with Roland Bunch of Better Soil, Better Lives
Ep. #236 of The Social Entrepreneurship & Innovation Podcast
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The world’s hunger crisis continues to worsen, affecting millions of people globally. Most people refer to this problem as a result of climate change, but the reality is that roughly 80% of the problem is caused by soil, and only about 20% by climate change.
Roland Bunch is one of the most well-respected thought leaders in regenerative land development and management, having studied and been in the field for 55 years. He is a former member of the UN Millennium Project Task Force on Hunger and a Co-founder of Better Soil, Better Lives.
He has published dozens of articles and authored the books “Two Ears of Corn: A Guide to People-Centered Agricultural Improvement” in 1982, and “Restoring the Soil” in 2012.
Roland’s motto is to imitate the forest. He started an organization and worked with small-holder farmers to do everything they could to mimic a forest-like field and use green manure cover crops to generate more biodiversity.
He has worked as a consultant worldwide in over 50 nations on four continents. During his work, Roland recognized the critical issue of hunger for many small-holder farmers, specifically in Sub-Saharan Africa. This led to an investigation into the use of plants for regenerating the soil, now called green manure/cover crops.
During the conversation, Cory and Roland talk about the changes in farming practices that affect soil fertilization and cause drought and floods in some countries. Roland explains how the green manure cover crops are used to fight hunger, particularly in African villages, the timeline of using this approach, and how it can impact the benefactors of the soil.
The full transcript for this episode and more can be found at SocialEntrepreneurship.FM/236.
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“What we need to do is redefine [the problem]. The word ‘drought’ really does mean there’s not enough rainfall. But in fact, that’s not the critical issue. The critical issue is whether the rain is getting into the soil and the plants can use it.”
“If just the smallholder farmers in Africa all adopted green manure cover crops, about 3 to 4% of all the carbon that the whole world needs to sequester in order to meet the 2100 goals of the Paris Climate Accords – these smallholder farmers in Africa could sequester about 3 to 4% of all of that. If all the farmers around the world and all the ranchers around the world did so, we’d sequester over half of it. Over half. By the year 2100 we would sequester over half the carbon that needs to be sequestered, according to climate change accords.”— Roland Bunch
Links & Resources Mentioned
- Restoring the Soil by Roland Bunch
- Two Ears of Corn: A Guide to People-Centered Agricultural Improvement by Roland Bunch
- Gabe Brown of Brown’s Ranch
- The Better World Weekly Newsletter
- Become a Sponsor
- Cory Ames on LinkedIn and Twitter
Related & Recommended
If you liked this interview, you might like these articles/interviews as well:
- (Interview) How to Turn Degraded Landscapes into Regenerative Circular Economies, with Neal Spackman
- (Interview) How Regenerative Organic Certification is the Future of Agriculture & Farming, with Elizabeth Whitlow
- (Article) How Climate Change and Agriculture Convene—A Planet-Saving Story Waiting to Be Told
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About the Host
Co-Founder & CEO, Grow Ensemble
Cory is the host of The Social Entrepreneurship & Innovation Podcast, where he’s interviewed well over 150 leaders in the space of better business, social impact, and innovation. Prior to Grow Ensemble, Cory was the CEO of a digital marketing agency, a position he earned at the age of 22. There, he became an expert on all things digital marketing & SEO.
Cory Co-Founded Grow Ensemble as a vehicle to raise awareness of and inspire action around some of the world’s biggest problems and problem solvers.
He blogs, podcasts, and publishes video on all things leaving the world a better, more just, equitable, and habitable place for all.
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