Dez, 10 2015

Revitalizing Degraded Soils with Terra Preta.

Project Description

Indonesia (background):

Indonesia is the most populated country in South-East Asia with nearly 240 million inhabitants spread over more than 15.000 islands. During the last decade, Indonesia has experienced remarkable economic growth, but the gains have not been distributed unequally. In addition, much of that growth has been fueled by natural resources exploitation. In Borneo alone, the last 40 years saw nearly 50% forest loss. Palm oil plantations and logging have left many former rainforest areas without vegetation and with bad soils. Restoring those soils can contribute significantly to poverty reduction, food security and environmental protection.



Terra Preta, a highly fertile type of humus, originally comes from the Amazonas region of Brazil. Scientific research could not yet clarify how exactly the Indians produced this humus, but methods have now been devised to utilize the principles. Three sites of two hectares each with different levels of degraded or otherwise infertile soils have been selected: drained and degraded peat, sandy ground and red clay soil with shrubbery in a former logging area. These sites are a fair representation of the types of degraded land present in Central Borneo. Over the course of 12 months, the project will achieve a revitalization of these soils to the point where they can be used for agricultural purposes.

The project “Revitalizing Degraded Soils with the Terra Preta Principle” will show a reproducible, organic solution for soil improvement as a basis for revitalizing larger areas in the region. Improving the soil on larger scale will yield interesting opportunities for both public and private investment and for business models.


Project activities:

  • Revitalizing the soil in the areas described above with the Terra Preta principle compost and agricultural system
  • Supporting farmers in the establishment of sustainable agriculture or agroforestry.


Project duration:



Financing of this Project:

private sponsor