Action Research into a Flood Resilient Value Chain – Biochar-based Organic Fertilizer Replaces Chemical Fertilizer with Double Yield of Pea in Udayapur , Nepal
This paper describes the results of an action research project to identify and analyze a flood resilient value chain option for families of migrant workers in flood affected areas in six Village Development Committees (VDCs) in Udayapur district in Nepal. The best option was cultivation of green peas, with crop productivity increased using urine-biochar prepared on farm as an organic fertilizer and soil improver. The paper describes the value chain selection process and comparison of the effects of different fertilizers on vegetable crops. The yield of fresh pea pods from plots treated with urine-biochar plus Farm Yard Manure (FYM) was more than twice that with Nitrogen Phosphorus Potash (NPK) only, and close to three times that with FYM only (farmers' control). The yields of a range of vegetables increased markedly in plots treated with urine-biochar. Analysis of the value chain indicated that farmers would benefit most by marketing to large buyers or direct to supermarkets in the capital through a farmers’ association. Suggestions are made for future actions both country-wide (promotion of biochar-based organic fertilizer as a priority) and locally (strengthening the pea value chain).