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Potsdam Meeting Summary – SIANI African Biochar Expert Group

The SIANI African Biochar Expert Group meeting in Potsdam the 27th to 30th of May was a huge success. Among the new ideas that emerged from the workshop was on how to ensure continuous research on biochar production and utilization in Africa. One major outcome of the meeting was also on how to extend the network in such a way that, the major part of biochar experts and users in Africa can have a platform to share information and results of their research work.

It is important that we understand the benefits of different uses of biochar so that information on how to utilize biochar in different types of soils can be spread to farmers. For example how do you use biochar for stressed plants in dry soils? Not only using biochar is important but also how to produce it. There are different ways to produce biochar from small scale cooking stoves and soil pits to large scale biochar and power producing plants.

Within the work of the biochar expert group we are mapping out ongoing activities on biochar in Africa. If you are working with biochar and want to join the network please do not hesitate to contact us. If you have results that you would like to share with others we are more than happy to post them on our web site. We are also developing a stakeholder analysis so if you consider yourself as a stakeholder please contact us.

The SIANI African Biochar Expert Group intends to have a workshop in one of the African countries in the beginning of 2016. We hope to have as many biochar experts as possible participating.

To highlight our biochar initiative we will attend with a poster at the Agricultural Research for Development Conference in Uppsala, Sweden, at 23rd to 24th of September.

A communication plan is under construction describing how to communicate with different stakeholders. The platform we are building at the moment will have the information necessary for policymakers, scientists and farmers.

The workshop was held in conjunction with an international biochar symposium with more than 100 participants. We found it rewarding to co-locate our workshop with such an event which gave us opportunity to meet and discuss with biochar researchers from all over the world.

Please find more about the workshop here.


  • Dr. Cecilia Sundberg, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden
  • Dr. Edward Yeboah, CSIR – Soil Research Institute, Ghana 
  • Dr. Aliou Faye, Institut Sénégalais de Recherches Agricoles, Senegal
  • Dr. Adenike Adejumo, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria
  • Dr. Moses Mensah, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana 
  • Mr. Mattias Gustafsson, EcoTopic AB, Sweden