Biochar and soil health: relations and benefits


  Soil is a major part of life of human being which support a man from its birth to death. Its creation is not just within days or months or years, it needs centuries. It`s maintenance is essential for every generation with the climate simultaneously. It is basically itself a whole world. It has nutrients, elements, organic matter, a lot of species of organisms and indirectly a symbol of life. A wide range of biodiversity survives in it. Human extract a lot of minerals and essential elements from soil but in return he doing nothing for it. Long ago it was seen that soil is depleting day by day very rapidly. Its deterioration is a hazard for the next generation and coming climate sustainability, profitability and economics of any nature. Likewise, human health is important same as soil health and soil quality maintenance is also essential.  Soil is also hereditary that every farmer gives his son for further its generations. It is a nature rule” do for that that did for you”. Soil is natural gift to human. Its stability is also his responsibility. As soil feeds us same like we have to care about it. Our care towards our soil is not just for our soil maintenance but it is also for our next generations, our climate, our economy, our livelihood and our nation. Soil health improvement is as essential as the biodiversity keeps the life sustainable. Since eve and Adam it is still a continuous relationship between man-plant-soil. As animal take foods from plants which grow in soil. So without soil, plants never exist and without plants human beings, animals and all organisms die. Soil health is self-regulation, resilience and stability and lack of stress symptoms in a soil as an ecosystem. Health of any soil shows the integral relationship with its ecosystem and the entire organism in it and its vicinity. Soil do a lot of work for sustainability of nature and climate as it regulating water, sustaining animal and plant life. Filtering and buffering potential pollutants, cycling nutrients. For the maintenance of soil or soil quality or soil health there are different types of amendments can be used. Among them one is biochar. Biochar is a product made of pyrolysis of biomass.  A lot of studied has been done on it in different countries across the world. It has been found that it is a product that helps the soil, feeds the soil, increases the fertility of soil improves the texture, improves the water holding capacity of soil. Then in the end soil becomes healthy and qualitative which enhances the growth and yield of crop that grows on these soils. It is not just a product it is feed for the soil. No, doubt, organic matter, crop residues etc. also helpful for all discussed above but biochar a prepared product also helps for carbon sequestration and mitigation of carbon dioxide. Soil relation with biochar is same as human with its food. Without it, human never survives cannot work and at last die. Same it is soil without biochar lose its abilities its properties and at last nothing capacity to produce anything. It becomes infertile piece of land. Human consume a lot of different types of food, same as biochar is fed by soil for its sustainability. Different types of supplements are required for soil maintenance biochar is one of them. Soil relation with biochar should like as human with its food, animal with its feed and any organism with its essential element for its survival. Long ago, soil has been used for intensive cropping and heavy exhaustive crops are grown on it. To compensate that anthropogenic for food, feed, fiber and fuel, biochar amendments are the vital. It provides a basic physical and chemical structure improvement to prepare soil bed for crops. From sowing to harvest it support the plant with soil in the form of nutrient, mineral and needed elements. It also helps the soil by increasing the soil organism population. It helps to improve above ground and below ground biomass michrohizal colonization of roots, plant tissue nitrogen and soil phosphorous concentration. Its use is also beneficial in such a sense that it helps the nutrient availability to crop so crop nourish in better way and mature its good time period. It also gives benefit that crop germination and stand establishment is good and enhances the carbon sequestration. Use of biochar in soil will make a farmer economical and prevent his soil from further depleting. Practice of providing the biochar not only beneficiary to farmer itself but its judicious practice also helps the farmer for his next generation and organisms living around its surrounding.

written by.


Dr. Shakeel Ahmad Anjum, Ali Raza Asif, Imran Khan, Ali Zohaib, Iftikhar Ali

Agro-biology Laboratory, Department of Agronomy, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad 38040, Pakistan


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