Legacy soil data have been produced over 70 years in nearly all countries of the world. Unfortunately, data, information and knowledge are still currently fragmented and at risk of getting lost if they remain in a paper format.
There is a persistent narrative about the potential of Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) to be a 'grain breadbasket' because of large gaps between current low yields and yield potential with good management, and vast land resources with adequate rainfall.
Site-specific fertilizer recommendations for major food crops in West Africa have been updated and mapped by ISRIC in collaboration with the International fertilizer Development Centre (IFDC) and experts from the NARs of Benin, Burkina Faso and Ghana.
Soil root zone plant-available water holding capacity (RZ-PAWHC) is one of the most sensitive soil parameters determining crop growth. This study produced the first map of the rootable depth and the RZ-PAWHC of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).
The aim of the World Soil Information Service (WoSIS) is to serve quality-assessed, georeferenced soil data (point, polygon, and grid) to the international community upon their standardisation and harmonisation.
There is a need for up-to-date assessments and maps of soil properties and land health at scales relevant for decision-making and management, including for properties that are dynamic and hence change in response to management.
The ongoing debate about improving food security in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is about how to enrich its soils. A core challenge within the risk-averse smallholder farming systems prevailing in SSA is to judiciously combine mineral with bio-organic nutrient applications and close nutrient cycles to improve soil health, hence crop productivity, with high and preferably known yearly likeliness of direct return on investment.
80% of arable land in Africa has low soil fertility and suffers from physical soil problems. Additionally, significant amounts of nutrients are lost every year due to unsustainable soil management practices.
Providing food and water security for a population expected to exceed 9 billion by 2050 while conserving natural resources requires achieving high(er) and stable yields on every hectare of currently used arable land suitable for intensification.
The objective of this project is to produce a robust, quantitative framework, which is updateable and spatially explicit, to generate and maintain functional soil information on root zone depth and associated plant available soil water holding capacity for a major rainfed staple food crop (maize) in sub-Saharan Africa.
Future Earth and other large international research and development programmes aim to provide the scientific evidence base required for developing into a sustainable future. Soil, which is an important provider of ecosystem services, remains one of the least developed data layers in global land models and uncertainties are large.
We present SoilGrids1km — a global 3D soil information system at 1 km resolution — containing spatial predictions for a selection of soil properties (at six standard depths): soil organic carbon (g kg−1), soil pH, sand, silt and clay fractions (%), bulk density (kg m−3), cation-exchange capacity (cmol+/kg), coarse fragments (%), soil organic carbon stock (t ha−1), depth to bedrock (cm), World Reference Base soil groups, and USDA Soil Taxonomy suborders.
Materials testing involve complex reference methods and several soil tests have been used for indexing material functional attributes for civil engineering applications. However, conventional laboratory methods are expensive, slow and often imprecise.