Between March 28 and April 14, 2022 the Soils4Africa team organised a series of workshops for country supervisors from West Africa. The country supervisors will coordinate field campaigns—which will include a range of assessments, and collection of soil samples in their respective countries which will subsequently be analysed for a wide range of indicators. The data thus produced will form the basis of the Soils4Africa Soil Information System.
The workshops were held in Ibadan, Nigeria (March 28-29); Kumasi, Ghana (April 4-7); and Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso (April 11-14). They were hosted by International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), CSIR-Soil Research Institute, and Bureau National des Sols (BUNASOLS) respectively. They were facilitated by Jeroen Huising and Samwel Mesele from IITA, Adam Csorba from MATE (Hungary), and Johan Leenaars from ISRIC-World Soil Information. Apart from the designated country supervisors, participants included other representatives of various national-level organisations with mandates related to soil management.
The workshops served to provide the country superviors training in survey management tools, protocols, and standard operating procedures for the planned field assessment and soil sample collection (these are available on the Soils4Africa website). The trainees will in turn train others who will carry out the field campaign.
The Ghana and Burkina Faso workshops also included field visits.They helped participants try out what they had learnt at the trainings. They also helped gain insight into realities of periodic monitoring of select reference sites, as the project plans to do.
The workshops were also used to develop a comprehensive implementation plan for the West Africa leg of the field campaigns.