How biochar improves sustainable coffee production

Thanks to financial support provided to the International Biochar Initiative from the Biochar for Sustainable Soils Project, the 2015 white paper The Potential for Biochar to Improve Sustainability in Coffee Cultivation and Processing has been updated and is now freely available to all interested parties.

New coffee and biochar projects in Brazil, China, Colombia, Ethiopia, Peru, Tanzania, Uganda and Vietnam are highlighted in the updated report. Project coordinators identified various drivers and benefits for the coffee and biochar trials including:

• improved soil fertility through increased pH and water/nutrient management;
• improved soil resiliency to adapt to drought, heavy rain and pest;
• reduced dependence on fertilizers and other inputs;
• improved transplant survival rates for young coffee plants;
• ability to convert coffee residues into renewable energy and/or effective soil amendment; and
• improved composting functions when applied to coffee pulp compost.

In addition to project highlights, updates from peer reviewed research on the benefits of using biochar in coffee cultivation and processing are discussed. New information on how biochar can help mitigate coffee rust (roya) and other diseases is presented in addition to benefits related to soil fertility, composting, filtration of effluents from coffee production, renewable energy production, residue management and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions across the entire coffee supply chain.

The full white paper can be found on the International Biochar Initiative’s website.

Image credit: Olle Svensson, flickr/Creative Commons

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