€1 million award for app-supported regreening programme


A project that aims to help farmers restore land and introduce more sustainable methods has secured a €1 million grant from the Dutch National Lottery.

Justdiggit has secured the award for its mobile-driven regreening app, a delivery platform for tutorials on low-tech, indigenous methods including rainwater harvesting and tree restoration.

The funding follows a successful pilot with LEAD Foundation and 300 Tanzanian farmers in 2021. During this pilot, 69% of the farmers said they learned how to practice Kisiki Hai, a technique to regrow trees, through the app.

Using satellite technology, Justdiggit will analyse land to an accuracy of up to 50cm2, painting a detailed picture of landscapes and optimum areas for restoration to deliver tailored advice to farmers through the app. Available on Android and KaiOS operating systems, the app is compatible with low-tech and smart handsets, capitalising on the growth of mobile ownership in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Through a multichannel campaign in partnership with Havas Africa and JCDecaux, Justdiggit will boost uptake of the app to onboard and activate rural farmers. The campaign will utilise regreening ambassadors including Tanzanian celebrity Ben Pol to ensure that learnings are shared and impact is scaled.

Regreening reverses the desertification of farmlands, boosts crop yields and provides economic incentives to farmers while sequestering high volumes of carbon from the atmosphere. Nature-based solutions like these can provide up to 37% of the emission reductions needed by 2030 to keep global temperature increases under 2°C[1]. Africa hosts 715 million hectares of degraded land, making up over one-third of the global land that has the potential to be restored.

In addition to its official partnerships with World Economic Forum, UN Environmental Programme, and 1 Trillion Trees, Justdiggit’s Moving Beyond programme contributes to AFR100, a 30-country effort to restore 100 million hectares of deforested and degraded African landscapes.

Wessel van Eeden, Marketing Director, at Justdiggit said: “Following the successful pilot, the securing of the first round of funding will allow us to scale up our programme, marking a huge step in reversing the impact of climate change. By leveragingindigenous methods, mobile growth, and satellite technology, we can combine low-tech with big tech to scale up our impact.

“The traditional NGO model alone can’t meet the urgency of degradation, population growth and rising temperatures. We realised we needed a disruptive approach that doesn’t rely on NGO headcount to scale. Our model, combining technology, indigenous regreening solutions and powerful communications is agile and empowers farmers to derive value while delivering impact.”

For Justdiggit’s corporate partners, the programme offers a way to measurably sequester carbon at scale while delivering holistic social and economic impact to local communities. Once scaled up, the programme will also have the potential to deliver accredited offsets on the carbon market, which partners can factor into their net carbon positions, with the proceeds shared with participating farmers.

Wessel van Eeden, Marketing Director at Justdiggit continued: “We’re inviting businesses and brands to take up the opportunity to measurably contribute towards their sustainability goals, demonstrate performance against ESG criteria and join the regreening movement.

“Where previously brands have had to face the choice between environmental or social impact, with regreening businesses can deliver impact holistically: sequester carbon, contribute to livelihoods, and empower local communities.”