Economy of Love: Rethinking agriculture for the future

Imagine an agricultural sector of the future that helps mitigation, promotes fairness and the wellbeing of farmers and fosters affordable sustainable and healthy food. To make this dream come true, the Economy of Love has been working for the past few years on the creation of such a model, and now is putting all its energies into making it mainstream. This year at COP27, Economy of Love will share what has been achieved so far. By Helmy Abouleish, CEO of SEKEM | November 12, 2022

Economy of Love (EoL) is an ethical, sustainable and transparent certification standard that supports biodynamic farmers and brings a positive environmental impact by sequestering carbon and enhancing farms’ biodiversity. EoL was developed under the Egyptian Biodynamic Association (EBDA) which strives for sustainable agriculture in Egypt.

This year EoL acquired a license for certification of carbon credits projects among Egyptian farmers. This carbon credits certification scheme follows the same EoL values: transparency and the true cost accounting along the whole value chain. This step is expected to fundamentally shift the global agriculture and business sectors. To receive additional income from generation of carbon credits, farmers will need to shift from conventional harmful agricultural practices to the sustainable ones, and thus contribute to the sequestration of CO2 and bring positive impact to the world.

Then and now

SEKEM farm in Wahat El Bahariya was the first carbon farming project certified by EoL and played the role of a prototype. This project has shown great results and proved that regenerative agriculture under the EoL guidelines can contribute to climate change mitigation. By using biodynamic agricultural methods, desert land on the farm was revitalized, while complementary activities of carbon sequestration generated around  12000 carbon credits in one year, bringing roughly €300,000 of additional income to be reinvested into the expansion of the farm.

Inspired by the pilot project’s success, the EoL standard was introduced to 2100 smallholder farmers (members of EBDA), who are committed to the ecological regenerative practices and can benefit from the financial incentives through the carbon credits scheme. Currently, these farmers are in the process of verification and validation according to the EoL standards. A rough calculation says that this number of farmers can help to sequester 84,000 tons of CO2 per year and this will bring invaluable climate positive impact.

Future ambitions

The vision of EoL is to convert 250,000 farmers towards sustainable agriculture practices by 2028. It will enhance the economic resilience of the farms, climate adaptability, and stimulate regenerative agriculture in Egypt. In addition, it will make a significant contribution to combat climate change with roughly 9.6 million tons of sequestered CO2 through farms’ activities.

A way to go

To push this ambitious project further, it requires active supporters and solid partners worldwide. At COP27, EoL will host, and co-host several side events with partners that already support it: such as El-Said Marzouq El-Qosair, the Egyptian Minister for Agriculture that is invited to support the event and the EoL mission on site.

To achieve the ultimate goal of pushing sustainable agriculture to go mainstream, EBDA is seeking long-term partners who are committed to participating in this transformation towards making a positive contribution to healthy, vital, and ethically sustainable agriculture, as well as permanent partners who are willing to support the pre-financing of the transition.

To learn more about the Economy of Love standard and find the ways to support it, you can follow the link to the Economy of Love website.

Find out more about Sekem’s events here: https://events.futureeconomy.forum/cop-solutions-dialogues/

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