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Biochar Systems in Ghana

E. Yeboah
E. Dugan
E. Nartey
I.Y.D. Lawson
K.A. Frimpong
B.D. Obiri
I. Egyir
M. Akom
J. Osei-Adu
P.K. Otabil
B. Ason
D.F.K. Allotey
M. Moses
S.G.K. Adiku


Biochar is a pyrolysed biomass, incorporated into soil for improvement of soil health. Biochar added to soils holds the potential of a triple-win for  livelihoods, environment and the climate. In environments where a lot of biomass is generated and poses disposable challenges, biochar remains a  viable alternative for solving both agronomic and environmental problems, especially in highly degraded soils. Considerable research into biochar over the years have indicated its potential to solve many environmental problems, however there is still lack of knowledge about specific aspects of biochar production and use. Also, a number of assertions related to the positive impact of biochar in agriculture have not been well explained scientifically and verified. In Ghana, research on biochar is recent and currently uncoordinated with research outputs not clearly documented and visible. There is the urgent need to review available information on biochar research outputs in Ghana and provide expert opinion on the feasibility of embedding the technology in specific farming systems. The aim of this paper is to present an in-depth review of biochar research in Ghana, as it relates to agriculture and environmental management. Challenges to the biochar technology, formulation, feedstock availability and adoption rates are discussed. There is  wide array of potential feedstocks for biochar production from agricultural residues. The -l quantity of biochar application has pronounced effect on  maize grain yield where 5 t ha -l significantly yielded more maize grain than 2.5 t ha . Soils amended with cocoa pod biochar increased maize grain yield  by 56 % compared to un-amended soil. Biochar can contribute to improving crop productivity on smallholdings although its supply and value chains are  not formalized and the product is unfamiliar in most farming communities. Policies that integrate biochar to sustainable intensification in agriculture is recommended.

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eISSN: 2821-9023
print ISSN: 0855-5591