What is Regenerative Agriculture?
Regenerative agriculture is a conservation and rehabilitation approach to food and farming systems that, among other benefits, reverse climate change by building soil organic matter and restoring degraded soil organic biodiversity. Regenerative Agriculture goes back to working with natural systems, rather than against it. By prioritising practices to increase soil organic matter, regenerative agriculture aids in:
- Increasing biodiversity above and below the soil surface
- Improving water holding capacity of soil
- Drawing down climate-damaging levels of greenhouse gas emissions
- Improving soil structure
- Reducing soil loss
How can Regenerative Agriculture be achieved?
Agricultural practices such as ploughing, application of chemicals and fertilisers, overgrazing, etc. have the potential to have severe impacts on soil health. Regenerative agriculture can be achieved by prioritising agricultural practices that will contribute to building soil health, improving water infiltration and retention, increasing biodiversity and allowing for significant carbon sequestration (the process of capturing and storing carbon dioxide in the soil as soil organic carbon). In order to achieve the above, the following regenerative agricultural practices should be implemented to not only fight climate change but also allow for healthier soils:
- No-till/minimum tillage
- Planting cover crops
- Making use of crop rotation
- Applying compost and animal manures
- Reducing the usage of synthetic fertilisers
- Preventing over-grazing
By following an integrated approach toward environmental sustainability, the SIZA Environmental Standard contributes toward implementing regenerative agricultural practices by partnering with nature, protecting soil, improving diversity, and following a holistic approach.