Today is World Water Day and you would probably think about clean water etc., but the theme this year is about groundwater and how it will play an important role in adapting to climate change. We will be sharing a clean water story later today but for now, lets talk about groundwater!
Last year we shared news of our biochar trial to improve soil fertility but did you know charged biochar can increase the soil water retention capacity? Because biochar is porous, it can hold water so that plants or crops have it available to them for a longer period of time.
Biochar is like a sponge and is ‘charged’ by adding fertiliser or manure. This adds nutrients and microbes to the biochar. The process usually takes around 14 days and is then ready to mix in with the soil.
The trials we are running are already seeing some positive signs and if this continues to be successful, we’d hope to share this training with local farmers so they too can improve their soil fertility and have better yields.
Over 80% of Malawians live in rural areas and are subsistence farmers but much of the soil is exhausted. In the maize trial we used fertiliser to charge the biochar but we also have a trial running with biochar charged with manure. Manure is more readily available to local farmers and therefore cheaper than buying fertiliser.
Keep an eye out for more updates!