Regenerative agriculture, a term coined by organic farming researchers at the Rodale Institute in the 1980s, consists of holistic farming practices that aim to improve soil health and reverse climate change by expanding biodiversity, improving the water cycle, increasing organic matter in the soil structure, and transferring carbon from the atmosphere to the soil. Regenerative Agriculture avoids using chemical pesticides and advocates for methods like crop rotation, livestock rotation, composting, no-till farming, agroecology, and agroforestry.
Farm Up Jamaican’s Regenerative Agriculture
We do everything that standardized Regenerative agriculture does but our focus is to increase the amount of microbes in the soil and create nutrient-rich soil without the use of manure (animal fecal matter). This results in healthier, and more nutritious food with less crop insect populations. “If you won’t eat it, we won’t use it to grow your food” Neil Curtis, Executive Director.
Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) is an approach that helps to guide actions needed to transform and reorient agricultural systems to effectively support development and ensure food security in a changing climate. CSA aims to tackle three main objectives: sustainably increasing agricultural productivity and incomes; adapting and building resilience to climate change; and reducing and/or removing greenhouse gas emissions, where possible.
Farm Up Jamaican’s Climate Smart Approach:
We recognize that climate change as a process that has been continuous since the beginning of time. (ie.Ice Age) Our concern is the speed at which its occurring in today’s world. Farm Up Jamaica calls it “Rapid” Climate Change.
Our techniques are designed to slow down the release of carbon through researched and developed processes over the last eight years.
We don’t use Manure (fresh or broken-down animal feces). Our research has identified specific reasons why:
We’ve found manure to be a promoter of greenhouse gas release. When crops are grown with it we’ve observed a fast release of methane gas as manure is continually breaking-down.
This is a process where we take soil samples to the lab to determine exactly what elements or nutrients are missing. We then replace the soil deficiencies with natural green inputs to create perfect soil that will regenerate macro biology, microbes and nutrients naturally thereafter. Once configured it also slows the rate of carbon release to a fraction of its normal exhaustion. Farm Up Jamaica Soil Science.
Farmer are being profoundly affected by drought since the pattern of weather has drastically changed. Caribbean farmers can experience drought for up to 6 months out of a year- which contributes to crop failure and substantial losses. This also discourages farming across the region as many poor and distressed farmers cannot afford to carry on after a major drought.
Farm Up Jamaica uses two techniques to maintain soil moisture and combat climate drought
We have developed a system of soil mixtures and inputs to tackle drought underneath the soil. The formula helps to maintain moisture homeostasis at the roots. We protect our crops by adding this mixture at the root level to every seed, seedling or sucker planted. It protects the crop throughout the drought season.
Mulch is hands down the best technique we use to combat Rapid Climate Change and improve the soil. The benefits of mulching are so impressive that we recommend it to every farmer whether conventional or organic.
We cover the soil around our crops with heavy mulch once they’ve germinated. Mulch helps to sequester carbon, retain soil moisture,, protects the macro and micro organisms from the harsh sun, reduces the pressure of weeds by cutting off sunlight which stalls photosynthesis to the areas covered and doesn’t allow weeds to grow and breaks down into green compost to regenerate rich soil.
Who are we?
We are a United States 501(c)(3) Charity Organization. We are Jamaicans and friends who live worldwide and love Jamaica. We have a heartfelt interest to see the island recover. Many remember when agriculture was the backbone of the Jamaican economy and our loved ones grew and sold food to pave the way for our futures. Since then, the influx of inexpensive imported foods has made it impossible for our local farmers to compete, thus farming to feed the country has technically come to a halt.
Organic food production offers distressed farmers and youth a new opportunity. Many Jamaicans dream of returning home and assisting their communities to rekindle the heritage of “growing what we eat”. Farm Up Jamaica serves as the catalyst to connect Jamaica to the World and effectively get the job done.
Our goal is to help people who are living on the Island, to achieve their basic human right to make a decent living. Because Jamaica is mostly rural in its land composition, agriculture is a very viable option. Our organization’s long-term impact can put a whole nation back to work while reducing crime and poverty. While Organic farming is quickly becoming a major interest worldwide, we believe that Jamaica is strategically positioned to supply the local and export markets with organic food.
Why is Agriculture the Solution?
We specifically farm foods off the high import list to reduce imports locally and supplement foods that are missing in the export markets. Jamaica imports around US$1 billion worth of food annually and only exports approximately US$250 million. The disparity is huge and affects the stabilization of the Jamaican Dollar tremendously. Some of this money could be spent with local farmers and agri-processors and reduce the amount of foreign currency we are buying to pay for food that we can grow ourselves. We are farming with a purpose and would like to have a substantial impact on the land we love.
Why do we want to help?
Rebuilding opportunities for Jamaicans has become a serious concern for us. Money remittances have become the crouches of many who can’t find jobs which generate sufficient income in order to live. Crime reaches its highest levels when people have nothing to do. Jamaicans who live abroad are sending approximately 2.3 Billion USD annually to their loved ones. There are only 2.7 million occupants living on the Island which implies that the majority of the population receives some form of remittance. The funds we send, in many cases are necessary, but these remittances are taking a toll on the Jamaican mindset by creating dependency on those who receive it. While those who are sending, in many cases, struggle to make ends meet in foreign countries. Farm Up Jamaica is a sustainable solution for creating opportunities locally and lifting the financial burdens on Jamaicans worldwide.