4. The creation of Terra Preta Nova
In Amazonia, anthropogenic soils with high fertility (Terra Preta, Terra Mulata) are of widespread occurrence. These soils are partly used for agricultural purposes.
- Classify input sources (char quality) and evaluate the char products obtained by different processes for their physico-chemical properties and biological effects;
- Evaluate the most promising products (in combination with mineral fertilizers) in terms of nutrient balances and crop productivity;
- Estimate rates of new formation;
- Look at options and constraints from the biophysical and socio-economic side. Together with project #5 the project will assess potential trade offs between increased agricultural sustainability and productivity and carbon sequestration, and link these data in a decision model that could affect policy makers and institutional discourses when scaling up local Terra Preta Nova projects. Together with project #5 it provides a framework for further questions such as: To whom would benefits (agricultural production, carbon sequestration) accrue? Who would decide about quantities and rates of charcoal addition to such soils? Who decides in cases here is a trade off between soils as carbon sinks and Terra Preta Nova soils as sources for sustainable agriculture?