Regenerating an ecosystem to grow organic sugar: The Balbo Group
"We don’t worry too much about the crop itself - we take care of the whole ecosystem"
Safi Organics is a decentralised manufacturer of fertilisers operating in a rice-growing area of North Kenya. Safi Organics collects discarded rice husks and transforms them into a nutrient and carbon-rich organic biochar fertiliser called Safi Sarvi.
In doing so, Safi Organics generates employment for local youth, increases profits for farmers, and improves the soil and broader environment.
Safi Organics valorises a resource that otherwise becomes waste. In many regions, such as Northern India, rice by-product burning leads to significant disruption and health issues in surrounding cities, due to the high particulate content of the smoke.
Furthermore, intensive rice-growing with chemical fertilisers degrades soil health, increasing acidity, meaning even more chemicals need to be used.
Safi Organics addresses these issues in a holistic way, creating multiple benefits:
Local fertiliser production using local feedstock avoids the volatility of international fertiliser prices
Farmer profits increase due to better yields and lower input costs
Local, distributed manufacturing model creates local jobs
Organic biochar reduces soil acidity, improves soil structure and sequesters about 1.7 tonnes of CO2e per acre