• Waste not, want not

    Waste not, want not

    A sustainable waste recycling project, led by a Japanese investor, holds the promise of improved yields for Kenyan farmers.

    The trial project involves the processing of sludge, human waste, chicken manure, sawdust, agricultural residue, water hyacinth and more into biochar, an absorbent organic fertiliser and fuel, according to an Asoko Insight report.

    Japanese company Meiwa intends to build a pilot biomass carbonisation plant in Meru County by March 2019 before expanding to other counties.

    Lucy Koyama, Meiwa’s Africa business adviser, says the team intends finding the best biomass for biochar production. ‘We will also conduct research on the benefit of biochar for coffee and tea, among other crops. Experts are also finalising a report that will guide how we will utilise sludge from sewage disposal sites.’ The cost of the project will be determined after the trial phase.

    Considered an effective soil conditioner, the biochar is expected to improve crops’ resilience to drought, a welcome feature, particularly in semi-arid areas such as Tigania East and West, Buuri, Igembe and some parts of Imenti Central counties.

    7 August 2018
    Image: Gallo/Getty Images