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Tropentag, September 14 - 16, 2022, Prague

"Can agroecological farming feed the world? Farmers' and academia's views."

Soil improvement in Ethiopia through the energetic and material use of agricultural residues, ETH-soil

Felix Thiel1, Annett Pollex2

1DBFZ German Biomass Research Institute, Climate Resilient Water-Energy-Food Systems
2Deutsches Biomasseforschungszentrum gGmbH, klimaresiliente Versorgungssysteme, Germany


Soils are a fundamental natural resource and the basis for all life on land. Several environmental or anthropogenic influences can lead to a deterioration of the physical, chemical and biological conditions of soil quality, which leads to food insecurity especially for the most vulnerable groups of societies. The "ETH-Soil" project (07/2021-12/2026) aims to significantly improve food security in three Ethiopian pilot regions in the Oromia region through the application of an organic fertiliser produced from pyrolysis and biogas plants. The process to be used combines biochar with digestate from biogas plants or compost material to create a fertiliser for soil improvement in order to effectively utilise the advantages of both feedstocks. The application of a combined organic fertiliser aims to improve degraded farmland and elevate yields. Main target groups are small and micro farmers in rural areas with low income and food shortage as well as users and consumers of bioenergy, such as pyrolysis and biogas and their products. Another essential factor in ensuring the sustainability of the project is the participatory further development of a pyrolysis cook stove as well as the implementation of several trainings and further education of specialists for an economic, social and technical progress. Following this approach, the project makes a significant contribution to the national implementation of the Agenda 2030 and addresses solutions to combating hunger through untapped agricultural and social potential, sustainable management of natural resources, and education and training for economic, social and technical progress. The project has been commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

Keywords: Biochar, climate smart, soil, sustainability

Contact Address: Annett Pollex, Deutsches Biomasseforschungszentrum gGmbH, klimaresiliente Versorgungssysteme, Torgauerstr. 116, 04347 Leipzig, Germany, e-mail: annett.pollex@dbfz.de

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