The Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia (CSISA), led by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), was established in 2009 with a goal of benefiting more than 8 million farmers by the end of 2022. For that initiative, a Soil Intelligence System (‘SIS’) project (2018 – 2021) developed modern approaches to soil assessment and integrative management through digital technologies and analytics for states of Andhra Pradesh and Bihar in India. Now, the next phase of CSISA (4.0) will continue within these established partner networks to operationalize SIS outputs through public and private sector partners for the purposes of:
- Empowering efficient and accurate soil characterization,
- Driving policy and market development at the landscape scale
- Enabling precision management at the farm scale
The geography of focus for CSISA 4.0 are the Indian states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Odisha. Special emphasis for the soils work will be given to the state of Bihar considering the emerging state investments in ‘digital farmer services’, an initiative that is supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. ISRIC will support CSISA 4.0 by continuing the soils work done under the previous SIS project. This work primarily focused on developing gridded soil maps for the states of Andhra Pradesh and Bihar from data collected under the Soil Health Card scheme and setting up web portal, supplemented with an API to give access to the maps.
The objective of ISRIC’s contribution to the project is to deliver soil information products and services in the state of Bihar as a contribution to the project’s Intermediate Outcome 4: “Soil intelligence approaches for improving land productivity and nutritional security are strengthened and mainstreamed in India.” In particular, ISRIC contributes to Outcome 4.1 “SIS products, data systems, and analytical approaches for improving land productivity and transforming soil health management initiatives adapted and deployed by the National Agricultural Research & Education System.”
- Visit Bihar to scope the exit strategy of CSISA 4.0 with emphasis on embedding the digital soil mapping workflows and products within the decision-support systems of the state of Bihar (in particular the BIHAN app for government extension services).
- Prepare new covariate stacks at 50m and 100m resolution supplemented by the current 250m stack for the state of Bihar. Covariates will be developed from earth observation imagery available in the Google Earth Engine Data Catalogue.
- Consolidate the coded digital soil mapping (DSM) workflow developed under the SIS India project with basic code documentation.
- Update the current set of gridded maps of Soil Health Card (SHC) properties using SHC data and the new covariate stack.
- Quality assessment of the current and updated digital soil maps with Bihar “gold standard data”, including a comparison of the gold standard data with the SHC data.
- New covariate stacks at 50m and 100m for the state of Bihar with covariates primarily derived from earth observation imagery from the Google Earth Engine Data Catalogue.
- Set of DSM workflow R scripts suitable for distribution with summary report describing the workflow. Set of updated gridded maps of Soil Health Card properties for the state of Bihar at 100 m resolution.
- Report describing the results of the map quality assessment.
The project is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. ISRIC is subcontracted through the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT).