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Biochar could make coffee industry more sustainable: report


March 3, 2015
By Canadian Vending

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March 3, 2015, – With the security of coffee supply threatened by various climate and
environmentally induced pressures, a focus on more sustainable coffee
production is getting attention worldwide.

March 3, 2015, – With the security of coffee supply threatened by various climate and
environmentally induced pressures, a focus on more sustainable coffee
production is getting attention worldwide.

While coffee production is under pressure from climate change impacts,
coffee cultivation itself leads to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions,
contributing to climate change.

The International Biochar
Initiative (IBI) and the Ithaka Institute for Carbon Intelligence
(Ithaka) have jointly published a new report on "The Potential
for Biochar to Deliver Greater Sustainability for Coffee Cultivation
and Processing."

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This paper reviews methods for
biochar incorporation into coffee production and processing systems to
improve their overall economic and environmental impacts, with a focus
on those processes typically performed at or near the site of coffee
cultivation. It includes the potential benefits of adding biochar to
soils to improve soil fertility and related increases in yields;
highlights opportunities for optimizing the use of coffee residues as
potential feedstocks for biochar; and showcases de-carbonization
pathways using biochar for the coffee industry. The methodology used in
this paper combines a synopsis of relevant peer-reviewed literature with
the identification and analysis of some historical, current, and
planned coffee and biochar demonstration projects in various coffee
growing regions around the world. The authors interviewed selected
project teams and include project descriptions which outline results to
date and other details.

This
is the first in a series of crop specific white papers planned by IBI
and Ithaka to outline how biochar can be used to improve food security
and farmer livelihoods while simultaneously reducing air and water
pollution related to handling of crop residues.

To read more on this effort, visit www.biochar-international.org/crop_report_coffee .