WasteX, a climate-tech company operating in the Philippines and Indonesia, said it rolled out a biochar solution in a poultry farm in Cavite.
The company said it pilot tested biochar, a charcoal-like and carbon-rich substance derived from biomass, which can boost the performance of the poultry industry and help achieve sustainable farming techniques.
“The outcomes of our solution implementation at the poultry farm have exceeded our initial expectations. While we anticipated operational improvements and benefits from the generation and sale of carbon credits, the additional income and savings resulting from decreased mortality rates and reduced bedding use will far surpass the carbon credit proceeds,” said Pawel Kuznicki, Founder and CEO of WasteX.
“We are currently working with several other poultry farms in the Philippines and Indonesia to expand the implementation of our solution.”
While still nascent in the Philippines, the company said biochar technology has already received positive reception and full support from the government. The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), for instance, has expressed eagerness to promote biochar as a green alternative to chemical fertilizer.
It also said the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is still looking at ways to widely promote the use of biochar among farmers.
Citing data from the Bureau of Animal Industry, WasteX said there are 1,593 registered poultry farms in the Philippines.
Biochar is produced from rice husk and poultry litter using WasteX’s proprietary equipment at one of Pitik’s farms. The biochar was then incorporated into the farm’s operations in two ways: as a bedding additive of up to 10 percent of the total bedding, and as a feed supplement of up to 2 percent of the feed.
The supplementation of bedding with up to 10 percent biochar led to substantial improvements in the farm’s broiler chicken production.
“The results were impressive, with a 25-percent reduction in chicken mortality rate, a 30-percent decrease in overall bedding use, and the farm achieving the highest-ever recorded value in its Performance Index. Furthermore, there was a slight decrease in the feed conversion ratio or FCR.”
Additionally, by supplementing the feed with up to 2 percent biochar, the poultry farm experienced a near-complete eradication of the E. coli population, contributing to enhanced biosecurity measures and healthier poultry, according to the company.
WasteX’s pilot findings revealed that total benefits for a 20,000-chicken farm would amount to more than $5,000 or P275,000 annually in additional savings and income.
“Given the slim margins of a typical poultry farm, adopting this new practice could significantly improve farmers’ profits and livelihood.”
Furthermore, WasteX “guarantees” carbon credits to its clients for the entire biochar production and application, amounting to $50 or about P2,750 per metric ton of biochar. This could translate to up to $2,000 or about P110,000 per farm per year, incentivizing farms to adopt this innovative solution.
Biochar is entitled to carbon credits because it captures and stores carbon for extended periods to help mitigate climate change. If applied at full scale, biochar could transform the agricultural industry into a carbon-negative and climate-positive sector.