Functional soil information for Sub-Saharan Africa


In a collaboration with the Africa Soil Information Service (AfSIS) project and the Global Yield Gap and Water Productivity Atlas (GYGA) project ISRIC - World Soil Information has developed a map of Africa showing the estimated root zone depth of the soil and the associated capacity of the soil to hold water that is available to plants. The map was developed using a consistent and updatable spatially-explicit framework matching functional soil information with agronomic modelling purposes. It draws on a recently developed 250 m resolution soil property map of Africa.

Both root zone depth of the soil and the associated capacity of the soil to hold plant available water are factors that have large influence on crop yields, especially in rainfed conditions. The product is being used by GYGA and others to estimate water-limited yield potentials and the associated yield gaps for major cereal crops in Sub-Saharan Africa.

This product also presents information required to estimate nutrient deficiencies and nutrient-use efficiencies in agricultural production, as such it can help to improve and sustain food security in Sub-Saharan Africa