Our aim is to encourage the adoption of more agroecological farming and land management strategies, addressed at both large, several thousand hectare, farms as well as smallholder plots.
The larger farms are easier to address as they are usually owned freehold by a single farmer whereas the smallholder plots are often on communal land which adds complexity.
Our approach for the larger farms is to encourage the harvesting of encroacher bush through selective thinning; its conversion into carbon-rich biochar through burning in the absence of oxygen (a process known as pyrolysis) in specialist kilns; the quenching of the char with water; and the return of the biochar to the surface of the land.
It is well understood, from ancient times, that the spreading of biochar nourishes, the organisms that inhabit soil, thereby improving groundwater retention, aiding, as a result, the return of perennial grasses and, therefore, the more productive rearing of cattle and, in time, other agroecological uses of the land; and equally the accumulation of Soil Organic Carbon.
The quench water drained from the kilns can be used as a fertiliser and organic pest control in cultivated vegetable gardens.
We are undertaking pilot projects on a number of farms, by way of proof of concept, as we wait for Soil Organic Carbon to form, ready to be offered-up to the carbon offset markets on behalf of the landowners.
We envisage all the earnings from carbon sales to go back to the land owners other than a portion that we may seek to retain to be distributed to local communities.
Smallholder Plots – A Playbook
We plan to show smallholders how to adopt agroecological farming practices so as to increase yields and food security, as well as have a secondary benefit of sequestering more green house gases than currently.
We are working on a “playbook” for smallholders which we plan to roll out during the course of 2024.