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Replenishing The Soil
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Replenishing The Soil

In the last few decades, farmers around the world have grown dependent on synthetic fertilizers, which in the short term can have a huge impact on the productivity of land, but over a longer period of time deplete soils of natural microorganisms and nutrients, leach nitrogen into waterways, are carbon intensive to produce. In addition they can be very expensive for farmers in developing countries.

In Kenya, SAFI Organics have come up with a method of transforming agricultural waste from local rice farms into an affordable, organic fertilizer. Using their portable machinery developed in conjunction with MIT, SAFI take rice chaff that farmers had previously paid to dispose of, and produce organic fertilizer in under 8 hours. This fertilizer increases crop yields by up to 30%, reduces soil acidity and also increases water retention in the soil. They are now developing the business to move into areas such as soil testing, where they survey the land in order to tailor their fertilizer for the specific requirements of each farmer.  Decentralising fertilizer production reduces costs for local farmers, unlocking more opportunities for smallholder farmers in rural locations, as well as improving the quality of the soil and eliminating the greenhouse gases associated with synthetic fertilizer production.

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