+++ Deadline extension: 20. February 2023 – 12 p.m. +++
„Development of an evidence basis for the application of nutrient-loaded biochar on smallholder farms to enhance soil regeneration, increase productivity, strengthen food security, and mitigate climate change”
Introduction and background of the call
Agricultural cultivation in Ethiopia takes place primarily on highly fragmented land - with average farm sizes ranging from 0.2 to 2 hectares. Due to overuse, erratic rainfall and soil erosion, food security is one of the country's greatest challenges. Soil acidification occurs with eroded topsoil and depleted soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks, depleted nutrients, alternating drought stress and high rainfall. Many areas are experiencing productivity declines for main staple foods and cash crops. Rather few farmers use agricultural residues for soil improvement - mainly due to strong competition for the use of these residues as animal feed or fuel. However, several Woredas have already been advancing composting and vermicomposting efforts without or alongside other measures targeted to reduce soil erosion and improve soil fertility (intercropping, agro-forestry, etc.). Due to high and currently increasing prices of synthetic fertilizers in Ethiopia, the local production of organic fertilizers gains increasing attention.