Category: Blog

AfSIS: Innovation & technology for Africa soils. Meet Swetha our E-learning Coordinator

by | February 24, 2017 | 2 Comments

Rapid, low-cost technologies generate high-value soils information for planners and farmers

by | October 7, 2016

By Keith Shepherd Soil samples awaiting infrared scanning at the CGIAR’s Soil-Plant Spectral Diagnostic Laboratory based at ICRAF. Photo by Keith Shepherd/ICRAF A big, risky decision for smallholder farmers is what type and how much fertilizer to apply to their crops. There is lot of uncertainty about how the crops will respond, with a risk […]

Scientists use technology to shine a light on Africa’s farms

by | October 7, 2016 | 2 Comments

October 6, 2016 By Ed Sulzberger, Tiff Harris and Keith Shepherd Nairobi, Kenya – Portuguese explorers began mapping the African coastline in the 15th century in an effort to dominate the international spice trade. Those early maps, though crude, had a profound effect on Africa’s history and the wellbeing of her people. Today, a new […]

Data revolution

by | January 23, 2016

How Much Data? Rapid advances in technology have dramatically lowered the cost of gathering data. Sensors in space, the sky, the lab, and the field, along with newfound opportunities for crowdsourcing and widespread adoption of the Internet and mobile telephones, are making large amounts of information available to those for whom it was previously out […]

New cropland and rural settlement maps of Africa

by | June 7, 2015 | 2 Comments

Quantifying the geographical extent, location and spatial dynamics of croplands and rural settlements provides essential information for managing our food production systems and their socio-economic, health, environmental, and ecological impacts. We have been working on an approach for mapping, and potentially monitoring, the spatial distribution of Africa’s cropland biome and its associated rural settlements. The […]

Launch of the Ghana Soil Information Service (GhaSIS)

by | April 30, 2015

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) for Ghana held a two day workshop in Accra from 22-23 April 2015 to launch and plan the Ghana soil information service (GhaSIS). The work shop was co-organized by the Soils Research Institute and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. The workshop took place at […]

Rapid, low-cost technologies generate high-value soils information for planners and farmers

by | April 21, 2015

A big, risky decision for smallholder farmers is what type and how much fertilizer to apply to their crops. There is lot of uncertainty about how the crops will respond, with a risk that the farmers will even lose when they harvest and sell the produce. Testing the soil beforehand and knowing how plants will […]

AfSoilGrids250m Released!

by | March 10, 2015

The AfSoilGrids250m maps were produced using an automated system for soil mapping and make use of ISRIC’s Global Soil Information Facilities framework. Spatial predictions have been generated using a combination of random forests and geostatistics (see scheme). In this framework, accuracy of predictions is constantly improved as the new data arrives (hence predictions are constantly […]

The simplicity of light is revolutionising the measurement of soil health

by | February 23, 2015

The United Nations (UN) General Assembly has proclaimed 2015 as both the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies (IYL 2015) and the International Year of Soils (IYS). The UN has also recognized December 5th, 2014 as World Soil Day. In celebration of these important events, the Soil-Plant Spectral Diagnostics Laboratory of the World Agroforestry […]

Are “large-scale, commercial agricultural” expansions possible in Nigeria?

by | December 12, 2013

Modeling agricultural land expansions There appears to be an on-going movement to expand “large scale, commercial agriculture (LSA)” in Africa that is partially based on a report that asks the question of whether agricultural expansions similar to those that were accomplished in the Brazilian Cerrado would be beneficial in Africa. See one coordinated response to […]