climate action at it's best
Biochar’s popularity in agriculture and environment management has increased following the discovery of the fertility of the Amazonian Dark Earths and today it plays a very important role in climate action.
To prepare it, heat is applied to crop waste like coffee husks, coconut husks, rice husks, groundnut husks, corn cobs, sugarcane peals under anoxic condition until they are charred. This charred material can be mixed with manure and even compost then applied to soils resulting in a slower release of soil nutrients for efficient plant uptake. The biochar-manure mixture also improves the capacity of soils to hold water and promotes a good habitat for beneficial soil microbes to thrive leading to an overall healthier soil for better plant growth.
This mixture is low-cost and can be prepared using easily available resources, crop waste that would otherwise have been thrown away as trash. So, this method also helps with organic waste management.
How to make it:
Two barrels one larger than the other are needed. The larger one should have a fitting cover that has a long chimney. The crop waste to be charred should be dry. This will reduce the energy needed for the charring.
The top of the inner barrel is also covered with some dry wood then lit.
The setup is covered and some bricks placed on top for stability.
Louis and Moses about
“Hi Louis, it is great that we exchanged knowledge about organic agriculture with the smallholder farmers. Especially the idea about biochar preparation and application.“
“Yes, I was excited that the farmers accepted the biochar idea. Because it is easy to prepare, it makes good use of crop waste which would otherwise have been disposed of, and most importantly it helps with soil fertility while mitigating Climate Change.“
“Exactly! With only two old drums smallholder farmers can fabricate a simple but efficient kiln to produce clean biochar.“
“This is why the smallholders want to use this method. It improves soil fertility and their harvest – which means – more money.“