The importance of soil

December 13, 2019

As we look for scalable ways to either reduce or absorb carbon, we cannot afford to ignore the incredible potential of soil. Regenerative agriculture ranks 11th in Project Drawdown and has massively positive economic returns as well. The industrially farmed top soil is eroded and exhausted in many places and yields are already minimal despite massive fertilizer use. A transition to sustainable farming techniques is needed, but more so a path to regeneration of soil is required. This is what, a Netherlands start-up led by farmers, is working towards. They have established a proven methodology using no tilling, cover crops, crop rotation and composting to rebuild soils rich with organic matter, microbiology and minerals. But more so, they develop a market place where regenerative farming is rewarded by buyers of verified carbon certificates.  This can provide the much needed transition funding while the soil is rebuilding itself for dramatically better results in later years - sustainably. 

But can it be done? Here is an inspiring and hopeful documentary about the importance of soil and how it can be regenerated in permaculture. Astonishing result reported by John D. Liu at Regeneration International, which is just eye opening to me. You can also learn more at The CarbonUnderground.

Think of the potential this could have as carbon storage (3x more in soil than in plants) when considering the changes in "disrupting the cow" (ReThinkX research report), as we outlined in a recent post. What is now exploited animal farmland can become lush vegetation with carbon-intensive top soil. It is a matter of providing a regulatory framework and transition funding on a large scale. Companies like SoilHeroes and NORI lead the way here. We, as investors, can support innovative companies to build the connection.

Ralf Schroeder

Looking for ways to align my portfolio with my values and beliefs.