This was added today in response to comments on the Linkedin Agribusiness of Australian.
Thanks for your comments and suggestions!
Your statements have made me look at what I have written on the Australian Farmland Conservancy website to ensure clarity.
Jan, I take your point about focusing on WA, but that is where I am and I have to start somewhere.
You will see that as the agricultural methods are refined and promoted, conventional farmers will begin to adopt agro-ecological methods and show that profit can still be made. This will give confidence to others to adopt.
The comment "The measurable are extraordinarily optimistic and far too broad: there are many programs working in this space and no one activity could claim responsibility for measures such as these ... 70% of farmers have adopted better practice regenerative agricultural methods; and 2000 new farmers practising regenerative agriculture in Western Australia" They are optimistic and broad, but I think when funds become available the goals are achievable. Agriculturalist are always developing better practices.
If we take No-Till/minimum till and a practice, over the past 20 or so years there has been an adoption of greater than 70%. To achieve 2000 new farmers, although bold, is possible.
Currently there are around 5000 agriculturalists in the Wheatbelt of WA. If half of those could find one salary/position managing or working their under-utilised land, that would give 2500 new positions. As Miguel Altieri so eloquently put it 'scale in agriculture should not be about area, but about the number of farmers'. Currently most board-acre farmers are only utilising about 25% of sun light and converting that into dollars. Agriculturalists that have animals in the mix fair a lot better.
The main aim of the Australian Farmland Conservancy is to purchase (the acquisition stream) land to improve food production/security and to inspire and train (the education stream) new farmers, as well as 'prove up' (the research stream) agro-ecological methods that can be adopted (without charge) by conventional farmers.
The Australian Farmland Conservancy land will be leased to established and new agriculturalists so they can operate their own businesses. The lease fees will be used to acquire new land and build infrastructure to increase water and diversity security.
In the process of regenerating the landscape and soils for agricultural production appropriate revegetation activities will take place to manage wind, water and fire risk, provide shelter for stock and crops, provide the opportunity for wild harvest of perennial foods, fibre and protein.
The Australian Farmland Conservancy's primary focus is not revegetation of the landscape with native plants and providing habitat to native animals, or purchasing and protecting valuable ecosystems as the Tasmanian Land Conservancy, Australian Wildlife Conservancy and Nature Conservancy do. It is developing, producing and promoting regenerative agricultural methods that build soils using plants, and using animals to manage the plants. This process will produce nutrient dense, seasonal local produce that will generate profit for the business people involved.
Tessa, 'Landcare' is embedded in the methods of food production and considered strategic to catchment and landscape and therefore soil management. 'Landcare' in the Australian Farmland Conservancy business model will come first, ahead of production, unlike as currently happens in conventional agriculture (generally) which is, if the money gets tight landcare is the first to be dropped from the programme.
The Australian Farmland Conservancy project is in its development phase and is open to questions, comments, ideas, suggestions and support.
I hope this adds some clarity