Business solutions for climate: Agriculture

Agriculture is a large contributor to climate change, mainly because of deforestation and meat production, but a lot of alternative and sustainable models are already being developed all over the world. Agroforestry for instance provides a unique opportunity to combine the twin objectives of climate change adaptation and mitigation. How can we ensure that we produce enough food in a sustainable way for the generations to come? Discover four initiatives that offer solutions for a sustainable agriculture on #Ideas4Climate.

During COP24, 20 leading business newspapers feature innovative solutions to switch to a low-carbon economy. The international collaborative journalism operation Solutions and Co involves 20 international newspapers including The Financial Times, Les Echos, Kommersant, Hindu Business Line, Yicai Global, and El Economista. SolutionsAndCo is coordinated by Sparknews with the support of the Solar Impulse Foundation, the Climate Groupe, and UN Global Compact France.

Agolin has developed a feed additive that reduces cows’ methane emissions while improving milk yields

Beef cattle and dairy cows are responsible for nearly 10 percent of the worldwide human-induced greenhouse gases emissions. And it’s all about cows’ burps. One startup in Switzerland, Agolin, has found a way to reduce these GHG and improve the cows’ milk yield thanks to a plant-based feed additive: Agolin Ruminant, a natural blend of clove, nutmeg, wild carrot and coriander oil extracts. Currently, over 1 million cows en Europe are being fed with the additive, which represent around 3 million tonnes of CO2-equivalent saved every year. Read more on Yicai Global,The Hindu Business Line, Valor Econômico (in Portuguese), Il Sole (in Italian), El Economista (in Spanish), (Les Echos, Lëtzebuerger Journal and L’Economiste du Maroc (in French).

A single cow can release more than 100 kg of methane per year, mostly through belching © Agolin

Éléphant Vert produces 50,000 tons of biofertilizers each year

The agricultural sector is responsible for 11% of our global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. According to a report from INRA, moving to organic farming could reduce GHGs by more than 5%. Moving away from nitrogen fertilizers by using biointrants is one solution. Éléphant Vert is the first industrial bio-inputs hub in Africa. They produce various agricultural products (fertilizers, biostimulants and biopesticides) in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way. Their products are organic and economically viable. Read more on Yicai Global, The Hindu Business Line, Ventures Africa and L’Economiste du Maroc (in French).

Éléphant Vert seeks to further popularize the role of organic matter by organizing meetings in Morocco © Éléphant Vert

Save Our Agriculture: using aquaponic systems to reduce water consumption and carbon emissions

The Cameroonian agricultural sector suffers from poor production systems, partly because of soil degradation. This is why the start-up Save Our Agriculture was created in 2015, aiming to design and market aquaponic kits to grow vegetables and raise fish. Aquaponics is the combination of aquaculture (fish farming) and hydroponics (soilless crop cultivation). With the efficient use of water and space, food can be grown in urban areas, eliminating the need for the usual agricultural infrastructure, such as soil and equipment, and chemical fertilizers — that contribute to land degradation and release greenhouse gases. The technique makes it possible to produce two to three times more than traditional agriculture, considerably reducing water consumption and carbon emissions. Read more on The Hindu Business Line and Valor Econômico (in Portuguese).

The winners and sponsors of the Pierre Castel 2018 Award including Flavien Kouatcha, founder of Save Our Agriculture © Save Our Agriculture

Future Pump has developed solar-powered pumps to help smallholder farmers overcome water scarcity

There are 500 million one-acre farmers around the world. Rainfall has become very unpredictable due to climate change and fuel for petrol pumps is expensive. Based in Western Kenya, the company FuturePump offers a simple yet viable solution for small farmers : solar irrigation pumps that allow them to benefit from ponds of water surrounding them to grow their crops without relying on rainfall. They are the only 100% African business that has been able to scale-up their solution and grow tremendously in four years. Read more on Yicai Global, The Hindu Business Line, Valor Econômico (in Portuguese) and Les Affaires (in French).

The pump helps farmers avoid hours of labour and saves money that would have been used to buy expensive, dirty fuel for traditional pumps © Future Pump

Op-ed by Nicole Rycroft, Founder and Executive Director of Canopy

In her op-ed Nicole Rycroft highlights the threat posed by the sourcing of wood pulp -used for the production of paper, viscose and paper packaging- on climate and endangered forests. According to the founder of Canopy, solutions lie in protecting carbon rich forest landscapes and in investing in innovative solutions. Read more on The Hindu.

Op-ed by Thomas Papadopoulos, President of French Bureau; analyzing how retail giants can become more sustainable

Thomas Papadopoulos highlights the importance for giant retailers to revisit their current distribution models and to explore opportunities to reduce their environmental impacts. The President of the French Bureau urges the retail giants to understand and react to the contemporary deep societal challenges. Read more on Solutions&Co.

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