Restore Africa Fund
https://www.restore-africa.com/ – The disclaimer on the cover page is always applicable.
The degradation of natural capital, globally but also in Africa and then specifically South and southern Africa, has become an issue of major concern. It is impacting negatively on water and food security and affecting biodiversity and sustainable development in general. The detrimental impacts of the degradation on the well-being of people and the cost of living is intensified through changes in climate and the deepening social fragmentation and disillusionment; the entire society is increasingly more vulnerable and exposed to food and water security-related risks. These impacts are detrimentally affecting the lives of millions of people in countries like South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Zambia, Malawi, etc. Much can be done though. The restoration of natural capital, most notably the soils, can mitigate these impacts and help societies to adapt to the challenges we are facing, also refer to www.restory.co.za.
Conventionally restoration has been viewed as a cost or expenditure item only. A recent study, however, has shown that it is possible to consider restoration as an investment. This opportunity, while covering a broad spectrum of possible restorative interventions, is most notably also applicable to investments in conservation and/or regenerative (climate smart) agriculture. This is agriculture that makes use of concepts like minimum soil disturbance, crop rotation, cover crops and the introduction of herbivores (e.g. cattle and sheep) into the crop production system where appropriate and applicable.
This allows for the healing of the land over time, increased biodiversity (also the diversity and robustness of the soils), improved water infiltration, much reduced erosion and thus the sustained and enhanced productive capacity of the land. This healing of the land has a major beneficial impact on the well-being and livelihoods of people, contributing to the healing of people.
This healing process can and will make a major contribution towards assisting the country and the region to achieve several of the sustainable development goals (SDGs), namely.
- SDG Numbers 1 & 8: No poverty, decent work and economic growth
By providing ample opportunities for economic development within the agriculture and restoration industries ensuring food security and thus a productive work force.
- SDG Number 2: Zero hunger
By contributing towards sustained agriculture and the enhancement of the productive capability of the land it will contribute towards a period of zero hunger.
- SDG Number 3: Good health and well-being
By investing in restorative practices through conservation and regenerative agriculture the food quality, as measured in terms of food density, will improve. This is supported by the increasing use of non-GMO crops and the reduction in the need for chemical substances.
- SDG Number 6: Clean water
One of the main advantages of conservation and regenerative restorative practises, in addition to enhanced biodiversity, above and below soil carbon storage and increases in food density is that of an improved water cycle through the improved water infiltration and storage capability of the soil. This improved water cycle leads to improved waste dilution and sustained, or prolonged, improvements in the water base flow.
- SDG Number 12: Responsible consumption and production
Increases in food produced in terms of conservation and regenerative practises will lead to improvements in responsible production of food through the reduction of the use of harmful and detrimental chemicals.
- SDG Number 13: Climate action
Increases in above and below soil carbon will lead to great advances with respect to climate change adaptation and the mitigation of the atmospheric CO2. This is due to the application of the principles and practises of cover crops, minimum soil disturbance and having a living root in the soil all-year round, among others. This enhanced soil carbon enriches the soil leading to further adaptation to climate change by improving system-wide resilience.
- SDG Number 15: Life on land
Conservation and regenerative agriculture subscribe to the notion that the farm is part of a larger biodiversity rich ecosystem and agricultural lands can do much restore landscapes and conserve and protect biodiversity through a range of restorative practises such as the maintenance of pollinator strips and the introduction of bee hives, among others.
To advance climate-smart, conservation and regenerative agriculture as well as other restorative interventions that will heal the land, two venture capital companies, Restore Africa Fund (12J) Proprietary Limited (“RAFF 12J”) and Restore Africa Fund Proprietary Limited (“RAFF”) (collectively “Restore Africa Funds” or “RAFFs”) were formed. Refer to https://www.restore-africa.com/ – for more details.