700-year-old African soil procedure could help offset global warming.
It is a 700 year old practice suggesting that it worked in the past and may do so today as well. The procedure consists of a farming technique that was the norm among bucolic inhabitants of West Africa.
Through this method, nutrient-poor rain forest soil could be converted into fertile farmland in a jiffy. This trick-of-the-trade is all set to revolutionize farming across Africa. It will also mitigate the global warming and climate change that is escalating in the world today.
The study which identified this technique was led by the University of Sussex. Several scientists from African nations participated in supervising the study.
The method consists of adding charcoal and kitchen waste to the barren soil. This leads to highly fertile and rich soil which can be used to grow important cash crops.
It is a tried and tested methodology that though ancient is still relevant today. The soil that is obtained from this scheme is termed African Dark Earth. Liberia and Ghana were the sites where various soil samples were studied on an intensive level.
The fertile yet artificial soil that is produced from the method is 200% to 300% richer than ordinary soil. It contains tons of organic carbon. Intensive farming will see a new heyday thanks to this scheme of things.
Thousands of people living in poverty-stricken and backward areas of the global village may benefit immensely from the use of this soil for growing and harvesting crops.
World hunger and poverty can finally be eradicated thanks to this super-rich soil. While other more reliable and scientific methods of increasing crop yield need to be discovered, for now this is a mainstay of Africa and Africans.
Similar soils samples have been found among the indigenous people of South America. The Amazonian dwellers who lived in pre-Columbian times used similar methods of enriching the soils of their habitat.
The exact technique of producing such soils was lost to history after the Europeans began their conquest and colonization of these areas. It is a good thing that some of the offspring of the African ancestors knew the secret by word of mouth and preserved it for the benefit of the present generation.
Wood ash, animal bones and organic waste go into the mix that makes these super-rich soils. It is a marvel to behold how two separate communities in West Africa and South America respectively managed to use such a technique that even modern science was oblivious of up until now.
The study, entitled "Indigenous African soil enrichment as a climate-smart sustainable agriculture alternative", has been published in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and Environment.