THE ENVIRONMENT PRODUCER BUSINESS MODEL PRESENTED IN ARGENTINA Neorurale at IT AR ENABIO Summit in Ushuaia

Neorurale has been invited to present The Environment Producer, its innovative business model for a sustainable circular economy, at the first bilateral summit between Italy and Argentina on Biotechnologies and Renewables Energies, as part of the working events in preparation to the G20 being held in Argentina.

 

In 1996 Neorurale, in a cooperation with three international Universities, launched a forward-looking project on an area of about 500 hectares in the southern suburbs of Milan (northern part of Italy). This experiment was aimed to transform the typical “agricultural desert”, where land is intensively exploited for food production with no free space for Nature, into something sustainable for the decades to come.

This area, called Cassinazza, was therefore redesigned according to the prehistorical status of Po Valley with the plantation of more than 1,8 million trees and the creation of several wetlands and bio-filters to create an area where Nature could start back.

The success of this project is demonstrated by the fact that, in 20 years, at Cassinazza Nature went back by 1,000 years, measured in terms of biodiversity.

 

Nature-as-an-Ally:

This experiment drove to the idea of integrating agricultural lands with areas where Nature would be “cultivated” to provide both a defense and a source of nourishment for neighboring agriculture.

This approach, called “Rice Field Margin”, represents the first component of the Neorurale System and allows to replicate in an affordable scale the “Cassinazza” experience, with comparable advantages on crop production in terms of:

  • greater biodiversity boosts field fertility, allowing higher and healthier production;
  • healthier plants better resist to external challenges, becoming more productive;
  • rich soil fight against and better adapts to climate change;
  • complete avoidance of pesticides thanks to Nature-as-an-Ally approach;

 

Speeding up the transition to sustainability:

The second key element of the Neorurale System is represented by Nutrients Recovery Center (NRC), which is a patented technology able to extract nutrients from any organic matter and prepare them to nourish back the land.

Today soil fertility is the key challenge for ensuring enough food production as well as having a land able to adapt to climate change. Fertility has been granted for millennia by the natural recycling of nutrients on the land as a key element of agricultural economy, but such cycle was disrupted during industrialization due to the consumer relocation out of the agricultural regions which led to massive use of chemical and mineral fertilizers which cause heavy CO2 emissions. At the same time, waste containing nutrients is often improperly disposed, thus becoming a source of water and environmental pollution.

Neorurale Nutrients Recovery Center processes, sanitizes, stores and prepares nutrients which are recovered locally and then distributed by injection into surrounding lands, creating a natural substrate able to releases nutrients slowly and also capture moisture, helping the soil to recover its fertility.

NRC works therefore as an accelerator of the Nature-as-an-Ally approach, speeding up the ability of Nature to flourish back, nourishing immediately the land with what it really needs to recover fertility and therefore protecting cultivations.

Alongside with the positive effect on land bio-fertility, NRC process also produces renewable energy in excess to its own needs, being therefore to a large extent exported onto the grid or upgraded to bio-methane.

 

Key outcomes:

It took about 20 years to learn how to do it right, but now it is available and replicable everywhere.

Circular economy is therefore possible now and Neorurale has already implemented it, becoming the first Environment Producer.

 

The lesson learnt is that Nature is our best ally and we need to preserve it, cultivating it as part of our activities.