The Sustainable Resources Fund is well aware of this dilemma and has focused its agricultural investment strategies in places such as Africa on reputable agroforestry and sustainable agriculture solutions. "By utilising scientific agro-forestry practices as advocated by CGIAR and other expert bodies, we will be able to participate in projects designed to produce consistent and regular food & biomass crops in synergy with increasing timber & plantation wood valuations from mixed forestry and agriculture planting operations" clarifies Michael Young, Fund Advisor.
Agroforestry practices include complimentary crops, intercropping and efficient utilisation of land. By growing specific tree species around agricultural crop areas the overall operation encourages wider biodiversity, can improve yields and reduces financial risk. The methodology is able to maximise the environmental, local community benefits and yield from planting patterns. Organisations such as CGIAR are spreading scientific expertise including dual cropping processes across Africa, driving increased benefits & expertise into rural populations and the ecosystem as a whole.
Flexibility and adaptability are key aspects. Crops suitable for localised rainfall patterns, soil and climate conditions bring a multitude of benefits to local communities, as well as the fund investors. Surplus food crops can allow additional land to be utilised for biofuels & biomass thereby creating further economic advantages including local sustainable biomass fuel supply and even the export of non-fossil fuel raw materials to the developed world. These are all attractive investment opportunities for the Sustainable Resources Fund.
Modern and scientific technologies & systems are giving new opportunities for scale-up and investment that are of particular interest to SRF. "We are looking at ground floor investment projects in areas such as the rift valley where man first walked upright, working to help man walk sustainably into the future."