Action Research into a Flood Resilient Value Chain – Biochar-Based Organic Fertilizer Doubles Productivity of Pea in Udayapur, Nepal
Green growth and flood resilient value chain development have been foremost in the minds of vegetable growers in six villages of Udayapur District when they agreed to join pea field trials for a self-made biochar based organic fertilizer. Like so many Nepalese women and men who depend on farming for their livelihoods their top concern was getting high crop yields while lowering their input costs. Farmers of six villages (240 migrant workers' families) are now showing how boosting agriculture productivity and saving costs at the farm level can go hand in hand with national climate change strategies particularly in replacing chemical fertilizers in tropical soils of Nepal, an Action Research project result revealed. The results demonstrated that the biochar based organic fertilizer has enhanced the nutrient efficiency by increasing yields of at least four vegetable crops (peas, bottle gourd, cauliflower, and tomato) in the study area, and this technology was found more resilient to adverse climate (flood and drought) conditions. The trials have further investigated that the combination of biochar and cow urine, a source of nutrients readily available to farmers, have increased fresh pea yields double folds from (3 to 7) t · ha–1 in off season (end of Dec. to Mar.). With this learning, a flood resilient pea value chain was developed, where farmers could get increase in income from 9.92 % (traditional value chain) to 44.32 % (upgraded value chain). Further benefits of biochar based organic fertilizer have been recorded with increase of soil organic matter content in the root zone of crops and soil moisture content.
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