AfSIS-GYGA functional soil information for Sub-Saharan Africa (RZ-PAWHC-SSA)

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Root Zone Plant-Available Water Holding Capacity of the Sub-Saharan Africa Soil

A collaborative project is established in 2014 among the Africa Soil Information Service (AfSIS) project ( and the Global Yield Gap and Water Productivity Atlas (GYGA) project ( and is implemented by ISRIC — World Soil Information.

The overall objective is to produce a quantitative framework, which is updatable and spatially explicit, to generate and maintain functional soil information that can be used for the purpose of modelling of yield potentials and yield gaps for major cereal food crops in Sub-Saharan Africa for estimating related responses to improved agronomic management practices. The concrete goal is to produce maps of the plant available water holding capacity of the root zone depth (RZ-PAWHC) of the soils of SSA. While this parameter is one of the most sensitive soil properties influencing crop performance under rain fed conditions, it was not yet readily available in existing map datasets for SSA.

Involved in the collaborative project are the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), University of Nebraska (, Plant Production Systems of Wageningen University (wageningenur pps), Columbia Global Centers Africa (globalcenters) and ISRIC - World Soil Information.

The methods developed and applied and the results produced are described in a technical report as accessible here below. The input data as well as the results are accessible from the ISRIC ftp server (AfSIS-GYGA dataset).


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