"What blows my mind is the scale. I thought [forest] restoration would be in the top 10, but it is overwhelmingly more powerful than all of the other climate change solutions proposed."

- Prof Tom Crowther, Swiss university ETH Zürich

Managed Carbon Farms

Typical carbon farm makup

To accomplish our mission of drawing down atmospheric CO2, we aid investors in the acquisition, conversion and management of carbon farms in the tropics. CFI targets suitable pasture or degraded farmland in Latin American countries for conversion into agroforestry plantations (carbon farms) that grow sustainably sourced CFI certified hardwoods for the building industry. Each plantation may also include organically grown fruit or nut trees to ensure that food production levels from the land's previous use are maintained. Existing riparian and natural forests on farms are preserved and ideally expanded.

By targeting the least productive agricultural land for conversion, CFI ensures that net benefits like increased employment, food production, carbon drawdown and ecosystem restoration are maximized. Pastureland in the tropics is usually very affordably priced, ranging from $3,000 to $5,000 per hectare.

A 500 hectare farm that consists of 70% hardwoods, 20% fruit trees, 10% Protected Forest


Harvest Cycle (YRS)


Lumber Produced (m3)


Carbon Sequestered
(Tonnes CO2)


Food Production (Tonnes)

Timeline of a Carbon Farm

Phase 1

Farmland Acquisition

CFI provides farm acquisition services through its team of realtors, lawyers and agronomists. It starts with finding the client suitable farmland to be converted into a carbon farm. These farms will be at least 100 hectares in size to ensure economies of scale and to maximize net carbon sequestration potential. The attributes of this land will be mainly cleared of trees and be currently used for animal agriculture (pastureland) or degraded farmland.

Specific attributes that CFI will look for include:

  • At least 80% cleared land.
  • Suitable soil for growing perennials, hardwoods and/or bamboo.
  • Access to water or a suitable water table to supply sufficient irrigation needs.

An assessment of the land's existing food production values will be determined to ensure that the farm will maintain food production so as not to put pressure of the world's food supplies - a goal for CFI carbon farms.

Phase 2

Farm Design and Development

CFI will work with the client to find a suitable farm management team and design the farm in accordance with the crops requested by the customer and the needs of the farm management team. The farm management team will then execute the farm plan which includes land preparation, construction of roads, installation of irrigation systems, farm building construction, renewable energy generation infrastructure and grid hookup (where netmetering is available). Seedlings will be purchased and begin their initial growth in the nursery before being relocated and planted on the farm. Appropriate certification (eg: USDA organic, FSC) processes will also commence. CFI will assist the client with additional features that the customer requests such as webcams. Development of a website for the farm (eg. customername.co2.farm) will also be created.

Phase 3

Farm Management

After the farm development has been completed and the trees have been planted, the farm transitions into the management phase. This is where the general day to day operations of a farm take place. Routine inspection of crops, treatment of diseases, application of inputs, machinery and irrigation maintenance occur. Farm reports are sent by the management team to the client regularly as well as updates pushed to the website that includes photos and videos.

Phase 4

Annual Harvests and Sale

Once the farm starts producing food products, the farm moves into the harvest phase. On top of regular farm maintenance, food crops are harvested annually and transported to a facility for sorting, cleaning and packaging. Packaged products are then sent off to local buyers where CFI can assist in pre-negotiating a sale price.

Phase 5

Hardwood thinning

Between Year 8 and 15, one to two thinnings will take place that will provide the space necessary for the remaining hardwoods to continue growing in size. The trees that are thinned have some economic value and will be sold in local markets.

Phase 6

Hardwood Harvest and Replanting

By year 20, the hardwood plantation will be ready for harvest and replanting. Hardwoods will be sold to a local mill and be used to produce doors, hardwood flooring or home construction, thus ensuring that the carbon sequestered in the wood has a long product life. Wood waste from the mill is sold to a local biomass energy facility ensuring environmental benefits are maximized. Hardwood seedlings will be transferred from the nursery and replanted.

Features of a CFI Carbon Farm

The intention behind carbon farming is for the farm to be a carbon sink. An ideal carbon farm operates in a way that maximizes net carbon sequestation potential. Not only does this mean planting fast growing trees that are optimized for the local climate and conditions, it also means managing the farm using techniques and strategies that minimize operation emissions. CFI designed carbon farms will have some or all of the following attributes:

Solar Powered Irrigation Systems

Irrigation pumps are powered by solar PV panels which feed electricity directly to the pump and therefore eliminate the need for batteries. When required, water is pumped to holding tanks or ponds during the day for future use.

Self-Powered Farm Operations

Due to the high cost of energy in Latin America, the lack of reliable infrastructure, and the abundance of sunshine, it makes economic sense to produce the farm's own renewable energy to power the buildings and machinery used on a carbon farm. Solar arrays are less expensive in Latin America than in North America with prices under $1/watt, which includes installation.

Recycled Shipping Containers

Each carbon farm requires storage facilities for tools and fertilizers, and a caretaker house. Repurposing used shipping containers to serve these purposes is not only environmentally friendly, it also makes a strong and secure building that reduces the chances of theft or vandalism.

Natural Forest Expansions and Corridors

During the phase of designing a carbon farm, The design team looks at existing natural forest on the property and neighboring properties and designs the farm to ensure that these existing forests are protected and in some cases expanded. If there's an opportunity to connect isolated pockets of forest, forest corridors are created through the planting of native vegetation to join these pockets together so that local wildlife can travel between these islands.

Electric Farm Vehicles

These Chinese made Electric Trucks are the right size for daily general farm activities and achieve two goals: 1) they eliminate a source of greenhouse gas emissions by not being powered by fossil fuels, 2) they eliminate the risk of ground contamination from potential fuel spills. The on-farm solar array + energy-storage charge these farm vehicles each night. By costing under $5,000 each, these electric trucks are a very affordable farm vehicle.

Electric Motorcycles for the farm crew

To further maximize net carbon sequestration potential of a carbon farm, Inexpensive electric motorcycles will be available for full-time farm staff to use for getting to and from the farm. They will be able to charge these motorcycles during the day using the carbon farm's solar array. After the first year of working on the farm, farm staff will be awarded these motorcycles as a bonus. This will ensure that the motorcycles are well cared for and provides an incentive for working hard.

Live 360° Webcams

With the rapidly approaching Starlink satellite internet service, it will soon be possible to stream live, high-bandwith 360° video feeds from the farm. This serves a few purposes: 1) it allows the farm owner to checkin on their farm at any time, which reduces the need for physically visiting the farm, thereby eliminating carbon emissions from traveling, 2) properly positioned at high spots on the farm, these cameras will provide security and will help with fire watch, 3) wildlife documentation will be possible and will allow the online science community to participate in endangered species documentation and monitor wildlife recovery.

Organic, Rainforest Alliance and FSC Certifications

CFI Carbon farms will operate using regenerative agricultural practices and qualify for USDA organic certifications for food crops and Rainforest Alliance and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certifications for the farm's carbon crops (e.g. hardwoods or bamboo).

Local Markets, Electric Delivery Vehicles.

To minimize carbon emissions from the sale and transportation of farm produced goods, CFI will encourage local markets for farm-grown food. As the number of carbon farms in an region scales up, CFI envisions electric vehicles for the delivery of farm grown produce and hardwood products.