RAC Resilient Agriculture Against Clilamte Change

RAC is a data processing tool that will provide farmers with easy and accessible design and information to diversify their crops.

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I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.

  • Yes, I'm eligible

Preferred language

  • English

Organization name

RAC by Plantum.mx

Year founded

2013

Initiative stage

  • Start-Up (a pilot that has just started operating)

Annual budget in 2017 (USD)

  • $50k - $100k

Number of beneficiaries impacted so far

  • 1,000 - 5,000

Organization type

  • Social enterprise

Secondary Focus Area

  • Rural development
  • Nutrition

Headquarters location: Country

  • Mexico

Headquarters location: City

San Miguel de Allende

Location(s) of impact

Mexico: Salamanca, San Miguel de Allende, Cajeme

Website

Plantum.mx

Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?

One third of the arable land in the world has already been eroded due to poor soil management practices and the effects of climate change. These led to lowered resilience to climate change effects and to decreases in the food and economic stability of farming communities. Experts have pointed out agroforestry as a viable and sustainable solution which addresses all common concerns about soil fertility. Despite scientifically backed benefits, the practice of intercropping is not yet widely adopted in these region.

Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?

RAC aims to empower farmers in Northern Mexico and other drylands to radically improve the resilience of their lands through innovative technology and crop diversification. It harnesses the collective power of the smallholders to contribute to the ecological and financial health of their communities.
We are combining our years of experience in regenerative agriculture with our partners from the Apios Institute Wiki – the single largest database for perennials plants in the world - to create an intuitive, user friendly tool for farmers wishing to learn more about the practice of intercropping and to apply it in their farm management. The tool will utilize GIS maps, soil, crop and farm management information to suggest a suitable perennial crop and devise a preliminary plan for its introduction to the farmers’ existing monocultures. The purpose of the tool is to promote regenerative agriculture education among farmers and to contribute to the widespread adoption of agroforestry.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work

Through its Mexican entity, Plantum, RAC has more than 5 years of regeneration working on projects. We have worked together with more than 2000+ smallholder farms in the area of North of Mexico.
• San Miguel Project :Via Organica (Organic consumers Association)
• Popularized agroforestry in the areas of Guanajuato, Sonora, in 5 years impacting: 2000 farmers
      Mesquite (95% of success rate of surviving) intercropped with corn. Desert plants: edible cacti.
• Workshops for restoration of productive farms.
• Social work with rural, gang kids , women. (more than 120 community members)
• Educational work about agroforestry and added value products. (+ 600 participants)

Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?

This initiative will be financially supported by two sources of income:
1)A freemium model, where farmers will be able to enter the platform and access free features (for e.g. soil features, risk assessment, suitable perennial crop solutions ), and by paying a fee will access advanced features such as detailed plans & monitoring to mitigate future risks, introducing perennial plants in their fields.
2)The sale of perennial species, either by own production (when possible) or by commission charged to other distributors in near areas.
To ensure its financial sustainability long-term, seed funds from VCs and grants from governments will be seeked.
Annual budget estimation:
Individual donations or gifts (5%)
2. Grants (30%)
3. Corporate contributions (10%)
4. Earned income (55%

Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?

A number of applications target farmers but none of them deals with intercropping.
There are companies which offer restorative agriculture consultancy through individual sessions or paid webminars. While these often provide highly valuable information and services, their paid business models are limiting the access of smallholder farmers.
RAC brings intercropping know-how, the most extensive perennial plants’ database, and technology together to create a free, user friendly tool.

Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.

There were three key moments that sparked RAC tool initiative:
- Growing up in Sonora, Mexico (first 15 years of my life) there was a 10 year drought (1998 - 2008) that caused many farmers to lose their lands and migrate to the north.
- Traveling around the North of Mexico in 2012 I saw deserted land and abandoned towns. People had gone to look for better opportunities in other countries.
- Last year, Harvard Innovation and Technology class made me realize that we can use technology innovations to increase farm's resilience and make agroforestry design and implementation more accessible and affordable through RAC Tool.

Where did you hear about the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize?

  • Nestlé page or contact

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