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The project will investigate the use of crop residues to produce biochar and wood gas for household-use to lessen the pressure on forests for firewood and charcoal as an intelligent way of recycling organics and reducing CO2 emission. The application of biochar to agricultural fields increases carbon sequestration into the soil and thereby represents a CO2-negative approach to sustainable increase soil fertility, crop yields, and carbon storage. Further intensification will be achieved by small-scale solar drip fertigation systems allowing one to two more growing seasons per year to produce high-value horticultural crops. This is a triple-win situation where farmers get sustained higher yields (from irrigation and improved soil fertility), CC gas emissions are reduced (from increased carbon sequestration), and households get energy (from pyrolysis of straw). Finally, agricultural value chains, both on the supply and processing side, will be developed in cooperation between local SMEs and universities. The research into these options will be pursued within a framework designed to educate PhD students and young scientists.

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