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Soils, sinks, and smallholder farmers: Examining the benefits of biochar energy transitions in Kenya

Mahmoud, Yahia and Njenga, Mary and de Nowina, Kristina Roing and Sundberg, Cecilia and Röing De Nowina, Kristina (2021). Soils, sinks, and smallholder farmers: Examining the benefits of biochar energy transitions in Kenya. Energy Research & Social Science. 75 , 102033
[Research article]

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Abstract

Besides reducing fuel demands and indoor air pollution, pyrolytic cooking stoves produce a by-product (biochar) that can improve soil fertility and serve as a sink for carbon sequestration. Most smallholder farmers in Africa depend on wood for fuel, suffer from exposure to smoke and soils in their cultivated farms are deteriorating. Biochar (bio-charcoal) production has potentials to reduce energy requirement, diminish exposure to smoke, improve soil health and ease household activities traditionally associated with female labour. However, introducing new technologies and behaviours that tackle existing problems without creating new ones is a complex endeavour. Transitions need to be anticipatory, comprehensive and inclusive. Having this in mind, a transdisciplinary study was conducted from 2013 to 2019 with 150 households in three agro-ecological zones of Kenya. The socio-economic conditions, the uses of fuels and stoves, the crops grown and fertilizers used, as well as the labour division within households were documented. Selected households were given pyrolitic cooking stoves and trained in applying biochar to the soil. After two years of using the cooking stoves and applying biochar, studies were conducted to assess the feasibility and preliminary impacts based on the households own perceptions and experiences. The results showed that the strategy represented a viable option to deal with fuel use efficiency, exposure to indoor smoke and soil degradation, as well as easing the burden on female labour.

Authors/Creators:Mahmoud, Yahia and Njenga, Mary and de Nowina, Kristina Roing and Sundberg, Cecilia and Röing De Nowina, Kristina
Title:Soils, sinks, and smallholder farmers: Examining the benefits of biochar energy transitions in Kenya
Series Name/Journal:Energy Research & Social Science
Year of publishing :2021
Volume:75
Article number:102033
Number of Pages:9
Publisher:ELSEVIER
ISSN:2214-6296
Language:English
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 405 Other Agricultural Sciences > Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Agricultural Science
Keywords:Biochar, Fuel-efficiency, Poverty reduction, Soil fertility, Sustainable development
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-111883
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-111883
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1016/j.erss.2021.102033
Web of Science (WoS)000644726700003
ID Code:23743
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Soil and Environment
(S) > Dept. of Soil and Environment

(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Energy and Technology
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:24 May 2021 09:04
Metadata Last Modified:24 May 2021 09:11

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