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Earth Institute Research Projects

Rapid Soils Information Development

Lead PI: Pedro Sanchez

Unit Affiliation: Agriculture & Food Security Center

July 2012 - September 2017
Inactive
Africa ; Sub-Saharan Africa ; Ethiopia
Project Type: Research

DESCRIPTION: This collaborative activity will begin to tackle the paradox that while no one questions the importance of soil fertility replenishment in Sub Saharan Africa, there is no effective way to diagnose soil constraints in the field, transmit the information and receive quality recommendations back from specialists. This pilot project, to be conducted in Ethiopia, will develop and test a rapid soil information system composed of two major components: field test kit and a digital central, all linked via information technology appropriate to African conditions.

OUTCOMES: We are developing a new, very practical “lab in the box” to enable extension workers to make on the spot diagnoses of soil constraints, allowing targeted recommendations to advise farmers in real time. Developing this system will begin to overcome one of the major constraints currently faced in Africa that impedes the practical use of soils information. Crop yields will increase, decreasing hunger, improving nutrition, and improving soil health.

SPONSOR:

DuPont

RESEARCH TEAM:

Generose Nziguheba

COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY COLLABORATORS:

Sustainable Engineering Lab

KEYWORDS

ecology soil nutrition food

THEMES

Stewardship of the planet