arkansas where she serves as an Accredited Professional with the Savory Institute, the world’s leading regenerative agriculture organization …

How do we create regenerative food systems?

 · Drawdown concludes that ‘regenerative agriculture could provide a 1.9 trillion USD financial return by 2050 [globally], on an investment of 57 billion USD.’ © Pexels Pixabay General Mills 1.9 trillion USD is a very large pie, so it’s unsurprising that massive food companies want a …

Can organic agriculture feed the world?

 · Before we go further with this conversation we must first acknowledge two things: 1) that it simply isn’t our responsibility as individual farmers or ranchers to feed the world and 2) more importantly that neither regenerative or industrial practices can feed a infinitely growing population on a planet with finite resources.

Can regenerative agriculture sequester a critical mass of CO2?

Without protecting and regenerating the soil on our 4 billion acres of cultivated farmland, 8 billion acres of pastureland, and 10 billion acres of forest land, it will be impossible to feed the world, keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius, or halt the loss of biodiversity. How Does It Work?


What are the negatives of regenerative agriculture?

The list of negative impacts is long: large land use requirements for growing feed, overuse of antibiotics for fattening operations, poor manure management leading to air and water pollution, and 50% of total agricultural greenhouse gas emissions.

Is regenerative agriculture better for the environment?

Regenerative agriculture describes holistic farming systems that, among other benefits, improve water and air quality, enhance ecosystem biodiversity, produce nutrient-dense food, and store carbon to help mitigate the effects of climate change.

Can agriculture feed the world?

According to estimates compiled by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), by 2050 we will need to produce 60 per cent more food to feed a world population of 9.3 billion. Doing that with a farming-as-usual approach would take too heavy a toll on our natural resources.

Can regenerative farming reverse climate change?

At Rodale Institute, we have proven that organic agriculture and, specifically, regenerative organic agriculture can sequester carbon from the atmosphere and reverse climate change.

How effective is regenerative farming?

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.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of regenerative agriculture?

By not tilling the soil, farmers can save between 30 and 40 percent of time, and can decrease the amount of soil erosion in certain terrains, but the disadvantages of regenerative agriculture are, in many cases, that more unwelcome plants grow on the land, and some farmers compensate for this by increasing their use of …

Why can’t organic farmers feed the world?

This nitrogen is ultimately derived from artificial fertilizers used to grow crops to feed the animals on conventional farms. In a worldwide organic scenario envisioned by the researchers, this would not be possible, so the nitrogen scarcity would be critical. This would lead to worldwide famine.

Can we feed the world without fertilizers?

The scientists’ answer is that organic agriculture can feed the world with lower environmental impacts – if we cut food waste and stop using so much cropland to feed farm animals.

Can organic agriculture sustainably feed the world in 2050?

There is no clear-cut answer. Adrian Müller, senior researcher at the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), and his co-authors show that a 100% conversion to organic agriculture reduces nitrogen surplus and pesticide use but needs more land than conventional agriculture because it has lower yields.

Is regenerative farming scalable?

Though regenerative agriculture is considered a win-win for both farmers and the environment, broad adoption of these practices has yet to be achieved. This lack of scale can be explained by the cost and risk taken on by farmers when they choose to adopt new regenerative practices.

How can regenerative agriculture help with the current climate crisis?

reducing soil disturbance to promote stabilization of organic matter on soil mineral complexes. increasing the amount and diversity of organic residues returned to the soil. maximizing nutrient- and water use efficiency by plants. restoring microbial life essential to soil health and biodiversity.

Does regenerative farming reduce methane?

The high-quality feed also reduces methane emissions from livestock, as it is easier for them to digest, also decreasing the need for antibiotics.


How Does It Work?

The key to regenerative agriculture is that it not only “does no harm” to the land but actually improves it, using technologies that regenerate and revitalize the soil and the environment.

Regenerative Agriculture Practices

The following farming, ranching and land use practices are used to create regenerative food systems and healthy natural ecosystems.

The Next Food Crisis?

Unlike COVID, the threats posed by climate change are not new—we’ve been warned over and over that our food production systems are not sustainable.

Regenerative Food Systems

For most of our dinner plates, the journey from “farm to fork” is not quite so simple—it’s more like farm (or boat) to processor to distributor to retailer, with the itinerary shaped by private finance, government subsidies, consumer marketing and dozens of other factors.

