Dutch startup Agreena has secured $4.7 million seed capital for its initiative to support farmers, who have switched to regenerative farming practices.
Agreena aims to provide a platform that rewards such farmers by issuing them a “CO2e-certificate” that can be bought and sold on their platform. The reasoning behind the new company’s endeavor is simple.
As the sector responsible for nearly a quarter of all of Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions, the main reason behind modern farming’s emission-intensiveness is the industrial agricultural methods that have been widely used over the last several decades. These same farming practices have also led to a worrying decline in natural diversity.
As a way to make up for these harmful effects and reduce the carbon footprint of the sector, many are now turning to a new approach described as regenerative farming.
In essence, the approach is largely a return to a gentler and more sparing way of doing things, such as, for instance, giving unproductive land back to the environment and restoring peatlands or creating woodlands.
These practices have been proven to not only boost wildlife but also store CO2 emissions in the soil.
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Circling back to Agreena, the Dutch start-up wants to create a carbon marketplace, where it will mint, verify and sell carbon credits that come from farmers involved exactly in this transition from industrial to regenerative forms of agriculture.
In its initial stages, the process will involve farmers registering their land and receiving advice on how to make the transition. Once they have made the necessary changes, they will be monitored by Agreena using soil verification and satellite imagery.
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Later, after they have received their “CO2e-certificates, they can choose to sell them either independently or through Agreena’s carbon marketplace to companies seeking to buy their carbon offsets. The platform will also allow buyers to track their carbon reductions at a field level.
The Dutch firm has already pre-sold over 20% of its minted carbon certificates and says to have contracted in excess of 50,000 hectares of land during its first year.