Profile: Developing Biochar Research and Production Capabilities in Ghana

Read the full story from the International Biochar Initiative.

When Ghanaian researcher Edward Yeboah was introduced to biochar, his first reaction was that it might go a long way to address the poor soil health situation in Ghana. This was in 2006 while he was working at Dr. Johannes Lehmann’s Lab Group as a Visiting Scientist at Cornell University, US. Edward also met Dr. Saran Sohi, currently of the UK Biochar Research Center, in 2006 and they started a working collaboration in biochar. A year later, Edward won an African Fellowship Programme Award supported by the Gatsby Foundation and traveled to the UK to spend one year working with Dr. Sohi at Rothamsted Research, in Harpeneden, UK where they studied density fractionation approaches to understand soil organic matter dynamics in soils.

Upon his return to Ghana, Edward introduced biochar to the research community through his colleagues at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research Soil Research Institute (CSIR-Soil Research Institute). In collaboration with CSIR-Crops Research Institute, Kwadaso, they installed an initial field trial to study biochar. In 2008, Dr. Sohi and Edward got support from the Royal Society-Leverhulme Trust, UK under the Ghana/Tanzania-UK Fellowship for Dr. Sohi to conduct an exploratory visit to Ghana. The interest in biochar that was instilled in the research community during that initial visit has taken off and now a number of institutions and researchers in Ghana are working on biochar.

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