SWCC has released a report on the key drivers, as well as barriers and risks, of the uptake of regenerative agriculture practices by farmers in Western Australia. The report recommends to government a series of actions that, if applied, may assist farmer’s in their decision making process when considering implementing more regenerative practices on their properties.
The WA State NRM Program funded report was part of a project led by SWCC, with contribution from WA’s six other NRM regions.
A range of stakeholders across the agricultural industry participated in the research, including primary producers, agronomists, industry grower groups, pastoralists and more. Surveys and in-depth interviews were conducted to reveal key focus areas for government attention.
The main drivers of regenerative agriculture in WA were found to be:
- Younger farmers and ‘new’ primary producers entering the industry from various backgrounds and who are open to trialling new approaches
- Farmers facing financial challenges forced to look at alternative practices
- Farmers competing to be recognised for ‘healthy and quality produce’
- The shift in consumer demand toward more sustainable product
The report also discusses the wide range of barriers towards the uptake of regenerative agriculture including:
- Farmers require evidence of profitability of regenerative agriculture practices, demonstrated at a local level
- Many farmers do not know how to implement regenerative practices
- When farmers are doing well financially, they are not inclined to change
- A lack of advisors skilled in regenerative agriculture and its omission from university courses
One of the other major barriers was revealed to be the definition of ‘regenerative agriculture’, with many stating it is problematic, and there is confusion as to which practices the term encompasses. The report suggests the Government take action in six core areas and recommends nineteen actions that could increase the adoption of regenerative agriculture.