IITA-ADC biochar study Uganda on Sorghum

Increasing organic matter/carbon contents of soils is one option from a basket of strategies being proposed to offset climate change inducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, under the auspices of the Paris-COP 4 per mille initiative. One of the complimentary practices to sequester carbon in soils on decadal timescales is amending it with biochar, a carbon rich byproduct of biomass gasification. In sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) there is widespread and close interplay of agrarian based economies and the use of biomass for fuel, which makes that the co-benefits of biochar production for agriculture and energy supply are explicitly different from the rest of the world. To date, the quantities of residues available from staple crops for biochar production, and their potential for carbon sequestration in farming systems of SSA have not been comprehensively investigated. Herein we assessed the productivity and usage of biomass waste from: maize, sorghum, rice, millet and groundnut crops; specifically quantifying straw, shanks, chaff and shells, based on measurements from multiple farmer fields and census/surveys in eastern Uganda. Moreover, allometric models, using grain productivity, plant height and density, as input variables, were tested. These models enable rapid and low-cost assessment of the potential availability of feedstocks at both site-specific, farmer field and/or regional scales. Ultimately we modelled the carbon balance in soils of major cropping systems receiving a ‘circular’ amendment of biochar from residues, and up-scaled this for basic scenario analysis. This interdisciplinary approach has wielded a framework for country-wide assessment of the biophysical potential of crop biomass wastes for soil C sequestration through scaling of biochar technologies, and to determine its co-benefits for agriculture and energy production. In doing so, we identified engineering synergies that could substantially contribute to a number of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
Creator Roobroeck, Dries
Creator ID Type ORCID
Creator ID 0000-0003-3176-4444
Subject Vocab Sorghum,Biomass,Pyrolysis,Soil,Carbon,Climate change mitigation,Residues,Biochar
Subject(s) Productivity and usage of crop residues,Biochar carbon sequestration,Smallholder farming systems,Sorghum,Ex-ante qualification
Publisher International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
Contributor Person Hood-Nowotny Rebbeca, Tumuhairwe John-Baptist, Majaliwa Jackson
Contributor Project Lead Organisation Center International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
Contributor Project Lead Center International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
Contributor CRP CGIAR Research Program on Climate Chane, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS)
Contributor Partner
Contributor Donor Austrian Development Cooperation
Contributor Project Not applicable
Contributor Affiliation BOKU, Vienna; Makerere University, Kampala
Open-Access status Open Access
Production Date 2019-01-20
Embargo End Date 2019-06-30
Content Type Dataset
File Format csv
Identifier Type DOI
Identifier https://doi.org/10.25502/fbgw-1m42/d
Identifier Citation Roobroeck D, Hood-Nowotny R, Nakubulwa D, Tumuhairwe JB, Majaliwa J, Ndawula I, Vanlauwe B, 2019. Biophysical potentials of crop residues for biochar carbon sequestration in soils, and co-benefits, in Uganda.
Source Production and use of biochar, compost and lime as component of integrated soil fertility management and sustainable land use for agro-ecological intensification of common bean and maize cropping in smallholder farming systems of eastern Uganda.
Language English
Relation Not applicable
Agroecological Zone Humid warm tropics
Coverage Region Eastern Africa
Coverage country Uganda
Coverage Admin Unit Not applicable
Coverage X 1.37333
Coverage Y 32.29028
Coverage Start Date 2016-06-13
Coverage End Date 2017-08-31
Contact Roobroeck, Dries; Soil Fertility Management Specialist, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
Contact Email d.roobroeck@cgiar.org
Restriction CC-BY 4.0
Email Permission Not applicable
Rights CC-BY 4.0