CSIR Unveils Digital Soil Map Platform

 Directors of CSIR Institutes and participants after the launch the of soil web-based platform.

The Soil Research Institute (SRI), one of the 13 institutes of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), has developed an online platform on soil resources in Ghana to enhance soil information and data accessibility, availability and acquisition by the public.

The web-based interactive platform – CSIR Soil Information, (https://www.csirsoiulinfo.org) contains digitized soil maps of specific locations, soil characteristics and appropriate nutrients and mineral requirements for key crops in each agro-ecological zone of the country.

The platform, developed with support from the Government of Canada through its Modernizing Agriculture in Ghana (MAG) programme also provides information on nutrient availability, soil physical properties and fertility limitations, as well as soil suitability for selected crops.

Deputy Director-General CSIR, Prof. Paul P. Bosu, speaking at the launch of the platform said the digitized soil map platform has been rolled out to support the development and growth of sustainable agriculture in the country.

“By converting the soil maps of Ghana from analogue to digital formats and making the same available online, we at CSIR believe that we are on course towards helping the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) build a modern agricultural system for Ghana,” he said.

He stated that the CSIR is involved in Component three of the MAG programme, which is aimed at supporting agricultural research to strengthen agricultural extension and improve agricultural productivity.

“Over the past 3-4 year period of the MAG programme, CSIR has worked closely with the MOFA Directorate of Extension Services (DAES) towards improving the delivery of agricultural extension service in the country.

We have together strengthened and sustained the RELCs system (Research Extension-farmer Linkage Committees) and delivered quality and timely extension support to our hardworking farmers throughout the country,” he added.

Prof. Bosu expressed that the CSIR-SRI will continue to work with partners to improve upon available data for a better understanding of Ghana’s soils.

Director of the CSIR-Soil Research Institute, Prof Mohammed Moro Buri, said the platform is a sustainable support system to modernize soil resources management for increased agricultural productivity which translates to food security and helps reduce poverty.

“This will contribute to the realization of MAG objectives, outcomes and long-term impacts; ultimately ensuring food security and facilitating the production of agricultural raw materials for industrial and agricultural commodities for export,” he said.

Principal Technologist, CSIR-SRI, Eric Asamoah, demonstrated how the platform can be beneficial to users and added that information on the selection of suitable soil physical and chemical characteristics for the cultivation of crops can be found just by a click of the button.

“Estimation of fertilizer requirements for a given area or crop could be known in advance before project implementation and agriculture investors could have better information and input for drawing business plans,” he said.

By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri