by Steven Putter
(Lusaka, Lusaka province, Zambia)
De-Forestation in Zambia is skyrocketing due to urbanization and charcoal making to the tune of 120 tons per day, we are busy with national development and we want to teach people on camera here to use everyday scrap to build biochar stoves in a video training series that will be send out nationally over phones, national TV and to every school in Zambia, Film makers already on board, and the necessary government support to do so, use it for fund-creation for development and replanting of trees and other economic development projects, and we want to have fun doing it :)
Thanks for your message - I'm a huge fan of prejects like these, especially in countries where adding biochar to soils can have such a huge impact on fertility and wealth.
I've just returned from a holiday to Malaysia where we saw first hand the impact that expanding intensive agriculture has had on the environment. Since I last visited the Cameron Highlands the area under cultivation has expanded massively, all supported by dependence on chemical fertilisers. The soil was sandy clay with minimal organic content and high rainfall.
Adding biochar to their soils would increase fertility and reduce costs associated with fertilising (through greater retention of nutrients in the soils) and reduce the pressure to expand further into the jungle.
At the same time this region has a small population of Orang Asli - native tribes people - who are stll essentially living hunter-gather lifestyles from the jungle with some cash crop agriculture. We saw a tribal village where the cooking was being done over an open 3-stick fire.
I only had a few days there unfortunately, but left with a real sense that Biochar could have a real impact here.
I hope your project takes off!
All the best,
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