Africa Soil Information Service

A survey of African soils, the African Soil Information Service (AfSIS), was launched in 2009 with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and also from the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) through a grant to the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT).

AfSIS, led by Pedro Sanchez, former World Food Prize Laureate, is developing continent-wide digital soil maps for sub-Saharan Africa that will cover more than 90% of Africa’s human population living in 42 countries. Using techniques such as digital soil mapping, infrared spectroscopy, remote sensing, statistics, and integrated soil fertility, the survey aims to build up a more comprehensive picture of African soils and to not only make these results available to farmers but to help them understand the implications for land management through extension and training. Indeed capacity building is a key part of the AfSIS project delivered through education to strengthen individual and institutional abilities to produce and use soil information as well as training for soil scientists.

Currently AfSIS ground teams are surveying and sampling 60, 100 km2 sentinel sites, which are statistically representative of the variability in climate, topography and vegetation of the project area. For more information on the survey, which feeds into larger projects to map global soils, visit their website.


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  1. […] plans to develop an “interactive, web-accessible digital soil map”, outlined in a previous blog article. This map will cover all the non-desert areas of Sub-Saharan Africa and is to be completed by the […]

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