The Ghana Soil Information Service has been formed to provide soil information electronically. Information will be available through digital maps to farmers and other end users.
The initiative, funded by Bill and Melinda Gates foundation will help address crop production decline due to cultivation in wrong soil types as well as inappropriate application of fertiliser.
Dr. Joseph Fening, Director of Soil Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research says the objective is to put needed data into electronic forms. This means patrons will not have to struggle to go to the soil research institute for digitised soil information. He revealed this at the inauguration of the five-member Steering Committee for the Ghana Soil Information Service in Kumasi.
The project is taking samples all over the country to determine the soil types, what nutrients are in there and how these soil types can be managed in the various districts in the country.
Scientists say,” We will bring it to a level where on the farmers’ phone the farmer can click a button so that wherever he is, it will give him the soil type, the nutrient available in the soil and what you are supposed to do etc”. The information service will also help the fertiliser blender to ascertain which area contains a certain soil type and enable them know how to blend the fertiliser for the soil good.
The Ghana Soil Information was formed under the auspices of the African Soil Information Service, funded by Bill and Melinda Gate Foundation.
Inadequate information has been identified as one major cause for many people not going into farming. Scientists are worried yield gap on farmer fields are getting wider because farmers are not getting the benefit from the soil.
Director of Crops Research Institute and a member of the committee, Dr. Stella Aba Enning is excited because soil information that should guide crop production is usually limiting.