AgMission and PepsiCo Award Three Grants to Bolster Climate-Resilient Farms and Value Chains

WASHINGTON, June 17, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- AgMission™, a global initiative co-founded by the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) and the World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO) to unlock agriculture’s potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, has partnered with PepsiCo to award three grants to researchers in Australia, Mexico and Canada for a total combined $6.7 million investment to support evidence-based research on the effectiveness of climate-smart agriculture practices that incorporate regenerative agriculture principles.

Climate-smart practices can help reduce carbon emissions and provide environmental benefits associated with regenerative agriculture; however, limited data exists on how to effectively incorporate these practices on farms. AgMission and PepsiCo first issued a call for research proposals in early 2023 focused on research and implementation projects that develop, study and expand the climate-smart agriculture transition in specific crop sourcing regions.

“To create a resilient food system, it’s critical to invest in innovative research that is relevant to the challenges farmers face, to support them in adapting to climate change and other stressors,” said FFAR Scientific Program Director, Allison Thomson. “We are thrilled to partner with PepsiCo to fund research that has the potential to provide valuable data and information that farmers need to enhance their operations. This research has the potential to generate scalable solutions that can be applied to farms globally.”

All three grantees awarded through this effort will work closely with farmers and farmer organizations to co-develop transition plans to introduce regenerative practices, improve understanding of the impacts and outcomes, and contribute to scientific evidence that can help overcome widespread adoption challenges. By uncovering best practices for implementation and data reinforcing the environmental benefits of regenerative farming, this new research aims to create more productive, climate-resilient farms.

“Creating a more resilient, sustainable agricultural system helps to protect our continued business growth from disruption due to climate change, and other potential environmental and social risks,” said Margaret Henry, vice president, Sustainable and Regenerative Agriculture at PepsiCo. “We believe that regenerative agriculture will be pivotal in feeding the growing global population, while also addressing the need to protect and enhance our natural resources. To accelerate adoption of these practices, we’re proud to support these new projects in an effort to uncover impactful and scalable solutions to better enable climate-smart agriculture practices.”

The three projects being funded by AgMission and PepsiCo include: 

  • A $748,394 grant to Charles Sturt University to examine climate-smart agriculture practices in cropping and enhance the climate resilience of local Australian grain producers. PepsiCo provided matching funds that were also supplemented by Charles Sturt University’s Cool Soil Initiative for a $3,783,598 total investment. This research builds on the Cool Soil Initiative, a partnership that has built and implemented a scientifically credible framework to support farmers in practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase soil health. Charles Sturt University researchers will leverage the extensive learnings and insights from the Cool Soil Initiative’s five years’ worth of on-ground support and greenhouse gas reporting across wheat, canola and corn farms on the east coast of Australia, while establishing a new farmer cohort for oats in Western Australia. Researchers are evaluating more than 300 Australian farms to understand how different agricultural practices and geographic locations influence soil health to understand current climate-smart agriculture innovation for each major Australian cropping system.

  • A $750,000 grant to the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) to accelerate the adoption of regenerative climate-smart agricultural practices in wheat and maize in Mexico. PepsiCo provided matching funds for a $1,500,000 total investment. This research is assessing climate stressors for wheat and maize growers in Bajío region, the breadbasket of Mexico, under current and future climate, co-designing, co-creating and co-implementing adaptive practices with farmers to address the climate challenges effectively, understanding drivers and barriers for adoption of those practices, developing targeted agro-advisory tools for climate adaptation and quantifying the benefits of regenerative agriculture. Using a data-based approach, CIMMYT researchers will use field measurements and modeling to estimate current and potential greenhouse gas emission reductions from climate-smart agriculture adoption in the Bajío region of Mexico. 

  • A $749,346 grant to South East Research Farm to develop innovative cover crop strategies that can drive climate-smart agriculture adoption in Canada’s eastern Prairie provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan. PepsiCo provided matching funds for a $1,498,693 total investment. South East Research Farm is collaborating with University of Manitoba researchers to collect farm-level data that will be used in environmental models to evaluate the suitability of climate-smart agriculture practices and their impact on crop yield, grain quality, soil health and environmental services. In collaboration with producers, South East Research Farm will translate these research findings to support farmer adoption of climate-smart agriculture practices across Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

“Farmers are not only food producers but also stewards of natural resources (soils, water, biodiversity, seeds) while actively managing and preserving the landscape. Research and innovation in agriculture can only succeed when they meet farmers’ needs and expectations,” according to WFO Secretary General Andrea Porro. “When the research approach involves farmers and their active participation, it can lead to easier adoption and increase the effectiveness of climate-smart agriculture practices within the farmers' community. The AgMission and PepsiCo award recognizes the importance of basing research on farmers' needs and knowledge for achieving sustainable and resilient food systems through innovation.”


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