200 Pounds of Compost, Over 7,000 Kilometers and 1 Partnership

In a neat new research collaboration with implications on how we use and market compost in Haiti, SOIL is working with researchers at Cranfield University in the UK to evaluate the agricultural impact of SOIL’s compost (Konpòs Lakay).

This work can be summarized in numbers:

2 students

will research the potential of Konpòs Lakay as part of their Master’s theses in the university’s greenhouse and laboratories. A third student will research a different kind of organic fertilizer to serve as a comparison. For this purpose,

200 pounds

of SOIL’s Konpòs Lakay were shipped from Port-au-Prince to Cranfield along with

a few hundred Moringa seeds.

Each student has a very different project in order to cover a wider range of results:

  • Susana, from Spain, will grow Haitian Moringa using SOIL’s compost in order to determine the best application rate for this specific tree. Moringa is not only a very nutritious crop, but its deep roots help prevent soil erosion during extreme weather events such as the hurricanes that hit Haiti on a regular basis. Susana’s research will help SOIL provide evidence-based guidance on how to support Moringa forestry projects in Haiti using SOIL compost.
  • Estrella, also from Spain, will grow tomatoes using SOIL’s compost in order to determine the effect it has on plant and fruit development. Estrella will use a tomato cultivar called Micro-Tom in her research. This cultivar is a dwarf species, genetically engineered to grow faster and therefore allowing researchers to obtain results much faster (you can harvest the first fruits about 2 to 3 months after seeding). This research project will help quantify the impact of SOIL compost on food crops.
  • Ricardo, from Mexico, will grow Haitian Moringa using Malaysian palm oil residue as a fertilizer. Palm oil residue is the waste created by the palm oil industry; it is available in very large quantities in producing countries like Indonesia or Malaysia, and has fertilizing qualities that could help reduce the environmental impacts of the palm oil industry. Ricardo’s initial research plan does not include the use of Konpòs Lakay, but will provide an interesting alternative fertilizer comparison to Susana’s Moringa research.

Susana, Estrella, and Ricardo are all working on their Master’s degrees in Future Food Sustainability and were connected to SOIL by Dr Ruben Sakrabani in Cranfield University’s School of Water, Energy and Environment.

We are very excited to be working with these students on quantifying the agricultural impact of SOIL’s compost, and we are looking forward to updating our blog readers with news from these research projects in the coming months. Stay tuned for some tasty tomatoes and Moringa products!

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