BioChar Technology Vital in Boosting Pakistan’s Farm Economy through Agricultural Waste Reduction

In 2021, Pakistan was ranked 3rd on the list of countries with the worst air quality by IQAir, a Swiss air quality technology company.

With the agriculture sector contributing to almost 20% of the country’s GDP, significant agricultural production and agriculture waste is generated.

When agriculture waste is burnt to prepare the fields for the next planting season, this inevitably contributes to the air pollution challenge.

Biochar production machine in Pakistan

Biochar technology presents an opportunity to significantly reduce emissions associated with agricultural waste burning. Biochar is produced by the pyrolysis of agricultural wastes in an oxygen-controlled environment.

This process results in little to no emissions as compared to the burning of agricultural wastes. In addition, biochar when applied as a soil amendment can potentially improve soil health.

Shell field trials in Pakistan with biochar

Shell Agriculture and Forestry and Cargill are exploring collaboration on the biochar program for Pakistani farmers to support a more sustainable agriculture ecosystem and directly reduce emissions related to agriculture waste burning.

This will be done through Shell’s social investment program in Pakistan – Access to Energy.

Shell has been providing clean energy solutions to 2 villages in South Punjab through this program will be an extension of this program by converting agricultural waste into biochar.

This partnership supports both businesses’ ambitions to accelerate decarbonization efforts in the agriculture sector.

Cargill has committed to cutting 30% of its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 while leveraging Shell A&F solutions. Both parties will explore decarbonization pathways together.

  • This is a great initiative and must be supported by the agriculture departments of the country. More should be done to introduce small growers to this technology and help them adopt this. Pilot projects are good, but wide spread use is what will bring positive change.

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