Climate: Ecosystems + Housing
Regenerating soil with cultivated kelp
Using cultivated kelp in regenerative agriculture to showcase application of biostimulants, which decreases dependence on chemical fertilizers.
About a third of the world’s soils are already degraded and, at current rates, all topsoils in the world will be degraded in just 60 years. In conventional agriculture, minerals like nitrogen, phosphorus, or potassium are often added to the soil in the form of synthetic fertilizers to replenish depleted nutrients and enable higher yields. However, fertilizer is expensive and often inaccessible for low-income farmers, leading to low yields and degradation over time. Without protecting and regenerating the soil, it will be impossible to feed the world, keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius, or halt the loss of biodiversity.
This solution is an exploration of the use of cultivated kelp in regenerative agriculture to showcase the application of biostimulants so as to decrease dependence on chemical fertilizers. Through strategic partnership between regenerative agriculture experts, reNature, kelp cultivator, Kelp Blue, and Kelp Forest Foundation are building capacity for kelp cultivation and application. The solution is an innovative approach to helping sustain healthy ecosystems both on land and sea.
The solution has not served any beneficiaries as of today because it has yet to be implemented. The current plan is to pilot the solution in a cotton-based model farm in Voi, Kenya, targeting a group of 1,000 farmers.
This solution bridges two markets; regenerative land and ocean farming, both of which are slowly being explored, especially the combination thereof. In 2021, the global regenerative agriculture market was worth USD 7.74 billion. The global seaweed market is currently worth about $8 billion and growing at an annual rate of 8%.
Outside of the partnership between reNature, Kelp Blue and the Kelp Forest Foundation, each organization works with others across the public and private sectors, including:
UN Global Compact
Wageningen University & Research
reNature also works with corporate partners like Nestle, Danone and Unilever in aiming towards large-scale transition to regenerative agriculture.
Regenerating soil with cultivated kelp seeks:
Expertise in building a sustainable business model
Financial support for enhancing the farmers' business capacity to absorb these regenerative practices and ensure the sustainability thereof
Support is needed to help the partners establish an efficient, collaborative approach and roadmap towards securing funding for the potential facility component of the solution, in addition to getting direct exposure to funders.
This solution has been co-developed in partnership between reNature Foundation and the Kelp Forest Foundation (KFF), two nonprofit entities working respectively to advance knowledge, awareness and practice of regenerative agriculture and cultivation of kelp. Both organizations are similarly associated with scaling commercial startups (reNature Foundation to reNature BV and KFF to Kelp Blue (KB))–as nonprofit arms of the commercial entities with independent operations.
While the two Foundations are co-leading this solution, the execution of it requires the products and services of their commercial counterparts: KB to provide the cultivated kelp and reNature BV to provide the regenerative agriculture expertise. Together, the four entities form the partnership behind this solution, each playing an equally integral role in the execution thereof.
This partnership is unique in its binding between two innovative, climate-proof practices (regenerative agriculture and kelp cultivation). In order to restore agricultural productivity and achieve food security for the growing population, a new sustainable approach is needed for agriculture and the partnership specifically seeks to decrease dependence on chemical fertilizers by designing and implementing a system applying cultivated kelp (macrocystis) biostimulants in regenerative agriculture, particularly agroforestry.
Headquarters: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Working In: Kenya
Current Employees: 8
Solution Website: https://www.renature.co/Solution Team: