Prevalence of Regenerative Agriculture (RA) Across the World

We Discuss the Prevalence of Regenerative Agriculture in Countries Around the World, and look at Statistics, History, Definitions, and the Future.

By Ana Yong

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Overview of RA, Permaculture, Organic Farming and Sustainable Agriculture

Regenerative Agriculture (RA)

The Climate Reality Project (2019) defines RA as “a system of farming principles and practices that seeks to rehabilitate and enhance the entire ecosystem of the farm by placing a heavy premium on soil health with attention also paid to water management, fertilizer use, and more”.

In addition, states that RA deals with improving soil health by restoring the fertility of contaminated or worn out soils where such practices are founded on traditional and instinctive farming methods.

Rodale Institute, in a White Paper entitled Regenerative Organic Agriculture and Climate Change” claimed they can prove that RA can impound carbon from the air and turn back climate change by employing photosynthesis and good quality soil to reduce greenhouse gases.


The Permaculture Research Institute states that Permaculture “integrates land, resources, people and the environment through mutually beneficial synergies – imitating the no waste, closed loop systems seen in diverse natural systems”.

Permaculture solutions are holistic and can be practiced in rural and urban scenarios of any size. It permeates into areas of “agriculture, water harvesting and hydrology, energy, natural building, forestry, waste management, animal systems, aquaculture, appropriate technology, economics and community development”.

Permaculture creates agriculturally efficient habitats that are resilient and stable as natural ecosystems in a sustainable manner. The aim is to work together with nature using systems that would evolve organically over time.

Prevalence of Regenerative Agriculture (RA) Across the World: Woman planting seedlings in a row of plants under a blue sky
Planting spring transplants at Pasture Song Farm in Pottstown, PA. Pasture Song is a small-scale, sustainable meat and cut-flower farm.
More photography at and
More from the farm at

Organic Farming

The Organic Farming Research Foundation defines Organic Farming as prioritizing crop efficiency to create healthy foods, robust soils, strong plants and flourishing environments. Farmers utilize natural fertilizers and practice methodologies like crop cover and crop rotation to allow time for the soil to rejuvenate. By replenishing organic matter into the soil, it is able to absorb water better, thus reducing the hazards brought on by drought and flooding.

Genetically Modified (GM) seeds and artificial pesticides are not used. A buffer area is constructed around organic farms to reduce the incidence of synthetic farm chemical contamination from nearby conventional pastures.

Sustainable Agriculture (SA)

According to the Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education Program by the University of California, the objective of SA is “to meet society’s food and textile needs in the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.

SA strives to meet the three objectives of creating a healthy ecology, monetary success, and social and economic equity that involves everyone in the food industry from farms to retailers and consumers.

Diverse groups may choose to implement different techniques in practising SA, for example, farmers may focus on enhancing soil health while consumers may only want to buy foods that originate from environmentally friendly sources.

Cross Implementation

It seems that RA, Permaculture, Organic Farming and SA do not stand alone as far as having unique and independent farming methods. There is a cross application of agricultural approaches and systems to attain the best output for any scenario.

hands in soil planting seedling
Photo by GreenForce Staffing on Unsplash

Six International Government and Private Organizations that specialize in RA

1. Kiss the Ground

Established in 2013, this non-profit organization is located in Venice, California (USA). It believes that consumers and producers have the technical know-how to save nature and design food systems that do not harm the ecology. To encourage soil carbon sequestration, Kiss the Ground cooperates with various distinct parties in the community.

It was also featured in a full-length documentary narrated by actor, Woody Harrelson with a 45-minute scholastic version available free to educational institutions.

Helpful Resources

Kiss the Ground liaised with nine RA certifiers to find out more about their certifications & verifications. Click here for more details.

In addition, there is a ‘what you need to know’ section on the U.S. 2023 Farm Bill. To find out more, click here.

For those seeking additional information on Cover Crops including ‘Common Cover Crop Misconceptions’ and ‘Cover Crop Incentives’, click here.

If you are keen on Biodynamic Farming (utilizing practices from both RA and Organic Farming), click here.

2. EIT Food

Co-funded by the European Union (EU), EIT Food is a “pan-European organization with headquarters in Leuven, Belgium, and regional offices in different locations”. It uses innovative technology to improve the food system. In addition to empowering interested parties through education and promotion of RA, it partners with startups to impact how food is cultivated. It also engages the public to garner support and cooperation so that everyone can be an agent of change.

