PhD student Kalika Upadhyay.
PhD student Kalika Upadhyay.
Program: PhD (investigating the use of biochar to produce more sustainable agriculture soils)
Country of Origin: Nepal

PhD student Kalika Upadhyay’s dream to attain food security in developing countries is one step closer through his research at The University of Queensland (UQ).
The Australia Awards scholarship recipient from Nepal is investigating the use of biochar (charcoal) to produce more sustainable agriculture soils.
Kalika says that the management of solid wastes produced from agriculture, forestry or municipalities is a great challenge to the government authorities in Nepal.
“Agriculture is the major industry in Nepal, where millions of people are suffering from hunger, malnutrition and poverty,” he said.
“My research suggests that the biochar produced from solid wastes can be used as soil amendment, for example, as a liming agent in hills where acidic soils are prevalent.
“The use of biochar is also a sustainable way to maintain carbon in the agricultural lands degraded by factors including landslides and flood.”
Kalika’s research was recognised recently at the 29th International Conference on Solid Waste Technology and Management in Philadelphia, USA where he won the Student Paper Award for a paper based on his PhD research.
“Receiving this exciting award from my peers only strengthens my desire to produce some viable solutions in the area of sustainable agricultural development.
“My hope is that my research will contribute to the understanding of soil fertility management systems for food production so that no one in Nepal, or the world, will go hungry due to the lack of healthy food.”

Kalika is one of more than 1400 sponsored students from over 90 countries currently completing their studies at The University of Queensland.

The UQ Global Engagement Office currently collaborates with 70 plus scholarship partners from around the globe to enable international students to successfully study and research at UQ.

More information on RHD scholarships.

For more information on how to apply for an RHD program, please go to the Graduate School website.