About Us 2018-04-13T15:31:21+00:00

Our Background

iSDA is a new venture that will carry forward the legacy of The Africa Soil Information Service (AfSIS), a collaborative project that has been running since 2007 with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Over the space of 10 years the project has combined historic data with remote sensing information and new field sampling techniques to create the first ever digital soil map of Africa.

Built upon the principles of open innovation and co-development, the technologies and methodologies developed by AfSIS are freely available and remain highly relevant in other areas of the world. However, the funding for this project ends in November 2018.

iSDA was established up to build on the AfSIS work and to develop a sustainable, long term operating model that mixes open innovation with a variety of income sources. We will develop scalable agronomy products and services that build on the open core of the AfSIS project, making the innovations accessible to multiple stakeholders from software developers to smallholder farmers.

We will also establish a network of spectral laboratories that can, among other things, provide novel dry spectral diagnostic methods in support of soil and cropland management information and cropland management decision analysis and support.

And we will continue to carry forward the in-country capacity building work of the AfSIS project ensuring the growth of capability in its services and techniques to deliver wide-scale impact.

Our journey is just beginning…

Our Mission

To build digital tools at scale for the management of soil and cropland agricultural systems…

…based on shared and openly accessible scientific data, methods and innovations…

…which are commercially sustained by products and services that enable farmers, national governments, companies, and non-commercial organisations to make long-term agronomic impact.

Our Values


Ensuring that the public goods drive innovation by making them open and FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable).


Scaling scientific innovations through products and services that are demand driven, consumer led and deliver meaningful impact


Charging only where appropriate to enable the organisation to operate sustainably and fund ongoing open development, so our knowledge can be built upon in the future.


Partnering across disciplines, organisations and borders, and building solutions and human capacity in the countries where we work to reflect a diverse range of technologies, cultures and backgrounds.

Our Founders

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