The Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA) of Ethiopia is developing a digital soil information system. This will enable farmers to gauge which crop is best to plant, when to plant them and what type of fertilizer needs to be applied. This will enable the government and farmers to review a chemical analysis of soil in a specific area.
Right now Ethiopia’s current soil maps are outdated and have a lack of detailed information about the soil in the country for policy makers. This hinders using them as a support in soil conservation and land management interventions.
A more detailed and specific soil fertility map and information system will increase fertility and nutrition for crops; two of the primary factors that hinder increased agricultural production, according to the agency.
Over the last year the agency collected soil samples throughout the country, processing and archiving them. Now they will use remote sensing technology to produce a national database resource map of soil in Ethiopia. When completed, the system will provide information on physical and chemical characteristics of soil samples including nutrient levels. New fertilizer formulation, new agronomy management practices and monitoring and adjusting the nutrients and chemical composition of the soil should come about as a result of the new system.