Estância da Ponta, Brazil
- DefinitionDevising project idea, defining the aim and main components
- DesignSpecifying details such as time-frame, budget, target indicators, project partners and relevant steps to reach the project objectives
- Open to FinancingSearching and securing funding and investment, setting up relevant financing partnerships, and discussing payment modalities
- ImplementationExecution of feasibility studies, context analysis, plot design, planting and setting up facilities and starting with potential capacity-building
- MaintenanceOperational phase (monitoring and evaluation, impact assessments and adjustments, execution of educational programmes and long-term capacity building)
- Scaling UpScaling up phase is when the project it has already shown success by obtaining impact as well as economic results and it's ready to become replicable.
This project which was initiated in 2018 focuses on the regeneration of precious soil, as well as the support of local biodiversity in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. It does so by introducing an innovative farming system: Managed, grass-fed cattle in rotation alternating with the cultivation of soybeans, rice, and pastureland. Together with the local farming company Estância da Ponta, reNature will counteract soil degradation and biodiversity loss starting on 200 hectares with the aim to ultimately expand 4500 hectares. We will introduce a financially sustainable system that harmonizes with the local Pampa ecosystem and its natural soil aptitude – grasslands.
The need for diminishing chemical usage
At the moment, monocultures and limited crop rotations are the applied agricultural practices. Now, the challenge is to transition to a system of 100% crop and cattle rotation. Further, current farming practices are mainly conventional – relying on synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. The input of those needs to be diminished in order to counteract soil degradation and reduce adverse health impacts for the farmers.
The solution: Regenerative practices
reNature and Estância da Ponta are going to tackle these challenges by developing and implementing a regenerative model farm and a model school. While the former will focus on designing, implementing and showcasing the most feasible systems in the local context, the latter is an educational facility providing the relevant capacity-building for the farmers and farm managers.
The overarching objective is to regenerate soil and support local ecosystems and biodiversity while providing a sustainable, and financially viable business model.
Creating an inspirational example
50 people are currently directly involved on the farm. By showcasing the benefits of a regenerative system, this project will reach and inspire the farmers and communities of the western region in the state to take on similar approaches. The region’s economy is primarily based on cattle farming and agriculture.
Fostering land and farmer
The introduction of a regenerative system integrating cattle, soybean, and rice farming will increase water availability in the soil and improve its quality. It will lead to an increase in soil organic matter and foster local biodiversity (micro and macro-biota).
All these combined will result in a more resilient ecosystem. Further, the project will benefit the climate, as carbon sequestration will be increased drastically.
The project will provide a number of social benefits for farmers and the communities in the region mainly coming from the reduced application of agrochemicals. It will lead to healthier soil, cleaner food, water, and support life in the whole ecosystem. A healthy ecosystem, in turn, supports human livelihoods through its services.
Economic resilience for long-term farm prosperity
Increasing and recovering soil fertility and system stability, the new system will enhance the farmers’ economic resilience. The system will be less prone to shocks, for instance, from extreme weather events, such as droughts. Further, farmers will benefit from reduced dependencies on the outputs of their soy plantations as their systems will be diversified by pastureland.