In 2000, Pro Natura initiated an ambitious new project: the creation of a “green” and sustainable alternative to firewood and charcoal. Two years and 5 million euros later, the result of this initiative, Biochar, won the Altran Foundation Prize for the world’s best new technology for developing nations. The process uses agricultural residues or biomass like savannah weeds, reeds, straw, stems, husk and bamboo, which would otherwise go to waste, to produce up to 5 tons per day of sustainable “green charcoal” or Biochar.
For the last decade, Pro Natura has incorporated Biochar into its climate-smart agroecology through its innovative, ecological and highly productive Super Vegetable Gardens (SVG). The result of 15 years of research, the SVG is a mode of intensive and ecological vegetable cultivation that yields up to one and a half tons of foodstuff per year on only 60 m2 of land, providing families with a nutritious diet and surplus food to sell at their local market.
The SVG production is constant throughout the year irrespective of seasons, producing a new crop of short cycle vegetables every 5 weeks. Pro Natura’s agroecological breakthroughs allow a reduction in water consumption of over 80% while reducing the labor required to about two hours per day.