Anodyne Coffee Roasting Co. stands up for African farmers
Milwaukee's Anodyne Coffee Roasting Co. is pleased to announce its financial support of Radio Lifeline, a Wisconsin-based nonprofit that provides smallholder farmers with access to information and sustainable tools that can lead to improved lives and livelihoods in some of the most challenged coffee growing regions in the world.
Over the past 10 years Radio Lifeline has helped farmers address many of these challenges head-on through its Coffee Lifeline and Black Earth projects.
The Coffee Lifeline project is a radio communications project that connects stakeholders across geographic, political and economic borders, providing a platform for the exchange of vital information that can help to
increase crop yields, improve a family's health and lead to more resilient producer communities. Since 2005, Coffee Lifeline has broadcast over 500 radio programs to the coffee producing communities in East Africa. These weekly broadcasts contain information that includes agronomic best practices, cooperative development and sustainability, climate change, early childhood and maternal health, HIV/AIDS education, nutrition, food security, economic diversification, financial literacy as well as a series of children's stories featured at the close of each broadcast.
The Black Earth Project is a research project designed to evaluate the effectiveness of biochar when used as a soil amendment by smallholder coffee farmers in Rwanda. Biochar is produced through a process called pyrolysis, or the burning of dried biomass in a low or zero oxygen environment. The process prevents combustion and the usual release of carbon dioxide, black carbon and other greenhouse gases associated
with traditional charcoal production methods. The project presents a farm-centered approach to biochar production by utilizing various forms of agricultural crop residues, including dried corn stalks, grasses, rice hulls and coffee pulp as well as cow manure and wood chips.
Harvest data collected in July 2015 from coffee trees treated with applications of biochar demonstrated an average 35% increase in yield, with some cooperatives experiencing as much as a 70% increase. Input costs of biochar-treated trees were reduced by an average of 50%.
"When used as a soil amendment, biochar can increase crop yields, reduce nutrient leaching, help retain moisture, reduce soil acidity and improve surrounding water quality while significantly reducing the need for additional irrigation and fertilizer inputs. Biochar has increasingly been cited as an effective approach to carbon sequestration as it can remain stable in the soil for thousands of years," said Peter Kettler, Executive Director of Radio Lifeline.
Anodyne's founder Matt McClutchy remarked that "Anodyne is proud to assist Peter and his Coffee Lifeline and Black Earth Projects make real and positive changes in the lives of coffee farmers in Africa. Everyone here at Anodyne looks forward to many years of playing a part in the success of the Coffee Lifeline and the Black Earth Project."
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