• Digital soil map for Africa 'in the pipeline'

Environmental Laboratory

Digital soil map for Africa 'in the pipeline'

Jan 14 2009

A new map detailing the quality of soil across Africa will provide a welcome database and point of reference to farmers in 42 different countries, it has been claimed.

The map is to be established by the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture, which will take soil samples from land across the region, reported the BBC.

Entitled the African Soil Information Service, the £12.3 million project will also issue farmers with guidance on tackling mineral deficiencies and problems with their soil.

Pedro Sanchez from Columbia University's Earth Institute commented: "From the farmer in the field, right up to the secretary general of the UN, we need precise soil information. But, we do not have this in sufficient detail."

The African project, which will last for four years, is part of a wider drive to establish a map of 80 per cent of soil globally.

In related developments, the British Soil Association recently disputed claims from the pesticide sector that reducing the amount of spraying on UK crops will result in the deterioration of the carrot-growing industry.

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