Amsterdam, the Netherlands: At this year Thought for Food Academy in Rio de Janeiro, reNature Foundation inspired 200 next-generation innovators and entrepreneurs from 40 countries with their mission to restore nature through agroforestry. reNature presented a capstone project by teaching how to practice agroforestry in an urban environment. During the final presentation participants emotionally declared their mission to spread their belief in agroforestry being the solution to produce food and restore nature simultaneously.
“I work with farmers every day, but I never planted a tree. The feeling that you bring life is eye-opening.” Utsav Soni (24), student Mechanical engineering from India. reNature’s capstone at TFF contained one day of theory, one-day excursion and two days of hands-on agroforestry practice.
The first day of the academy reNature’s co-founder Felipe Villela (BR) took the participants along in their mission to restore nature, explaining the core vision that nature is in balance when left alone. Understanding that balance and utilizing it leads to abundance. In the afternoon Yuri Diniz (Carpe) showed his experience with agroforestry on his farm close to Rio. Keeping the soil covered, mixing companion plants, shrubs and trees, and bringing biomass back in the soil is key in agroforestry.
The second day was a field trip to Sinal do Valle, a permaculture education centre in the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. At Sinal Felipe and Yuri showed the theory to practice. How crops grow and thrive in decimeters of chopped wood and dirt, how cut in half banana trunks moist the soil for weeks and how foreign tree species became a part of the standard biodiversity of today's Brazilian rainforest.
At the third and fourth day of the academy, the capstone moved to L.U.P.A., where the next-generation innovators and entrepreneurs learned about agroforestry planting, composting methods and vertical farming. The group was divided in three to have more direct contact and space for questions. During these two days, the participants saw that urban agroforestry could bring nature back into the gardens and provide large quantities of food such as mango, banana, lemons, beans, lettuce, peppers, ginger, and edible flowers.
Thought for Food asked reNature to present at the academy because the founders Marco de Boer and Felipe Villela met at TFF’s Summit last year. The newborn foundation proofs that TFF’s mission to bring people together actually works. The two other capstones were presented by Syngenta and KWS.
Not for publication: reNature Foundation is a Dutch non-profit registered under RSIN: 858367142 and Dossier: 70542139 at the Chamber of Commerce, Amsterdam.
Our mission is to restore nature. We achieve this by uniting companies and organisations, by designing and implementing agroforestry systems that provide income for farmers and local communities, and by exchanging knowledge with companies, farmers, and universities.
For TFF partnering with Carpe http://www.carpe.com.br/ & L.U.P.A.
The Thought For Food (TFF) is the leading global organization engaging and empowering the next generation to feed 9+billion people by 2050. We help build talent, develop innovations and raise the reputation of the industry as a whole.