Strategies to increase crop productivity are required to provide food security to a growing population in Rwanda. The Crop Intensification Program (CIP) was launched in 2007, to support cropland consolidation and promote the use of farm inputs through public-private partnerships, and extension services in relation to the use of inputs and good agronomic practices. The Rwanda Agricultural Board (RAB) is providing technical inputs into the investments of CIP. However, there are considerable challenges, such as the lack of crop and soil-specific fertilizers, heavy soil nutrient losses due to soil erosion associated with the dominant hilly landscapes of Rwanda, and soil acidity that compromises crop productivity in a substantial proportion of its arable land.
The project focuses on three use cases identified through consultation with partners engaged in the sustainable intensification of Rwandan agriculture, and facilitated by RAB:
- Develop fertilizer and lime recommendations to help fertilizer and lime suppliers to develop agro-inputs that are adapted to the main agroecological zones (AEZs) of Rwanda, in relation to the main cropping systems.
- Contribute in availing critical information on different types of erosion and occurrence of erosion in the main AEZs of Rwanda.
- Develop a functional and interactive National Soil Information System (RwandaSIS).
ISRIC contributes to objective 3, mainly through providing training events on organizing soil data from different sources, harmonizing and standardizing soil data, and digital soil mapping.
- Training event on organizing local soil data from different sources and harmonizing and standardizing soil legacy data, including quality checking procedures.
- Training event on general understanding of methods and R software for soil database screening and digital soil mapping.
- Two training events on assisting RAB staff with applications of methods and software to RwandaSIS data, among others resulting in Rwanda digital soil maps.
Four training events with associated lecture materials, tutorials and scripts.
The project is commissioned by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.