Charcoal ‘Seed Bombs’ For Reforestation
This is a Seedball, and just like it sounds it’s literally a nutrient-rich seed inside of a ball, but it’s a mighty little seed that could ultimately change the landscape in Kenya, East Africa, and also change the trajectory of climate change. The impactful seeds are indigenous and are supplied and certified by the Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI), and are not treated or altered.
A Seedball’s outer coating is made out of “biochar,” or charcoal dust mixed with some nutritious binders. The function of the biochar coating is to help protect the seed within from predators, such as birds, rodents, and insects, and extreme temperatures – until greatly needed rain arrives to help it grow. Once it’s completely wet, the Seedball will help preserve and prolong a moist environment around the seed to activate germination.
Seed germination rates in the wild greatly fluctuate within species. For example, some tree seeds, such as the Nandi Flame and Siala (Markhamia) require just a few rain showers within a week to sprout. Acacias, on the other hand, differ with “most species adopting a more conservative approach evolved for harsher less-predictable dryland environments.”
This innovative approach to reforestation was researched and developed by Seedballs Kenya, a joint collaboration between Chardust Ltd. and Cookswell Jikos. Since 2016, Seedballs Kenya has been tackling deforestation in Kenya and East Africa. It has proudly distributed over 8,410,500 Seedballs – and counting! A huge benefit of the Seedballs is that they cost-effective and can be easily dispersed over large, remote, and inaccessible areas. Also known as “seed bombing” or aerial reforestation, it’s a technique of introducing vegetation to land by throwing or dropping Seedballs. Seedballs Kenya disperses Seedballs in degraded areas with tree and grass species that have been partially or completely removed by man from their original environments.
As a result of this direct seeding, there is a reduction in transplant shock. This helps young trees grow stronger roots and ultimately grow into stronger trees. Thanks to this low-cost afforestation, the region is making progress in rehabilitating damaged land. It’s also reintroducing tree species in a semi-natural process.
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