iSDA is building strategic partnerships in critical areas of agronomic research and technology development. The shared goal: to enhance our ability to apply steady improvements to the farming practices of millions of Africa’s smallholder farmers. We are currently focussing on three main areas…
OUR COMMITMENT TO SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH AND INNOVATION
Our work Is based on a deep-rooted dedIcatIon to scIentIfIc excellence and InnovatIve partnershIps
Our science, research and partnership agenda:
- iSDA works with farmers, governments, distributors and other agricultural stakeholders, building partnerships and national pilots
- We enjoy a high level of scientific expertise on our board of directors and core team
- Our founders include three distinguished research institutes that pioneered geospatial analysis, spectral diagnostics and best practices in agronomic research
- iSDA is partnered today with PES and ICRAF in developing a low-cost soil nutrient analysis technology
- Later this year, iSDA and EnvirometriX will launch a satellite soil-mapping system offering an unprecedented spatial resolution of 30 meters covering the entire African continent
RevolutIonIzIng agrIculture In the Global South
iSDA’s mission is to revolutionize agriculture in the Global South by providing smallholders with new tools and technologies that will help them increase their productivity and prosperity, while putting their operations on a long-term, sustainable business footing. To achieve these goals, we have undertaken extensive development work with farmers, governments, distributors and other agricultural stakeholders, building partnerships and national pilots that will take shape over the course of 2020 and 2021.
The foundation that underpins all these activities is iSDA’s deep commitment to scientific research and the development of innovative agricultural solutions made possible by philanthropic investment. We enjoy a high level of scientific expertise on our board of directors and core team. We also maintain close working relationships with numerous academic and research organizations specializing in the agricultural sciences.
WE HAVE UNDERTAKEN
WORK WITH FARMERS,
AND OTHER AGRICULTURAL
A commItment TO SCIENCE Is rooted In our hIstory
We were founded by three distinguished research institutes: Rothamsted Research, the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). We are also indebted to the scientists and technologists at AfSIS, the Africa Soil Information Service. They have developed freely available geospatial and spectral analysis techniques that can be used to map entire continents rapidly and at relatively low cost. iSDA is building on this legacy, ensuring the long-term sustainability of the AfSIS data and software tools by bringing them together into a single open platform where they will continue to be maintained and developed.
iSDA has formed partnerships with several organizations to conduct high-level research and develop technologies that we aim to fashion into practical tools for use by farmers and business. One current partner is UK-based PES, Plastic Electronic Sensors, which in 2018 produced a thin film technology which allows low-cost soil nutrient analysis. Together, iSDA, PES and ICRAF, have secured a follow-on InnovateUK grant to calibrate the technology in Kenya during 2020. Once the scientific validation is complete, iSDA will start designing a go-to-market strategy.
In one of our most ambitious undertakings, 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. We’ve harnessed open-access remote sensing data, machine learning and geolocated soil samples, created by the AfSIS network and others, capable of generating predictions of over 20 soil variables.
Within a few months, this mapping technology, and the information system on which it is based, will be made publicly available so as to encourage agribusiness, government and researchers to use more and better data in their decision-making. We also hope this resource will encourage others to contribute their data to support continual improvements in the accuracy of the maps. Meanwhile, iSDA will be developing added-value services for users of the maps. They will provide the foundation for iSDA’s agronomic advisory services to agribusiness and smallholders across Africa.
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