Introducing iSDAsoil, providing information at the scale of individual small farms across Africa

We are delighted to announce the creation of a new mapping system – iSDAsoil – that for the first time will make soil properties and advisory services possible at the level of the single small farm. The iSDA technical team has achieved this important goal by generating maps at an unprecedented resolution of 30 meters, encompassing 24 billion unique locations across Africa.

Our development process applies predictive machine learning technology using data from over 130,000 soil samples, much of it based on years of research by the African Soil Information Service (AfSIS) and other soil data resources.

Rapid Updates

We’ve designed iSDAsoil maps for rapid updates and continuous improvement. Do you have African soil data that could be used to improve these maps? Get in touch!

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Built For Developers

We offer a free API that will allow developers to query our data by location. Get details at the developer portal.

Developer Portal

Pan-African Agronomy Services

The data made possible by iSDAsoil will be an indispensable resource for those looking to strengthen farm-level decision-making. Sign up to our mailing list for further announcements in the coming months about our products and services for businesses working in smallholder value chains.

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Pioneering resources for African smallholders

A word from iSDA Chair Achim Doberman

Field-level soil data is critical to providing useful agronomic advisory services, but traditional methods based on physical sampling are out of reach for most African smallholders. Over the last decade, significant efforts have been made to produce a more accessible generation of soil and agronomy data for Africa. The resource we are announcing today — iSDAsoil — is the outcome of many months of research and development by iSDA and its scientific partners EnvirometriX, GiLab and MultiOne.

Our mapping infrastructure will form the open core of iSDA’s business-to-business data platform, aiming to deliver low-cost agronomic advisory services to millions of smallholders across Africa. Together with its partners, iSDA will focus its initial efforts on site-specific soil fertility and fertilizer management recommendations, supported by rigorous on-farm science and viable last-mile delivery business models.

The data associated with iSDAsoil is available under a Creative Commons CC-BY 4.0 licence, to encourage researchers, businesses, governments and others to make data-informed decisions for improving the productivity of African agriculture. We also hope owners of other soil and agronomic data, in industry and academia, will share their datasets to help create maps that are even more precise and accurate.

Prof Achim Dobermann

iSDA Board Chair 
Chief Scientist, International Fertilizer Association, IFA (France) 
Former Director & Chief Executive of Rothamsted Research (UK)


Soil Mapping Partners

iSDA has teamed up with science consultancy EnvirometriX to develop a satellite soil-mapping system offering an unprecedented spatial resolution of 30 meters covering the entire African continent. To do so, we’ve harnessed open-access remote sensing data, machine learning and geolocated soil samples, created by AfSIS and others, which together can generate predictions for over 20 soil variables.

GiLab develops innovative technical solutions in the field of geoinformatics, supported by the firm’s extensive experience in spatial data processing, GIS modeling, data assimilation, application development and visualization. GiLab serves a range of clients in agriculture, urban ecosystems, energy, environment and climate, while working closely with leading academic institutions to keep abreast of emerging scientific knowledge.

MultiOne provides client services in ecological and environmental modelling using 3D and neural networking; advanced data analysis focussed on environmental and satellite applications; open-source GIS solutions; database development; and Web and mobile applications. With over 15 years experience, MultiOne has participated in 100-plus projects, publications and scientific papers. The firm is a member of the Zadruga Granum Salis Cooperative supporting research, planning and design for sustainable environmental management.

Rothamsted Research is a world-leading, non-profit research centre that focuses on strategic agricultural science to the benefit of farmers and society worldwide. Their scientists publish around 300 papers in international science journals each year, and they have partnerships with numerous research institutions and universities in over 50 countries.

World Agroforestry is a centre of science and development excellence that harnesses the benefits of trees for people and the environment. Leveraging the world’s largest repository of agroforestry science and information, they develop knowledge practices, from farmers’ fields to the global sphere, to ensure food security and environmental sustainability.

Data Contributors

We are grateful to all partners listed below, who have contributed data to iSDAsoil. We are especially indebted to all partners involved in the AfSIS project. Without this groundbreaking work, iSDAsoil would not have been possible.

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