National Soil Services
iSDA’s work on soil science and agronomic technologies builds on the R&D carried out for many years by AfSIS
The Africa Soil Information Service collaborates on national programmes in four African countries to assist with the transition to modern agricultural research and data collection practices. AfSIS has continued to focus on distribution and capacity building for its technologies with governmental and non-governmental organisations in Ethiopia, Tanzania, Ghana, and Nigeria. Its main goal is to contribute to knowledge distribution, public engagement and sustainable resource management.
The AfSIS collaboration with EthioSIS remains active supporting it with the Ethiopian Growth and Transformation Programme 2 (GTP2). The plan will guide the development of agriculture in Ethiopia for the next five years and there is expected to be a big demand for EthioSIS data and analysis as the regions develop their agricultural commercialisation plans.
The Government of Ethiopia has established the Ethiopia Soil and Resource Institute (ESRI). EthioSIS is now based at ESRI.
The Soil Research Institute of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Kwami Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNS&T) lead the process of establishing a Ghana Soil Information Service in 2015 to implement AfSIS activities in Ghana. GhaSIS has focused on tool kits for soil fertility, soil suitability, soil properties, soil water availability and yield gap. It has been involved in training technicians and professionals in AfSIS soil survey methods and has also acquired a MIR (soil spectrometer).
NiSIS was officially established by the Minister of Agriculture in 2014. Four MRI spectrometers were established in Nigeria with relevant training from ICRAF adding to the growing African soil lab network.
In early 2017, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development re-vamped NiSIS and appointed a new steering committee. A work plan for implementation of soil and plant surveys was prepared and agreed that the Institute of Agriculture Research, Ahmadu Bello University and the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training of Obafemi Awolowo University would lead the pilot studies in two states, Kebbi and Ebonyi.
TanSIS is coordinated from the AfSIS office at the Silenian Agricultural research Institute in Arusha. Building on an initial two-year work plan activities include digital soil mapping and training teams of technical field staff on the AfSIS soil survey methodologies. Field work commenced September 2015.