Training underway for Rwandan Soil Information System
This month, ISRIC led a four-day training for the Rwanda Agricultural Board (RAB) about the first steps needed to build a national soil information system.
“The set of trainings provided by ISRIC will help Rwanda, through RAB, to keep soil and agronomy datasets well organized so they are easy to analyze and use,” said RAB Principal Research Fellow Vicky Ruganzu. Mr. Ruganzu attended the training and is looking forward to seeing Rwanda’s soil data aggregated and standardized.
This month’s training was the first in a series of four from ISRIC which will be carried out over the next 18 months. In this first training, 27 participants learned how to standardize and compile existing soil data. The next training will focus on how to generate digital soil maps from soil data and remote sensing images as well as how these methods can be used to develop the Rwandan Soil Information System.
The purpose of building a soil information system in Rwanda is to provide foundational information which can help increase crop productivity and ultimately improve food security. The training provided by ISRIC is part of a larger programme that aims to promote sustainable agricultural intensification through smarter fertilization practices and improved soil and land management in Rwanda. It is facilitated by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
“RAB is expecting to generate a standard dataset from different data sources that will constitute the basis of the database infrastructure for a Rwanda Soil Information Service,” said Mr. Ruganzu.
ISRIC’s lead trainers for this initiative are Johan Leenaars, Bas Kempen, and María Ruiperez Gonzalez and the project’s leader is Gerard Heuvelink. The next training in this series will occur later this year.