The Royal Danish Embassy in Bucharest and Agreena ApS jointly organized the “Regenerative Agriculture for Economic Development” event on Tuesday, January 17. The discussion focussed on how sustainable agricultural practices benefit farmers financially and the environment.
The session was moderated by Mihaela Monica Vasile, Agreena Romania's Market Lead. Among those invited to speak were Anca Mihaela Isac-Chief and Simon Haldrup, co-founder and CEO of Agreena, Uffe Balslev, ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary, Cristiana Lucia Constantinescu, director of the program coordination directorate at AFIR, Valeriu Tabără, academician and president of the Academy of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences, and Aurel Badiu, professor and vice-president of the Academy.
“Agriculture is the only industry that can generate carbon emissions while having the ability to store carbon in the soil. At the same time, it can store it in the soil, making it the industry that has the potential to prevent climate change and create an entirely new source of revenue for farmers. In recent years, the EU has started to develop the legislative part of the carbon market and to find solutions for farmers and the environment,” Mihaela Monica Vasile, Market Lead Agreena Romania, said.
The transition to a modern, resilient, and sustainable European agricultural industry will be shaped by the new Common Agricultural Policy, which went into effect on January 1, 2023. The National Strategic Plan, which is in effect for the following four years, provides almost 15 billion euros in financial support for agriculture in our nation. The Director of the Program Coordination Department of AFIR, Cristiana Lucia Constantinescu, noted that some of these monies would be used for regenerative agriculture.
“We have three new eco-schemes, two dedicated to environmental practices. One focuses on arable land practices and the other aims at practicing smallholder agriculture. We have tried to offer farmers new possibilities that can contribute to achieving the goals of sustainable agriculture in the long term. Farmers must apply this technology on an area of at least 50% of the cultivated area, and here we are talking about farms with more than 10 hectares. Another specific condition of this eco-scheme is the diversification of crops from arable land or the planting of at least two trees per year per farm,” Cristiana Lucia Constantinescu added.
Farmers can afford the price of switching to regenerative methods thanks to the AgreenaCarbon platform. The adoption of sustainable agricultural techniques may be a way to mitigate the effects of climate change, according to one of the participating farmers, Alexandru Haită of SC Alvalex SRL in Călineşti, Teleorman county.
“I started studying regenerative agriculture back in 2009. In 2018 we had the opportunity to implement a transition plan from classic to conservative agriculture on the type of soil on the farm. Our farm location has difficult terrain, 40% clay, and excess moisture. Farmers must adapt to climate change, so we must take advantage of the economic opportunities. Shortly, when the EU reaches the area where we will approach that CO2 per total industry, carbon certificates will have much greater weight,” Alexandru Haită explained.
The mixed-methodology approach used by AgreenaCarbon is very relevant to smaller-scale farms. It combines an IPCC-aligned GHG farm model created by leading institutions with five years of real-world data, overlaid with soil and climate data inputs.