Training in biochar production and filming the B4SS video in Peru (October 2017)

We went to San Ramon to meet the 21 B4SS project participant farmers and train them in biochar production. During the previous trips to the central jungle in Peru, we have identified that the most appropriate technology for the local farmers to make biochar is the soil pit Kon Tiki kiln. Brenton Ladd (B4SS project coordinator in Peru) presented the results of the biochar field trials, and stressed that biochar must not be produced from standing trees and raw biochar should not be applied directly to soils. This was also a good opportunity for Brenton, Renato Gambarina (APRODES local manager) and Eduardo Lavalle (APRODES general director) to discuss the creation of the B4SS good practice guides and the sustainability of the biochar project in Peru.

As part of the good practice guides, the B4SS hired a Peruvian film production company to help us make short videos and communicate, in simple words, the benefits of using biochar for sustainable land management in Peru. Estefany Loret de Mola and Sebastian Dumler, Brenton’s students, volunteered to talk about biochar and the B4SS project in the videos. Since they are not professional actors, it took us some time to record the scenes. This activity became exhausting because of the mosquitoes and other bugs annoying us, while we were operating a soil pit Kon Tiki kiln in an ambient temperature of 39oC. Fortunately, the students and the film makers are young and fit, and so this task was also successful.

Back in Lima, we met with Pedro Carbajal who is in charge of planting and landscaping of the public gardens and parks of the municipality of Lurin, which has provided the B4SS project with the green waste generated in the municipality for producing biochar. Furthermore, the municipality of Lurin is getting a biochar formulation back from the B4SS for application to the public green spaces. We took Pedro to the B4SS research station in Lurin where Brenton showed us how the biochar site has been improving and expanding quite rapidly.

Muchas gracias a Brenton, Eduardo, Renato, APRODES staff, Estefany, Sebastian, Dennis, the 21 B4SS participant farmers, Pedro, and the filmmakers at “En el Blanco” for advancing the concept of biochar in Peru. It was a surprising pleasure to find out that there are 500 new farmers interested in knowing more about producing and using biochar for sustainable land management in the central jungle.