The emerging concerns in sub-Saharan Africa are non-sustainability of agricultural and soil management practices threatening food security and environmental safety. Biochar, solid material obtained from thermochemical conversion of plants and/or animal biomass in an oxygen limited environment, is of great importance both agriculturally and environmentally. This chapter reviews the contributions of “biochar technology” to environmental sustainability and food security. This strategy addresses the declining food security issues, depleting soil and plant health challenges. When properly exploited, biochar will enhance soil fertility recovery, guarantee resilience to climate change challenges, and satisfy food production needs of growing global population. The positive impacts of biochar utilization on soil beneficial organisms in harnessing and controlling pests and diseases as well as revitalization of ecological niche make it a preferred option. Unfortunately, there is dearth of information on biochar mechanism to enhance bioremediation technology, which is still facing some challenges that need attention for adequate soil remediation. Many researchers have demonstrated bioremediation in laboratory scale under controlled environmental conditions; it may however be very problematic to establish the growth/survival of these biological entities in situ on heavily polluted soil where the environmental conditions cannot be controlled.
Part of the book: Biostimulants in Plant Science
Sustaining crop production in order to meet the growing demand of the teeming populace in the tropics has been one of the utmost goals of Scientists nowadays since the conversion of the tropical ecosystems to other uses has posed serious threat to it. Crops that were either introduced or adopted to the tropical nations by the European conquerors are referred to as tropical crops. The ubiquitous nature of microorganisms has made the soil to be one of their habitats or reservoirs. Microorganisms belonging to bacteria, fungi, protozoa, micro-algae, and viruses inhabit the soil. In crop production, beneficial soil microbes have been used as biofertilizers, biopesticides, and phytostimulators and also increase resilience in plants. Biofertilizers obtained from effective and indigenous microorganism have been used to improve and maintain the biological, chemical, and physical properties of cropland soils, which in turn improve crop growth and yields. Plants also contribute to the population of microbes in the soil by supplying them carbon from their photosynthates. The mutual relationship between beneficial microbes and plants cannot be underestimated in improving crop growth and yields in threatened tropical ecosystem.
Part of the book: Microorganisms