Biochar: Promoting Crop Yield, Improving Soil Fertility, Mitigating Climate Change and Restoring Polluted Soils
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The agricultural and environmental sectors are plagued with challenges. In agriculture, soil infertility and the subsequent quagmire of poor crop yield, has always been a major problem that limits worldwide agricultural productivity. Major environmental concerns, including Climate Change and Soil Pollution, are receiving continual attention from key stakeholders. Efforts are hence being directed at curtailing or mitigating the devastative consequences of these man-made ‘monsters’. Recently, agricultural and environmental research reveals biochar to be a veritable technology that could be used to deal with some of these concerns. Biochar has the ability to have impact upon important soil properties, such as the raising of soil pH and water holding capacity, the attraction of beneficial fungi and microbes, improvement of cation exchange capacity (CEC), induce high carbon sequestration ability and nutrient retention capacity. Moreover, its large surface area makes it a potential remedy to several identified challenges. This review, therefore, critically highlights the importance of biochar, as well as the various ways of harnessing biochar technology towards global food security and environmental sustainability.
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