Data for land decisions

New land, soil and crop (LSC) information services in East Africa

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Key features of LSC Data Hubs

National-level data hub

In Ethiopia, Kenya and Rwanda, land, soil and crop data from many sources are being consolidated into data portals, or hubs, where these data can be stored, processed and visualized.

Technology-driven decision tools

LSC Hubs take advantage of the latest data technology so that people who need knowledge about land, soil and crops have the best information possible. These hubs support agricultural decision-making and innovation.

Improved accessibility to agricultural data

A land soil and crop data hub links existing data sources and portals to facilitate easier access while maintaining national data ownership.

Information for climate-smart agriculture

These data hubs support diverse practices which help the agricultural sector adapt and build resilience to climate change. The hubs account for changing environmental conditions and facilitate relevant climate change mitigation.

Land, Soil and Crop Information Services to support Climate-Smart Agriculture

The objective of this project is to develop sustainable land, soil, crop information hubs in national agricultural research organizations in East Africa to enhance the effectiveness of national Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation Systems (AKIS) and contribute to rural transformation and climate-smart agriculture.

The consortium is comprised of three international partners and three national implementing partners in East Africa:

  • ISRIC - World Soil Information - Wageningen University & Research
  • International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)
  • Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR)
  • Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organisation (KALRO)
  • Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board (RAB)
This four-year project (2021-2024) is jointly funded by the European Union's Development Smart Innovation through Research in Agriculture (DeSIRA) program, The Netherlands' Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a contribution from ISRIC. Read more about the project's theory of change on the DeSIRA website and about the project framework on the ISRIC website.

More about the project funders

The project team

Logo Wageningen University & Research

Wageningen University & Research

Logo ISRIC - World Soil Information

ISRIC - World Soil Information

Logo International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)

International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)

Logo Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR)

Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR)

Logo Kenya Agricultural & Livestock Research Organization (KALRO)

Kenya Agricultural & Livestock Research Organization (KALRO)

Logo Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board (RAB)

Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board (RAB)

Partners

Logo International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

Logo Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR)

Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR)

Logo Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA)

Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA)

Logo World Agroforestry (ICRAF)

World Agroforestry (ICRAF)

Focus countries

The expected impact of this LSC-IS initiative is a contribution to an increased agricultural productivity and farm income especially for small scale farmers in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Rwanda.

Dashboard: Keeping you updated about project progress

Improved data availability and access is essential!

Elizabeth Okosa, KALRO (Picture by ASARECA)

“Most of the data used to understand and improve agricultural practices is static, heterogeneous, and not timely hence, difficult for farmers to apply it to improve their agricultural practices”. (Elizabeth Okosa, KALRO). This project works with the conviction that land, soil and crop information services can help to improve the efficacy of CSA related policies, plans and practices.

The Counties we work with in Kenya

Based on the criteria presented below, two-counties were chosen i.e. Busia and Taita Taveta. The selection of pilot counties in Kenya has been based on: 1. Representation of various agro-ecological zones; 2. GDP per-capita that is lower than national average though has potential for agricultural development; 3. Potential for agricultural production. 4. Characterised by diverse farming systems. 5. Climate risk profile available 6. Presence of other projects that can complement and synergise with DeSIRA LCS-IS. 7. Security and ease of project implementation.

Food basket for the coastal region

John Mlamba, Director Climate Change and Environment - County Government of Taita-Taveta (picture by ASARECA)

“Taita Taveta County (Kenya) was the food basket for the coastal region, which is not the case anymore because of over-cultivation and soil degradation. This project is a great opportunity for us to provide the farmers with sound information on soil to improve our agriculture”. (John Mlamba; Director Climate Change and Environment - County Government of Taita Taveta)

Improving soil fertility management

Improving soil fertility management and reducing land degradation continues to be a priority for the EU: “It is through such programmes as DeSIRA LSC - IS that support is being extended”. “Generation and appropriate dissemination of Land, Soil and Crop information is crucial for effective decision making and innovation” according to Mr. Stephen Wathome, Agriculture, Job Creation & Resilience Section, Delegation of the European Union to Kenya.

National workshop in Nairobi

  • Date: 19-20 September 2022
  • Participants: 41

Some quotes of the workshop included: “Many different actors and stakeholder group have been part of this workshop with space and time for open conversation - both formally and informally”. “We have to unfortunately underline that important data simply do not reach farmers”. “If farmers want to obtain data they generally have to pay a -not small- amount in KSh!”

Workshop in Busia County

  • Date: 27-28 September 2022
  • Participants: 41

The outcome of the two days’ stakeholder workshop in Busia County was a set of clearly defined user requirements and needs that guide the design of the LSC-hub in Kenya

Workshop in Taita-Taveta County

  • Date: 13-14 October 2022
  • Participants: 48

The two days’ stakeholder workshop in Taita-Taveta County outlined the importance of engaging with county level and engaging local level stakeholders in making their needs regarding data availability and access explicit. “Engaging the end-users in the LSC hub design makes this project different” was mentioned during the evaluation of the workshop.