I came across an article a few years ago describing how composting is on the increase in Java, Indonesia. Artificial fertilizers in the 1970s had boosted crop yields for a short period, but yields dropped after that, and the land was poisoned. A local bank initiated a composting drive, collecting waste from markets and converting it into compost. Crop yields started to go up again on application of the compost, but it was expected that it would take at least a few years for it to increase to former levels, that is, before artificial fertilizers came into the picture. A similar article can be found here.
Looking at a satellite picture of fires in Indonesia, no doubt taken in 2012, I couldn’t find any 2013 ones, it seems that most of the fires are in Sumatra. Java seems to have hardly any fires at all. Could it be that the composting project in Java had as an added benefit fewer people in Java clearing forests by burning?
Would Sumatra stop burning forests for agricultural land if composting is introduced in a manner similar to what was done in Java? Perhaps something that can be explored?
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