A farming technique practised for centuries by villagers in West Africa, which converts nutrient-poor rainforest soil into fertile farmland, could be the answer to mitigating climate change and revolutionising farming across Africa.

A global study led by the University of Sussex which included anthropologists and soil scientists from Cornell, Accra, and Aarhus Universities and the Institute of Development Studies has for the first-time identified and analysed rich fertile soils found in Liberia and Ghana.

They discovered that the ancient West African method of adding charcoal and kitchen waste to highly weathered, nutrient poor tropical soils transforms the land into enduringly fertile, carbon-rich black soils which the researchers dub 'African Dark Earths'.
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Source: University of Sussex

    16-06-2016 00:00