Funding for Biochar Project
On October 1, Consul General Michael Heath announced a State Department grant award of $69,974 (2,099,220 THB) to Warm Heart Worldwide, Inc., to support efforts to assist farmers in reducing seasonal airborne particulate pollution in northern Thailand. The “Breath of Fresh Air” project intends to reduce pollution-based health risks to women and infants, to increase farmer use of biochar-based organic fertilizer as a replacement for synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, and to increase farmer net incomes in northern Thailand.
Dr. Michael Shafer, President of Warm Heart, presented on this issue in an event at the Consulate Thursday. More than 50 representatives from local government, academia, and businesses in the northern Thailand attended.
Exposure to environmental air pollution from agricultural burning of rice and corn residues is a leading cause
of respiratory disease in Northern Thailand. Many women in Northern Thailand suffer from poor nutrition,
inadequate access to health care, and lung disease from indoor air pollution. They are more susceptible
to the health hazards of environmental air pollution and are at a greater risk of developing chronic
The objectives of this project are to reduce seasonal air borne particulate pollution in Northern
Thailand, reduce health risks for women and infants, increase the use of biochar-based
organic fertilizer, decrease use of synthetic fertilizers, and increase farmer net incomes. Warm Heart
will conduct biochar training programs and demonstrations in three different rural villages in Northern Thailand.
As part of trainings, Warm Heart will also provide farmers with instructions on how to teach other villagers to make biochar.