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Fertile black soil

Agricultural land in the tropics tends to be barren. And yet, the people inhabiting the Amazon region between 3000 and 500 years ago managed to make their land productive. Traces of black soil with charcoal remains can be found throughout the region.

A consortium headed by Wageningen UR researched this ‘Terra Pretta’ and found that nutrients from organic waste, such as fish bones, only stay available when combined with charcoal. This keeps soil fertility high, facilitates climate-smart agriculture and is yet another example of how Wageningen UR contributes to the quality of life.

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