EIT Food emphasizes and supports EU’s three Sustainable Development Goals of:

  1. Sustainable Cities and Communities (Goal 11),
  2. Responsible Consumption and Production (Goal 12), and
  3. Life on Land (Goal 15).
three colored symbols describing goals
Sustainable Development Gols (EIT Food)


It achieves these goals by disseminating relevant information about RA and educating interested parties and the masses. To date, it has achieved the following:

  1. Conducted 14 RA workshops in Spain, Portugal, Italy and Poland.
  2. Trained 280 farmers.
  3. Achieved an enrollment of 75 learners for their 3-year advisory program in four European countries.
  4. Conducted and measured soil health and biodiversity baseline data at 75 farms in Spain and Portugal.
  5. Created 6 videos (on YouTube) about RA and the pioneers in this field.
  6. Made available online 5 chapters of the RA Manual (crop detailed handbook) on employing RA applications.
  7. Collaborating with members on 3 projects to study the nutrient concentration of food produced by RA practices and the relationships between RA methods, soil and human well-being.

3. The Timbaktu Collective

With a 30-year track record, the Timbaktu Collective not only promotes RA, it also fights for the rights of disadvantaged groups consisting of women, children and disabled persons.

Being a grassroots non-profit entity, it helps 185 villages in the Ananthapuramu District of Andhra Pradesh, India. It owns a 32-acre agro-forest that “prioritises natural regeneration, organic gardening, renewable energy, and sustainable living”.


Among the numerous awards received, the Collective was the shared winner of the Gold Prize at the One World Award 2014. The aim was to reward groundbreaking methodologies that enhance environmental, social and economic resilience.

In addition, the Collective’s focus on RA was captured in the award winning documentary, Timbaktu which won the Best Documentary (Environment) Award at the 60th National Film Awards in 2013.

4. Regeneration International (RI)

RI aims to educate people about the relationship between soil health, land administration, RA, the ecology and strong economies. As part of their commitment, a group of dedicated RI staff attends the annual U.N. Climate Summit to highlight the work that they do.

RI collaborates with numerous stakeholders worldwide to create enhanced food and agricultural methodologies at an international level. Countries which RI is working with are South Africa, India, Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Canada, and the United States (midwest region).

The Billion Agave Project

This project is undertaken by numerous farms in Guanajuato, Mexico. It integrates the cultivation of agave plants with nitrogen-controlling attendant tree-species (like mesquite) and comprehensive rotational foraging of livestock. Click here for the Billion Agave Project Brochure and a write-up on the Mesquite plant.

5. Zero Foodprint Asia (ZEPA)

ZEPA is an offshoot of Zero Foodprint (ZEP) in California, USA. ZEPA receives financial aid from a crowdfunding program where members donate 1% of their sales to support RA practices. These members are in the food industry like restaurants, cafes, bars and food dealers. The money collected will be released to eligible farms (assessed by ZEPA) to be used for RA and carbon farming.

The Surplus Project

Under the purview of ZEPA, this initiative serves to reduce food waste while sustaining farmers’ livelihoods by supplying excess farm food to local eateries at a discounted rate.

Adopt a Farm

This scheme connects restaurants in Hong Kong with local food growers. Small scale farmers are supported through the exchange of knowledge and by highlighting the value of buying and eating locally.

6. Savory Network (SN)

This is a collaboration of international professionals dedicated to improving RA, overturn desertification and fight climate change. With an excess of thirty centers globally, SN “advocates, trains, implements, and facilitates Holistic Management and regenerative agriculture practices in their own global and agricultural contexts”.

Holistic management enables practitioners to restore grasslands and manage the complexities of inter-relationships between the ecology, animals and human beings. It is also used to deliver a structure for decision-making in addition to utilizing a complete set of planning methodologies that embrace “planned grazing, land

Infographic: Holistic Management (Savory Institute) planning, financial planning, and ecological monitoring”.
Holistic Management (Savory Institute) planning, financial planning, and ecological monitoring”.


As at the date of writing, SN has 50 hubs, managed 15,927,769 hectares of land holistically, and trained 14,108 land managers.

