Biochar demonstration project in Cambodia

Sub-national Level

Biochar demonstration project in Cambodia

LAST UPDATE

09 March 2012

TARGET AREA

Rural

BEST PRACTICE IN:

Project ImplementationResearch and Development

KEY SECTOR:

Forest Ecosystems

IMPLEMENTATION PERIOD:

2009-2010 (12 months)
Organisation

SME Cambodia; SME Renewable Energy Ltd

Partners

Trailblazer Foundation; University of Edinburgh; Appropriate Rural Technology Institute; International Rice Research Institute (IRRI)

Supporters / Donors

Asia-Pacific Network (APN)

Description of Intervention

• Add biochar during the normal planting regime of rice and a chosen horticultural crop with differing application rates of biochar and with combinations of different fertilizers or green waste added; and
• Investigate the soil condition and the yields of the crops after harvest.

Problems to be Addressed

A substantial segment of the population live on below $2/day (68.2%), impacting their long-term livelihood security.

Aims

• Provide agricultural benefits for the rural poor in Cambodiap; and
• Investigate the potential for farmers in Cambodia to receive carbon credits through the UN Clean Development Mechanism or voluntary carbon markets, as an additional income stream for poor communities.

Objectives

Investigate:
• Potential sources of biochar;
• Feedstock availability in the partner countries;
• Factors that make biochar cost-effective;
• Financial models which will allow the extension of biochar deployment within the Asia-Pacific region;
• Competition for feedstock and their most efficient use at both the local and regional levels;
• Examine the impacts of biochar on the soil by measuring crop yields, as well as changes to the chemical and physical properties of the soil before and after biochar addition; and
• Analyze the permanency.

How It Fits into the EbA Concept

Biochar has shown to render soils more fertile and allows higher rates of water retention, through increasing the uptake of nutrients from other fertilizers (particularly nitrogen) and enhances the presence beneficial soil microorganisms and fungi. The biochar-enriched soils are therefore better able to withstand the impacts of drought. The increased soil fertility also results in increasing yields for most crops (particularly in leached tropical soils), at least in the short term.

Results / Outputs

• Better understanding of the role of biochar for carbon storage and agricultural improvement;
• Policy recommendations for further development of biochar as a component of sustainable energy and agricultural policy; and
• Better ecological systems and increase in crop yields help to reduce vulnerability of farmers to the negative impacts of climate change.

Lessons Learned

n/a

Upscaling / Outreach Activities

n/a

Contact Details

Robert J. Youngberg
Trailblazer Foundation
P.O. Box 3694 Jackson,
WY 83001, USA
Tel: (+1) 307 203 2542
e-mail: robert@thetrailblazerfoundation.org
info@thetrailblazerfoundation.org
Website: http://www.thetrailblazerfoundation.org/default.html