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Land degradation means farmers have to work harder each year to grow less food and earn less income. Erosion, irregular rainfall, and conventional farming practices such as tillage or burning further degrade soil and the surrounding environment. Farmers participating in Purpose Groups reverse this cycle and become agents of regeneration creating environmental restoration.

It’s All Connected

Reforestation, and regenerative farming restore ecosystems, mitigating climate change both for us and for future generations, but there’s more. These techniques contribute to 37% higher crop yields, which increases farmer income and quality of life for their family and community, reducing poverty.

How do we measure poverty?

Support Environmental Restoration Around the World

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How Does Our Environmental Restoration Work?

Our Signature Watershed Model

A watershed is a region defined by rivers and streams that all flow into a common, larger body of water. We work within watersheds because life there is interconnected—positive change is literally multiplied as environmental improvements happen, and neighbors help neighbors. Learn more about our Watershed Model.

Regenerative Agriculture

Our Farmer Field Schools create a platform for participating farmers to test and co-develop regenerative agricultural practices within their communities. These practices rebuild healthy soil, increasing crop diversity and yields long term. Participants in Purpose Groups apply 89% more regenerative agriculture techniques than nonparticipants. These techniques include:

  • Composting
  • Use of green manure or over crops
  • Establishment of woodlots
  • Agroforestry
  • No-till or minimum tillage
  • Terrace farming

Soil Conservation

  • Stone barriers
  • Living barriers
  • Contour canals
  • Training in soil ecosystems
  • Riverbank reinforcement and water source protection
  • Tree planting

Reforestation

Tree and plant coverage is increasing or stable in every watershed where we work. Plant With Purpose partners plant trees on farms, in common areas, and in forests, transforming their entire watershed. Trees can reduce erosion, restore water cycles, capture carbon from the atmosphere, and promote biodiversity. Additionally, participants are nearly twice as likely to plant native trees as nonparticipants (50% vs. 27%). Learn more about our tree planting efforts.

Testimonial Stories

Select an image to read their story.

Annah Amani, MPH, Ph.D.

Program Officer, Plant With Purpose

Annah Amani, MPH, Ph.D.

Program Officer, Plant With Purpose
"The future of the environment concerns all of us, and all of us should do what we can to protect it. When women are included and educated to restore and protect the environment we see them thrive and excel in implementing environmental restoration activities. Recruiting and equipping women to nurture their environment the way they have always nurtured human kind is a powerful movement that will transform our communities. "

Susan Dobkins

Managing Director, Vista Hermosa Foundation

Susan Dobkins

Managing Director, Vista Hermosa Foundation
“At a time when the impacts of climate change are making headlines, Plant With Purpose is on the ground with farming communities on the front lines, complementing their existing resources to foster resilience.”

Meet new Purpose Group participant, Ella

Meet new Purpose Group participant, Ella

Ella lives with her husband in the Siguvyaye I watershed, where Plant With Purpose began work in fiscal year 2022. Ella has been a Purpose Group member since August 2021. She shares her experience less than six month into our partnership: “These training sessions led me to change my cultivation methods to prioritize environmental restoration and generational health. I decided to make compost using leftover crops, kitchen scraps, and manure from the barn. I planted different varieties of agroforestry trees during this silvicultural season and finally saw an increase in soil fertility and conservation. … With only this short time spent with Plant With Purpose, I am completely changed. My perspective now is directed towards bodily and spiritual self-development. I have learned to finally serve as a role model in my family and to those around me.”

Frequently Asked Questions

Regenerative farming improves soil health, decreases erosion, reduces water contamination, reduces or reverses deforestation, increases climate and economic resilience, sequesters carbon, and reduces use of harmful chemicals.
Biodiversity is a measure of the abundance of different types of organisms in an ecosystem. A monoculture of maize for example is not very biodiverse, whereas an agroforestry system may contain dozens or even hundreds of species. More diverse systems are more resilient both ecologically and (for farmers) economically. When thinking about biodiversity in the context of farming, it is critical to think about biodiversity both above and below ground. Soil in fact is the most critical ecosystem that farmers are managing and an important part of our training is thinking about soil as an ecosystem rather than just a physical structure that supports crops.
Very simply, agroforestry is the integration of trees in agriculture. It is a traditional approach that has been practiced around the world for thousands of years and is becoming increasingly important as greater pressure is placed on farmland around the world. Agroforestry allows farmers to diversify income, improve and protect soils, increase the number of plant and animal species on their farm, remain resilient in different seasons, to withstand unpredictable weather patterns, and increase carbon sequestration.
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