Resilient Ecosystems


Folio Seed Bank

A self-maintained green manure seed bank, operating in a seed-for-data trade system

Team Lead

Beatriz Zanforlin

Solution Pitch

The Problem

One of the main obstacles for organic grain production is nitrogen, an essential nutrient for plants that has to pass through a highly energy-intensive process to be made into fertilizer. Nitrogen-based synthetic fertilizers are widely used but have several harmful effects on the environment, from GHG emissions to water contamination. Resources and information for alternative fertilizers are not widely available in Brazil.

The Solution

Folio Seed Bank is a collaborative green manure seed bank operating in a seed-for-data trade system connected to a network of farmers, scientists, and farmer-scientists. Farmers get cheap seeds and return that seed with structured agronomic data for open-source knowledge development. This promotes a self-sustained source of both seeds and information in a positive feedback loop that is highly scalable and benefits largely from positive network effects.

By solving the scarcity of good quality organic seeds and information, Folio Seed Bank replaces harmful fertilizers, reduces GHG emissions, and improves carbon capture while empowering farmer-scientists in Brazil.

Market Opportunity

Folio and its partners are creating a wide network of organic farmers, enthusiasts, and related actors around the theme of organic agriculture. The seed bank will grow along with the network and this by itself is an opportunity for business and partnerships to grow. Also, with the green agriculture agenda ever more present, especially in Brazil, demand for good quality seeds for regenerative and organic agriculture will increase.

Organization Highlights

  • In 2021, Folio planted its first bulbs of green manure seeds and conducted several testings for the inaugural and current season.

  • Won the Good Energies Foundation Prize at MIT Solve Challenge Finals 2021.

Partnership Goals

  • Legal advice to adhere to current Brazilian regulations for seed producers and creating fair, well-constructed contracts.

  • Financial and planning advice, particularly for resource management and scalability models.

  • Partnerships with universities, professors, and students to gain access to a robust scientific community as well as needed lab infrastructure.

  • Connections with companies and scholars working in the genetic development of better green manure varieties.

Solver Team

Organization Type:
Hybrid of For-Profit and Nonprofit

São Paulo, Brazil


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