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Biochar

Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 10th November 2009.

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Photo of Peter Ainsworth Peter Ainsworth Conservative, East Surrey

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the potential use of biochar as a means of promoting agricultural production; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Jim Fitzpatrick Jim Fitzpatrick Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Farming and the Environment)

holding answer 9 November 2009

No formal assessment has been made of the potential use of biochar as a means of promoting agricultural production. However, a short research project has been commissioned to assess the potential benefits, costs and issues surrounding the addition of biochar to soil. The research report will critically review the state of knowledge regarding biochar, identify the uncertainties and the risks associated with the addition of biochar to soil, and identify gaps in the evidence base. We expect the review will be completed by the end of December 2009.

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