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A Better Future for Food

I’m an economist by training, a conservationist by vocation, and a farmer at heart. For all these reasons, food system reform is deeply personal to me. It’s personal because of the kinship I feel with others who make their living providing food.

Tell us about your background. How did you arrive at your current work?

I got into agriculture in 2003 or 2004. I’m passionate about sustainability, and I worry about the climate crisis. My family’s farm, Fazenda da Toca, was founded in 2008, and at that stage, it was a 1,400-hectare farm in the State of Sao Paulo. My grandfather bought the farm in 1970, the year I was born, so it has been in our family for 50 years.

What are some of the key successes and learnings for you and your organization?

There are not many people doing what we’re doing, trying to do regenerative organic agriculture on a large-scale. When we started here on the farm, we had a very ambitious project. We had three factories: one for milk, one for juice production, and one for eggs. And that was very complex.

Why are we not seeing more large-scale regenerative projects in Brazil or other countries?

That’s an excellent question. I believe a similar analogy can be made with electric cars. Why couldn’t we see more electric cars before Tesla? For me, it’s a question of someone taking the initiative to begin large-scale production of them, with adequate infrastructure. That is precisely what I feel like we’re doing with these farmers.

What are the main opportunities and barriers in financing regenerative agriculture?

That’s a challenge, and that’s precisely our challenge right now. After all, we need capital to make Rizoma grow. Not only that, but we also have to invest in infrastructures, such as silos and logistics, to enable this network to thrive. We have been in the process of raising capital since the end of last year.

Where do you see your work in five years?

I hope that in five years, Rizoma Agro will expand and successfully create a network able to impact many hectares. Our business plan has the goal of impacting 300,000 hectares in 10 years, but I hope we can achieve it in five. With the right investments, we can safely get there, without any of the dangers that affect these big farms.

Can Organic Agriculture Achieve High Yields in Developed Nations?

Since 1946, the advent of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, improved crop varieties and industrial paradigms are credited with producing the high yields of the “green revolution.” Because organic agriculture avoids many of these new inputs, it is assumed that it always results in lower yields.

Will GMOs Feed the World?

Argentina is a good example of what happens when a country pursues the policies of market deregulation and GMO crops. It is the third-largest producer of GMO crops, with 28 percent of the world’s production. By the 1999-2000 season, more than 80 percent of the total soybean acreage, or 6.6 million hectares, had been converted to GMOs.

Conclusion: Organic Agriculture Can Feed the World

The data thus shows that it is possible to obtain very good yields using organic systems. This is not uniform at the moment, with many organic growers not yet producing at the levels that are achievable.

Farming to A Dead End

Just like over half of the world, I have lived my life separated from agriculture in urban environments. What do I really know about how my food arrives on my plate? Food packaging and advertising show me happy images of green patchwork landscapes and colourful farming machines ploughing golden fields of lined-up cr…

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How Does Regenerative Agriculture Help?

  • Farmers who use regenerative farming methods cooperate with nature. They grow plants using methods that revive ecosystems. These methods are complex and various, because each is unique to the ecosystem, soil characteristics and climate of a farm. Some common regenerative agriculture principles, however, include: 1. Create permacultures 1.1. A permaculture is an ecosy…

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How Does Regenerative Agriculture Work in Practice?

  • Was all that information a bit overwhelming? I’m a lifelong city boy with no agricultural experience, so I know how you feel. I recently lived on a small farm called Witchwood, however, which is a great example of regenerative agriculture in action. © Jill Redwood

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Can Regenerative Agriculture Feed The World?

  • I have experienced the many benefits of regenerative agriculture for myself, but I fear it might be less efficient than intensive agriculture: it’s no coincidence that population numbers exploded alongside the rise of intensive agriculture. Can we really feed this many humans — and more — without fertilisers, herbicides or monocultures? One of the largest-ever scientific analyses of reg…

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What About The Economics?

  • Crop yields should not be the sole criterion by which we judge the viability of regenerative agriculture, especially not its economic viability. More crops do not automatically result in more money for farmers. In the case of Brown’s Ranch, Gabe Brown claims that after years of financial strife the ranch now generates 100 USD profit per acre, per year. ‘If you build a healthy farm ecos…

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Soil Salvation

  • The global food system is complex enough to make your brain explode, but two hard facts are at its core: without healthy soil, food struggles to grow; without food, humans cannot exist. Our overwhelmingly widespread intensive farming methods are threatening soil health across the world. The Soil Science Society of Americasays one inch of topsoil can take several hundred yea…

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