Countries that practice RA

In an article by entitled “Sweden, Finland and Austria among the world’s most sustainable food systems… what are they doing right?” dated 28 January 2022, announced that Sweden, Japan Canada, Finland and Austria have the most efficient and resilient food structures in the world (*2021 Food Sustainability Index)

* The 2021 Food Sustainability Index is generated by Economist Impact and Barilla Foundation and measures the stability of food systems in 78 countries based on “food loss and waste, sustainable agriculture and nutritional challenges”.


Leading the way in carbon sequestration is Swedish Carbon Sequestration (founded by MiljöMatematik Malmö), which was nominated for the Nordic Council Environment Prize 2021. It has succeeded in bringing together 40 farms, 11 business establishments, 4 institutions of higher learning and various interested participants to create a stable and renewable soil system that can capture atmospheric carbon in Swedish agricultural areas.

According to, Sweden produced 40.1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) in 2021 which is a decrease of almost 7% compared to 2020 concentrations. In addition, as at 2019, it had the lowest greenhouse gas discharges per capita in the European Union at 5.2 metric tons.

Note: By NASA’s Global Climate Change definition, one metric ton of CO2 is enough to fill a sphere 32 feet (about 9.8 meters) in diameter. This amount is produced by an average car in the United States over a three-month period.


When Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries co-funded the conference on Agriculture Is the Solution to Climate Change in 2019, Regeneration International perceived it as an indication that Japan acknowledged that agriculture is fundamental to saving the ecology.

As rice is the primary food in Asia, much of the conference was focused on improving agricultural techniques involving the production of rice, in addition to ways of refining soil health and sequestering carbon on farmlands. Click here for a 3½ minute recap of the conference.

According to an article entitled Sustainable Agriculture and Biodiversity Conservation in Japan, it is stated that Japan plans to be carbon-neutral by 2050 using Environmental Conservation Agriculture (ECA). But ECA deployment is not popular, therefore, the government promotes biodiversity conservation and RA instead.

Japan’s total greenhouse gas emissions for the fiscal year of 2019 was 1,212 million tons which is a 14% decrease from the 2013 fiscal year target and it was Japan’s sixth consecutive year of reducing emissions.


Régénération Canada is a non-profit agency aimed at advocating soil rejuvenation to reduce the effects of climate change, reinstate biodiversity, enhance water cycles and maintain a nutritious food structure.

It carries out these activities by raising awareness through promotion campaigns, developing a network of interested stakeholders, and disseminating educational information to inform potential parties to practise RA methodologies.

According to, Canada is home to 5,972 organic farms in 2020 which is an increase of about 295 growers compared to the preceding year.

Farm Map

Régénération Canada has created an interactive map showing all the regenerative farms in Canada. It also educates users on the agricultural processes used on these farms and how interested consumers could buy their produce. The map also facilitates the exchange of information among farmers interested to learn from one another.


Finland’s E-college for Regenerative Farming provides free online courses for farmers interested in RA. The contents are based on unbiassed technical research and were created by Reaktor and The Baltic Sea Action Group (BSAG) with most of the content written in Finnish and Swedish.

The course syllabus comprises of 60 hours of assorted educational resources including real-life applications. Launched in 2021, it was targeted to attract 5,000 participants which make up about 10% of crop producers in Finland. It was also predicted that RA applications could help Finnish farms eliminate 5 megatons of CO2 from the air.

In addition, the E-college is connected to Carbon Action Platform which was created by BSAG to find and develop ways to sequester carbon (carbon farming) and document the results using scientific and technical procedures.


According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (, Austria has the largest percentage of land used for RA of all the European countries with approximately 19,000 organic farms (7% of all farms) in the year 2000.

Funding for RA is managed nationally by the Austrian Rural Development Programme under the Rural Development Programme (RDP) and financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) which promotes biodiversity by improving nutrient cycles in farming areas to reduce input and enhance soil fertility.

The funding is part of a larger structure of the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESI Funds) where each country in the European Union receives financial assistance for the country’s improvement goals and investment priorities.

Last Word on the Prevalence of Regenerative Agriculture

No matter which terminology is used to describe agricultural practices, the farmers discussed here are all striving to obtain maximum output while sustaining soil health and enhancing biodiversity. With limited natural resources, Regenerative Agriculture is fast gaining a foothold in which it has an important role in feeding the billions of people in the world.