Agroecosystems have become very important not only for their role in achieving food security but also in mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions. This agro-ecological function has become very important since society expects agriculture to be more sustainable, by decreasing fertilizer inputs while reducing greenhouse gas emission. Mitigation measures to reduce net GHG emissions include increasing soil C sequestration by reduced tillage, biochar and straw application, and increased crop-use efficiency of fertilizer-N. An adequate management of soils and crops could result in a reduction of GHG emissions through complex interactive factors. However, which factors are mainly responsible for the differences in emissions across soil and environment type remain unclear and the mechanism underlying GHG emissions are complex. It is therefore imperative to determine how biochar could mitigate greenhouse gas emissions without adverse effect on crop yield. This chapter will predominantly review biochar application for improved resource use and reduce greenhouse gas emission in sub-Saharan Africa, except in some cases where specific mechanisms have been elucidated in other regions. We consider future perspectives on whether biochar application offers economic opportunities for smallholder farmers in developing countries, with a particular focus on Ghana. These issues provided the motivation for this chapter.
Part of the book: Applications of Biochar for Environmental Safety