A new agricultural initiative supported by CEFC will target the regeneration of underperforming farms while reducing their carbon intensity and improving sequestration. CEFC has made a foundational commitment of $ 50 million to the Transforming Farming Platform (the Platform) on behalf of the Australian government, as well as a first $ 50 million from the global agricultural impact fund, the Kempen SDG Farmland Fund.
The science-led sustainable agriculture initiative will be managed by Gunn Agri Partners, a specialist agricultural asset manager based in Australia with a portfolio of $ 300 million. The platform will cover mixed farming assets in Australia’s main growing areas and focus capital investments in underperforming small and medium farms to help increase productivity and optimize land use.
Using expert advice from a team of leading agronomic and environmental advisers, including CSIRO, the platform adopts data-driven practices to make farms more productive and resilient in a changing climate.
This includes the integration of regenerative agriculture methods and improved land management techniques to optimize yield productivity, reduce carbon emissions, and sequester carbon. By integrating CSIRO data, including their yield research, the platform will examine cropping systems, weather and soil data, and crop variability to optimize production.
CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth said the approach would be transformative for the farms in the portfolio.
“All over Australia, farmers are turning to the latest technology to help them grow more productively and sustainably. We are delighted to support the broader use of research from groups such as CSIRO to improve the energy efficiency of farms and optimize production, soil carbon, biodiversity and other environmental outcomes, ”said Mr. Learmonth.
“Small-scale, mixed-use Australian farms can reap tremendous benefits by using best practice-based farming techniques to increase profitability and productivity while reducing their carbon footprint. It is a win-win development for farmers, agriculture and emission reduction.
The Regenerative Agriculture Project also has the potential to generate Australian Carbon Credit Units for carbon sequestration in soil and biomass, to meet the demand for verifiable measures of climate and sustainability goals in climate change projects. reduction of emissions.
Gunn Agri’s portfolio manager for the platform, Bradley Wheaton, said integrating agricultural and environmental management practices to generate market-linked returns is at the frontier of institutional investment in Australian agriculture. .
“As managers of agricultural assets for institutions, our financial performance is completely transparent. What is revolutionary here is that we have incorporated the same responsibility into providing soil carbon, vegetation carbon, emission reduction, biodiversity and other sustainability measures.
“CEFC asked if we can target certain carbon emissions and sequestration outcomes and make sure we can achieve them. We have developed a comprehensive set of metrics that track our performance, and we establish a baseline and report on these with independent assurance from the entire framework.
CSIRO predicts that future global food security depends in part on obtaining the highest possible yields from existing farmland. Increased efficiency in agriculture, combined with greater resilience to the growing impact of climate change on Australian agriculture, could help farmers meet the growing global and domestic demand for Australian agricultural products.
By establishing sustainable production early on, the platform will gather valuable data to demonstrate the link between regenerative and sustainable agriculture, soil carbon, and asset productivity.
CEFC is an active investor in the agricultural sector, having committed more than $ 500 million in small and large-scale agricultural projects, including emerging initiatives on soil carbon – one of the five priorities identified in the low-emission technology statement of the technology investment roadmap.
Together with Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA), CEFC also worked with CSIRO on the development of FarmPrint, a unique tool designed to enable Australian farmers to monitor, compare and assess their carbon footprint on the farm.
Agriculture is a significant and growing contributor to global emissions. About two thirds of emissions from food systems come from agriculture, land use and land use change.
With the world population expected to reach 10 billion inhabitants by 2050, agricultural production will need to increase by at least 50% compared to that of 2012.