The project assessed the viability for scale-up of biochar use as a strategy for addressing climate mitigation and adaptation by improving soil health, fertility and plant productivity, and resulting farm income. Biochar is charcoal fertiliser made from various kinds of waste biomass. It represents an inexpensive way to increase crop yields and holds significant environmental benefits including reduced loss of nutrients and greenhouse gas emissions.
The project was highly successful as it provided evidence from numerous field trials that urine-enriched biochar can, in three different climate zones, improve crop yields in a climate-friendly manner. Some trials showed yield increases of up to 300%.
The most appropriate technology for biochar production at the farm level in Nepal is the soil pit Kon-Tiki flame curtain kiln. Benefits include high-quality biochar production, low emissions, no need for start-up fuel, short pyrolysis time and, importantly, easy and cheap construction and operation, with no initial capital investment except labour. The technology is thus affordable for small-scale farmers in Nepal. The project showed strong scaling-up potential and included numerous lessons learnt that are valuable for all future biochar projects.
NDF congratulates Landell Mills as well as everyone involved in realising the project.