Soils4Africa field campaign kicks off in Ghana, Nigeria September 22, 2022
Soils4Africa’s quest to conduct field observations and collect soil samples at 20,000 points on agricultural land across Africa has been officially kicked off, starting with a sampling unit located in Ghana’s southern Ashanti region on August 25, 2022. In Nigeria and Tunisia, the first samples have been collected and the first data points have been uploaded on the Survey Data Management Tool (SDMT).
This is a significant milestone for the project, which aims to provide an open-access soil information system with a set of key indicators and underpinning data, accompanied by a methodology for repeated soil monitoring across the African continent.
Detailed field observations on the first data point in Ghana have been recorded in the SDMT developed especially for the project. The soil samples collected will be sent to Agricultural Research Council (ARC) in Pretoria, South Africa, where it will be analysed for a variety of parameters. Results from the analysis will be part of the soil information system, which will showcase such data corresponding to each of the 20,000 sampling points. The field campaign will cover all these points over the coming months.
Standardized methodologies for soil sampling, field observations and laboratory analysis developed under the project will be a key part of the soil information system. They will help to ensure that the baseline dataset created under the project—and consequently the coverage of the information system-- can continue to expand in the future.
The soil information system will become part of the knowledge and information system of FNSSA and will be hosted by an African institute.