GAIA International is a 501c3 tax-exempt organization, founded in 2013, by students at Arizona State University. Our focus is on creating long lasting partnerships with communities in developing countries to help rural farmers mitigate the effects of poverty, hunger and malnutrition through the use of biochar and other sustainable agricultural practices.
Our goal is to improve the lives of those at the bottom of the pyramid, through agriculture, by providing them with the tools and knowledge to empower themselves.
At GAIA International we understand that the success in agriculture depends largely on the fertility of the soil. Therefore, our methods are directed at helping farmers to improve soil quality in order to increase crop yields. We do this through teaching our farmers to make biochar. Biochar is charcoal (carbon) produced when organic matter is burned at relatively low temperatures in the absence of oxygen. Biochar improves the soil by acting like a sponge, retaining plant nutrients and soil moisture. This improved soil quality results in higher crop yields. In fact, research has shown that when charcoal and fertilizers are combined, it can yield as much as 880 percent more than when fertilizers are used by themselves (University of Bayreuth, 2004). This is life changing for people who barely exist on subsistence farming.
Our process works because it is simple, sustainable, reliable, affordable, replicable, but most importantly…centered on using local resources. It provides long lasting fertility and durability due to its high levels of organic carbon, which can last in the soil for thousands of years.
We envision moving these farmers from subsistence to surplus, where they move from merely feeding their families to becoming business owners, selling their produce to market. Our hope is to one day see a world that is free of hunger, poverty and ecological degradation.