Fazenda Três Meninas, 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
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.
Três Meninas Farm is applying for a grant financing method due to the monetary amounts needed for the conversion to regenerative agriculture have already been invested by the farm itself since 2016. These funds to be obtained from the financing will be used to expand the coffee area in addition to the other stated objectives.
The Fazenda Tres Meninas is a coffee-producing farm and located in the Cerrado Mineiro region, a traditional coffee area in Brazil. They strongly believe that a nature-balanced production farm tends to be a transforming agent in the region, improving the livelihood of rural producers and employees, beyond transforming the landscape of the region. For this reason, the project consists of the implementation of a brand-new and well succeed tested model farm/school of regenerative agriculture. Through diversification wood, production is added to the farm. To further improve the system, it is necessary to reinvest the amount already used for the conversion of conventional to regenerative agriculture, the implementation of agroforestry and infrastructure, and renovation of the coffee plantation with more resistant varieties. Once this system shows that a profitable balance between nature and production can be established it will become a replicable showcase of the region.
The project has the possibility of influencing 234,000 hectares and 4,500 producers of coffee in the Cerrado Mineiro region showing the process and the profitable possibilities “in and out the portress” – by adding value on final coffee, beyond saving money on the fields as the system tends to need fewer pesticides and external inputs, as it is getting balance. Therefore, once this practice is showing balanced and profitable, it’s becoming definitely replicable.
Challenges in the development of the Cerrado Mineiro are mainly affected by conventional techniques on soils management such as monocultures with the abuse of pesticides and chemical fertilizers. High temperatures during coffee flowering lead to fires that are also related to climate change and cultural issues. To change towards a more sustainable coffee production qualified labor on harvest and fields as well as specialized technical assistance for instance in regenerative agriculture is lacking.
Três Meninas Farm has been practicing regenerative agriculture in 100% of its productive area for 5 years, in other words, this is not a pilot project. Together with reNature, it will be possible to implement the Model Farm/Model School, agroforestry, and coffee renovation, transforming the farm’s landscape and facilitating, training, and serving as an example of high-quality profitable regenerative coffee growing.
Practicing regenerative, clean, carbon-negative, profitable agriculture in partnership with nature. As well as becoming an attractive showcase for the 4500 coffee producers in the Cerrado Mineiro region and ultimately transforming the landscape of this region.
100% Regenerative farmland
Fazenda Três Meninas is a family business, and its mission is to have Nature as its partner in every decision that is made. Building a balanced, resilient, and fair production environment results in lower production and maintenance costs as a systematically healthier crop is less vulnerable to pests and diseases, in addition to contributing to the improvement of the planet through significant carbon sequestration.
Management based on biological fertilizers, green manure, and reforestation is some of the actions implemented since 2016 when the farm was acquired. In 2019, Fazenda Três Meninas sequestered more carbon than was emitted, in a positive balance of more than 5 tons of carbon per hectare.
According to Imaflora (2020), the farm is part of 5% of the most sustainable coffee farms in the world. This is an important fact-based indicator, no longer a hypothesis. Today (2021) this number has grown due to the greater intensity of the farm’s daily cultural practices. A very relevant fact for this carbon result is that Fazenda Três Meninas has adopted regenerative agriculture in 100% of the area, the regenerative practices are already established and operating for several years.
Completing the circle of regenerative practices
Três Meninas Farm has already planted more than 3,000 trees and in this new phase of the project will increase this planting in addition to the massive use of different cover crops. According to the latest research, these actions result in milder temperatures (better microclimate), cycling of nutrients, shelter for micro and macrofauna. In addition, it provides a barrier against the wind, reducing the need for irrigation, so that water can be saved in the system.
Completing the circle of regenerative practices and increasing carbon sequestration leads to a more resilient environment and positively impacts the region’s landscape. For the production, they hope to achieve better-maturing uniformity, which is reflected in the quality of the final coffee drink.
Inspiring the 4500 coffee farmers in the region
The example of regenerative agriculture will inspire thousands of farmers over time. The farm will function as a model farm in the region that can be studied and multiplied. The model school will educate university students, teachers, and farmers through workshops. In addition, workshops will be held in schools and or on the farm itself, with a theoretical and practical focus to raise awareness among the younger generation. This project contributes to the quality of life, as it provides food security, more nutritious food, and improved income for the farmers involved. To scale this impact, the project will work closely with strong regional organizations and local partners.
Having nature as a partner is the guiding principle that governs all decisions at the farm aimed at achieving sustainable land in terms of environmental health, productivity, profitability, and quality human relationships with those they work with. A living soil in an environment with greater biodiversity makes it possible to reduce production costs, healthier food, increase carbon sequestration. In short, a virtuous cycle in which farms become healthier in environmental and economic terms. As the farm is located in the Cerrado Mineiro region, the traditional coffee producer region, it may lend itself to the inspiration of 4500 coffee producers in that region.