status of soil survey in sub-saharan africa and response to an increasing demand for land...
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DESCRIPTIONHistory The history of soil knowledge generation and management in traditional society cultures in Africa. Soils and land as the main asset for agriculture production and natural resources management were considered as sacred societal value. Soil information managed as an heritage transmitted from generation to generation.
Status of Soil Survey in sub-Saharan Africa and Response to an Increasing Demand for Land Information By Dr Lamourdia Thiombiano, Soil Expert FAO Representative for North Africa Introduction Africa is considered to have 64% of available arable land in the world. Increasing Land acquisition by a number of countries, private companies and Institutions is increasing Global context of land market could impact on national food security Need for accurate and reliable data on land to inform decisions. History The history of soil knowledge generation and management in traditional society cultures in Africa. Soils and land as the main asset for agriculture production and natural resources management were considered as sacred societal value. Soil information managed as an heritage transmitted from generation to generation. Modern Soil classification Brought with colonial penetration in various parts of the continent. Number of rough land evaluation maps were developed, Improved along building of local soil Institutions managed by French, British, Portuguese, Spanish or Belgium specialists. Impetuous Soil Survey era Building of National Soil knowledge and soil classification Institutions capacity building were mostly in the 70s Supported by the Food and agriculture Organization with support from donors through UNDP in many countries through sponsored projects and programs. The African continent was known for impetuous soil survey and land evaluation mapping at various scales from the 70s up to the 90s. Most countries particularly in West Africa had strong National soil Bureaux providing good quality soil information for policy decision and land management operations. Impetuous In schools an Universities: large number of soil surveyors and land management specialists trained. Golden period of soil knowledge generation and Development capitalizing on traditional survey systems (ethno Pedology). Mapping of the Golden period Maps were completed or developed from 1/ to 1/1000 Various soil classifications: 1. CPCS system in francophone countries, 2.Soil Taxonomy in Anglophone countries 3.Local classification systems (South Africa); 4.and recently the WRB. Decline The challenges in recent years: decreased available resources invested in soil Bureaux. Review of the Current status of existing Soil Institutions Response to increasing demand for soil knowledge to address future challenges Status of soil survey and related institutions A desk study shows a diversity of institutional affiliations ranging from governmental to non- governmental ones. Governmental institutions: 1.National Soil Bureau and/ or Laboratories (Ministries) 2.research Institutions, 3.University and High Schools laboratories. NGOs and Private sector Status of soil survey and related institutions Percentage distribution of institutions dealing in soils at various levels Status of soil survey and related institutions Percentage distribution of soil institutions by region in SSA RegionCountry Number of Institutions RegionCountry Number of Institutions West AfricaBenin6East AfricaTanzania9 Burkina Faso8Burundi6 Cape Verde1Rwanda4 Gambia3Uganda18 Ghana25Sudan22 Guinea4Ethiopia26 Guinea Bissau1Eritrea2 Ivory Coast6Djibouti2 Liberia1Somalia1 Mali2Kenya19 Mauritania3Madagascar5 Niger4Mauritius7 Nigeria36 Senegal8 Sierra Leone2 Togo3 Central AfricaCameroon3Southern AfricaBotswana3 Central African Rep2Lesotho2 Chad2Malawi5 DR Congo1Mozambique4 Congo Brazzaville5Namibia6 Equatorial Guinea1South Africa23 Gabon5Swaziland1 Zambia4 Zimbabwe10 Status of soil survey and related institutions Institutional capacity of each country per region Status of soil survey and related institutions Contd Evolving data provided in Table and Figures Although almost all the countries across the continent have soil and land related institutions, Status of these institutions and their effective capacities to provide accurate and updated soil information remain of great concern. Status of soil survey and related institutions Factors affecting capacity of soil institutions include: 1.Continuous use of classical soil survey approach 2.Outdated field and laboratory equipment 3.Insufficient human resources and expertise 4.Weak capacities to effectively respond to emerging issues 5.Insufficient if not lack of budgetary resources Status of soil survey coverage An overview of the scales of available maps in fifteen countries shows the predominance of small scale maps ranging from 1/ to 1/ representing almost 40%. Medium scale maps constitute 32% of the source for soil knowledge derived from soil survey. Status of soil survey coverage Examples of maps in use Figs 1(a) 1970 soil map of Santiago (Cape Verde) (b) map showing soil associations of Lesotho developed in 1979 (c)) 1969 soil map of Niger a bc Status of soil survey coverage Examples of maps in use Figs 1(h) A time series analysis from showing how forests have been lost through concessions in Gabon posing a threat to the environment (i) An old soil map of Nigeria h i Status of soil survey coverage Scales of various maps in use Challenges New challenges emerged with requess for more robust and diversified soil information. Soil data are needed in mitigation and adaptation to climate change, in bio products agriculture and in Eco tourism for instance. Opportunities for better soil correlation have emerged with the WRB classification. Way Forward The development of virtual platforms accessible through mobile phones, provide opportunity for an augmentation of the demand for soil information. Increasing teledensity of about 72% in Africa in 2014, Digital soil data /information increasing Google Earth, Remote sensing . Way Forward Reconcile greater interest in use of soil data positive trend of requests with overall infrastructure for soils survey/Bureaux How to meet the request for new soil information to address the needs for quality and relevant soil data using the WRB classification and for trainings of new generations of soil specialists? How to disseminate soil information through digital means and virtual platforms using mobile phones and computerized systems? Need to capitalize on the large and significant trend of computerizing and mobile phones platforms development to build soil database, generate prospective soil information through modeling and disseminate advices on soil uses to the remotely village within the continent. Figs (i,j) masonry check dam and contour stone wall in Cape Verde (k,l) farmers collecting stones to build a weir; in Niger (m) implementation of integrated watershed management in Lesotho (n) irrigation channels on farms to supply water in Zambia (o) water pond on a farm in Tanzania (p) converting sand rivers into potential arable lands in Kelema, Tanzania (q) contour hedgerow and retention ditches to promote upland agriculture in Uganda. i j k l m n o p q The future of soil Knowledge development in Africa: capacity of soil Experts and Soil Institutions supported by substantive investments, to take advantage of progress made in digital information tools and equipments to generate relevant and tailored made information for land users and policy makers. Thank you