Five projects using community-led regenerative agriculture to fight climate change

Image credit: Creative Commons, Georgina Smith, CIAT

Five projects using community-led regenerative agriculture to fight climate change

Through regenerative agricultural practices, which increase soil fertility and carbon storage, net zero food and fiber systems can be achieved globally. These sustainable growing techniques also provide food security, improve livelihoods, empower women, and increase biodiversity.

Here are five community-led projects featured in the One Earth Project Marketplace that are using regenerative agriculture to drive the charge toward a more environmentally conscious and resilient future.

1. Veterans Creating a Viable Tree Crop Economy in the Northeastern United States

US Marine Corps veterans are working to promote regenerative agriculture training, education, and employment opportunities in Upstate New York. This project from the White Lion Farms Foundation seeks to empower veterans and improve mental health through horticultural therapy and animal husbandry.

The 98-acre rural demonstration site showcases resilient ecological agriculture in a cold temperate region and features tree crops, water management, and environmental restoration. The long-term goal is to create a thriving local ecosystem that showcases perennial staple crops while empowering veterans and promoting community involvement.

2. Restoring Traditional Agroecological Cotton Production in Tamil Nadu, India

The Oshadhi Collective aims to build a seed-to-sew supply chain with regenerative cotton farms in the Erode region to combat cancer rates and environmental degradation caused by the conventional textile industry.

This project from Fibershed will build an on-site soil laboratory for testing and evaluating field soil and specialized compost. This laboratory will help revive traditional agroecological farming practices in the local cotton industry.

Partnerships have already been built with fashion brands who are committed to purchasing cotton production from this project, ensuring that there will be a supportive economy and market value. It is an excellent example of how the fashion industry can be made more sustainable and equitable.

3. Empowering Rural Cambodian Women Through Sustainable Victory Gardens

Poverty rates in Cambodia's Pursat Province have risen, with over 22% of people earning less than USD 2.7 daily. Rural Cambodians also face the impacts of climate change, making floods, droughts, and heat spells more frequent. Women bear the brunt of this challenging situation.

The Face-to-Face Project in Cambodia is leading a two-year Victory Garden Campaign to empower 2,200 families to cultivate gardens to provide nutritious food for their families and communities. The gardens will help women avoid physically demanding day labor, which can lead to severe injury and factory jobs that often require them to live apart from their families.

Gaudence Nzomukunda stands among the trees she has grown on her land in rural Burundi.

Gaudence Nzomukunda stands among the trees she has grown on her land in rural Burundi. Image credit: Courtesy of One Acre Fund

4. Growing Trees and Supporting Women Farmers in Burundi

One Acre Fund has launched a community-led tree planting project in Burundi, East Africa, which aims to help over 100,000 women farmers plant 2.5 million new trees, including a mix of timber, fruit, and nut varieties. The project will aid erosion control and soil quality while also generating income for families, improving the ecosystem, and providing nutritious food.

Nearly 80% of the project's training participants are women, aiming to address the lack of access to resources and services for women in agriculture in Africa. The project is part of One Acre Fund's goal to plant one billion trees across sub-Saharan Africa over 15 years.

5. Expanding Diverse and Resilient Food Systems for Landless Farmers in Zimbabwe

La Via Campesina (LVC), a movement of rural African farmers, is expanding its work in Zimbabwe and neighboring countries to promote agroecological practices to address the impacts of industrial agriculture, climate change, and health epidemics.

This project from the Agroecology Fund aims to educate a new generation of leaders in regenerative agriculture. Local community members will learn about seeds, biodiversity, GMOs, and climate science through training. It will uplift farmers, women, youth, Indigenous peoples, and migrants.

Community-led regenerative agriculture projects hold the potential to address multiple global challenges, such as climate change, food insecurity, and economic inequality.

By prioritizing the restoration of ecosystems and supporting small-scale farmers, these initiatives can create more resilient and sustainable food systems that benefit both people and the planet.

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