PRS Publications

The effect of biochar in combination with mineral or organic fertilizers on crop production in Nepal.

Pandit, N. R. . 2018.


The majority of poor people in Nepal relies on agriculture for employment and livelihood sustenance. Declining soil fertility and ongoing climate change are the key challenges faced by farmers, with adverse effects on crop yield and food security. Population densities continue to increase and resources available for maintaining people%u2019s livelihood are becoming increasingly scarce. Biochar is a carbon rich material produced by heating biomass in low oxygen environment known as pyrolysis. Biochar addition in soil has been reported to mitigate climate change and increase crop production per unit of land resulting in improved livelihoods in rural tropical settings. Biochar can be produced from different organic feedstocks and by various kiln types. Some of the previous studies have used feedstock materials such as wood, palatable grass or shrubs and other crop residues that also can be used for other purposes. Such competition for biochar feedstock may threaten the sustainability of its implementation. Therefore, organic waste not used for other purposes or non-palatable weeds should be used for biochar production. Using invasive weeds for biochar would even turn a pest into a valuable resource.