B4SS demonstration workshop in San Ramon, Peru (February 2017)

After attending the B4SS training workshop in San Ramon in May 2016, APRODES took the initiative to do the same training workshop with farmers in Anta, a province near Cusco, where APRODES is conducting a project to strengthen local farmers’ involvement and negotiating power in product development and commercialization of quinoa. With the biochar produced during the workshop, a field trial was established in a quinoa field that B4SS project director, Ruy Anaya de la Rosa, was invited to see. The 2,000 m2 field received about 1 ton of biochar that was produced from wood and straw mixed with chicken manure in a Kon Tiki soil pit kiln. Unfortunately, a comparative field trial was not included. Although we visited another quinoa field that was supposedly planted at the same time and seemed to experience less biomass growth than in the biochar-amended field, the effects of biochar in this quinoa field cannot be scientifically assessed for this season. Yet, this did not seem to bother other farmers who are eager to try biochar in their fields.