The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Netherlands has approved a grant to reNature, an organization that supports farmers and corporations in the transition towards regenerative agriculture & agroforestry. With the grant reNature can support the Brazilian companies FarFarm & DeMendes to prepare a compelling business case for a sustainable model of regenerative agroforestry farming in Santa Bárbara do Pará in the Northern Region of Brazil.
The awarded grant is part of the Origination Facility of the Dutch Fund for Climate and Development (DFCD). The origination facility is managed by WWF and SNV. The DFCD fund is managed by a pioneering consortium of Climate Fund Managers (CFM), Worldwide Fund for Nature Netherlands (WWF-NL) and SNV, led by the Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank, FMO.
This project works with local communities based in Santa Barbara, Pará, in the Northern Region of Brazil. These communities reside in remote villages in the Amazon Rainforest. They are currently using unsustainable techniques to clear land for cattle grazing or monoculture cassava plantations for income generation.
Through the adoption of a regenerative agricultural model, these communities can see a major increase in income. This is achieved through the reduction in costs for artificial inputs and an increase in productivity and yield. According to Fabricio de Campos, DFCD regional lead for Latin America, these farmers could earn significantly more than what they currently earn from their cattle and mono cassava farming practices.
In the beginning of the regenerative agroforestry cycle, it is necessary to focus on a key cash-crop for income generation. reNature specializes in creating regenerative agriculture models to grow cash crops in accordance with the natural environment, always working towards the complete regeneration of soil. reNature is working in collaboration with Farfarm to pilot a regenerative cotton lab in the region. A regenerative organic textile clothing brand who already has a committed off-taker for the regenerative cotton that will be produced.
Given the nature of a regenerative agroforestry system, the first few years need to focus on faster growing, cash-crops, such as cotton. As the years go by, the system starts to resemble a real forest, ultimately leaving the farmers with solid trees 20-30 years down the line. Fabricio de Campos says that these trees serve as the family’s “retirement plan.”
The grant from the DFCD supports reNature, Farfarm & DeMendes in the development of a business case to properly scale its approach. By next year, the forecasts are that the number of families participating in the Farfarm project will grow from 32 to 100. In total, 100 hectares will be transformed. On the other hand DeMendes preserves 230,000 hectares and impacts over 3,000 local communities. Through reNature’s technical assistance approach, the farmers will have incentives to grow their business model. After the business model is complete, the project can apply for the next stage of the DFCD - a grant to undertake what's needed to get investment ready.
With the DFCD support reNature is able to assist more farmers and communities in the Amazon to regenerate degraded land with scalable agroforestry systems. Furthermore, by measuring impact on carbon sequestration and social food security, reNature will develop a robust model to be replicated across the region.
Including the Forest is more Profitable than Deforesting it. Agroforestry can really change the livelihoods of farmers & communities in the Amazon. It’s an agricultural system that preserves the forests, provides food security, diversifies farmers income and through the bioeconomy can also give farmers an additional income through the generation of carbon credits. It’s time to pay farmers for the impact they’re having on preserving the forests and regenerating soil.Felipe Villela, founder of reNature.
By adopting a regenerative model for tropical farming the smallholders can earn way more than by cattle ranching and they can increase their food security. Instead of burning the forest and depleting the soil, this project proposes to work with the forest by introducing a variety of crops - e.g. corn, cassava, potatoes, tropical fruits, hard wood and cotton – in a system that matures as time progresses and fully integrates with the forest.- Fabricio de Campos, WWF DFCD Regional Leader - Latin America and Caribe
Collaborating and leading the Regenerative Cotton Lab Pilot with reNature, DeMendes and with the support from DFCD meets perfectly the purpose of FARFARM, which is to regenerate nature through agroforestry systems and bringing positive social development to the farmers and the region. FARFARM has been working with the communities from Santa Bárbara do Pará for quite a while and we are committed to improving their lives.Beto Bina, founder of FARFARM.
Making chocolate that comes from wild cocoa harvested with communities that preserve the Amazon Rainforest is what brings my life a purpose. We can protect over thousands of hectares of forest if we expand our way of working with communities, generating a decent income throughout the process.César DeMendes, founder of DeMendes Chocolates.
reNature Investments BV (reNature) is a Dutch for-profit organization. reNature develops and implements regenerative agriculture and agroforestry systems that generate both short and long-term income for the local farmers & community and have a positive impact on the environment.
If you'd like to know more about the DFCD, please click here.