ISRIC has developed a relational database for IFDC to store agronomic fertilizer field trial data, as part of the project Geospatial Farm Fertilizer Analysis. From 2-6 February, ISRIC trained 18 specialists from IFDC East Africa and local partners in the use of this database in Kigali, Rwanda. The training programme alternated between lectures and computer exercises. Participants were introduced to relational database theory and SQL for querying, which was practiced on the agronomic database, data standardization, data entry and data visualization in GIS.
The IFDC Agronomic Database has to become a centralized, institutional database for IFDC to store fertilizer field trial (thousands of trials are carried out in East Africa) and soil data. Currently, trial and soil data are compiled in excel sheets that are stored locally on the computers of the national agronomists. Access to the data by staff of IFDC and partners and data sharing between countries is limited. Data are lost when staff leaves IFDC. The establishment of an institutional agronomic database will greatly help IFDC to professionalize data collection, standardization, storage, archiving and analysis.