Regenerative agriculture represents a promising path forward for sustainable food production and land management. The role of academia in training university students towards the implementation and sustainability of regenerative agriculture is pivotal. Through education, research, practical experience, networking, and advocacy, universities empower students to become the stewards of our planet’s future.
Between 11th and 13th September I was privileged to be a panelist in the Practical Action Regenerative Agriculture Conference in Kisumu. Practical Action is an MSU INSSPIRE Stakeholder. I was in a roundtable panel addressing issues of creating a policy environment for regenerative agriculture from the perspective of academia. I was able to position the approach taken by the INSSPIRE project in building the capacity of students working with the community stakeholders to co-produce knowledge on regenerative agriculture that would be beneficial to both the students and the community stakeholders.
Universities play a crucial role in educating students about the principles and practices of regenerative agriculture. Through dedicated courses, workshops, and research opportunities, students gain the knowledge and skills needed to implement regenerative practices. Academic institutions are hotbeds of research and innovation. Students and faculty engage in cutting-edge research to develop new regenerative techniques, technologies, and practices. This research contributes to the ever-evolving field of regenerative agriculture.
Through the INSSPIRE Project Maseno University intends offer hands-on experiences through agricultural programs, research farms, and partnerships with local farmers. These experiences allow students to apply their knowledge and test regenerative practices in real-world settings. The project will provide a platform for students to connect with experts, farmers, and organizations in the regenerative agriculture community. These connections are invaluable for building a strong support network and accessing resources and opportunities. The end game is the hope that the project plays a role in shaping agricultural policy through students and faculty, who can advocate for policies that support regenerative agriculture, whilst contributing to the broader adoption of sustainable practices.Traditional agricultural practices are deeply ingrained, and transitioning to regenerative agriculture can be met with resistance. The INSSPIRE project will foster a culture of openness to change and innovation. To make a meaningful impact, regenerative agriculture must scale up beyond research plots and demonstration farms. INSSPIRE project creates collaboration with local communities and farmers to promote widespread adoption with the students being key change agents. As the regenerative agriculture movement continues to grow, these students will play a crucial role in creating a more resilient and sustainable food system for generations to come.