70% of Rwanda’s population rely on agriculture for their livelihoods. However, productivity has been severely compromised by a lack of crop and soil-specific fertilizers and soil erosion. Real-time, reliable, soil and agronomy data can inform farmers, helping them to make the best decisions for their land, but this data is currently not shared between stakeholders. The Government’s Rwanda Soil Information Service will provide a centralised resource for in-country actors to better understand the state of soils in Rwanda at a local level. CABI’s integral role will be to lay the foundations of a modern soil information system that will rationalize the costs of obtaining high-quality soils data. Working on the basis of FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) data principles will ensure that legacy and new investments in soil research maximise their potential and result in better decision-making for Rwandan farmers and their soils.
Poor soil fertility is a key constraint to improving farm productivity and farmer livelihoods in sub-Saharan Africa. Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM) is recognised as an effective solution to poor crop yields. However, lack of access to information means that smallholder farmers do not adopt better techniques. To combat this, we are working with partners to add value to communication campaigns that are designed to facilitate adoption and capture learning.