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Environmental Challenges
Volume 4, 2021, 100150

Sustainable and efficient utilization of weed biomass for carbon farming and productivity enhancement: A simple, rapid and ecofriendly approach in the context of climate change scenarios

M P Sujathaa, C Lathikaa, John K Smithab

Soil Science Department, Kerala Forest Research Institute, Peechi, Kerala, 680653, India.


Climate change being very real and dangerous to our planet, immense efforts are underway to evolve mitigation measures to scale down the emission of greenhouse gasses to the atmosphere. Among the technological frameworks laid out to offset anthropogenic emission, carbon farming is considered to have co-benefits of restoring soil health and productivity enhancement. Therefore, in this study, we attempted to explore the carbon farming potential of weed biomass, which otherwise are considered as threats to agriculture, environment and biodiversity. The study was designed to transform the weed biomass to carbon rich humic substance using various activators such as urea, cow dung, microbial consortium (Bacillus subtilis), and a farm derived liquid organic formulation namely jeevamrutham. Results of the study indicated that among the activators, farm derived organic formulation was very effective in converting the weed biomass to carbon rich humic substance within a short period of 70–75 days. Apart from carbon, the humic substance produced from weed biomass was also endowed with essential nutrients, diverse microorganisms, increased resistance to pathogens, desirable quality for organic farming and consequent productivity enhancement. This approach for weed management, being environment and climate friendly, is popularized among women self-help groups, farmers, foresters etc. for enhanced livelihood as well as environmental safety.

Keywords: Weed biomass, Carbon farming, Productivity enhancement, Humic substance.

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