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)
The project team
Wageningen University & Research
ISRIC - World Soil Information
International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)
Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR)
Kenya Agricultural & Livestock Research Organization (KALRO)
Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board (RAB)
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR)
Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA)
World Agroforestry (ICRAF)
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
KENYA: Two sub-national workshops on LSC hub
The Land Soil and Crop (LSC) Hubs project organised two sub-national workshops in early February of this year as a counterpart to the national workshop held in Nairobi in December 2023. The four-day workshops occurred in Voi, Taita Taveta county, and Busia, Busia county.
KENYA: 2-day workshop in Voi, Tiata Taveta county
A two-day workshop was recently held in Voi, Tiata Taveta county, Kenya. The LSC-IS Kenya team worked with local infomediaries and stakeholders in mapping soil, water and cropping challenges faced in the region. The team also crafted concrete visions for its future landscapes. They explored what information could be drawn from the LSC-IS hub to cater to the actions needed to achieve said visions and whether that information was sufficient for Taita Taveta’s context.
KENYA: National training workshop on LSC hub
The Land, Soil, and Crop Information Services (LSC-IS) to support Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) project organised a national workshop in Kenya on 18-19 December 2023. 30 participants received hands-on training on how to access Kenya’s LSC hub and how to use the information contained in the hub.
KENYA: Data management training delivered
From 11-14, December, members of Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), the Kenya Department of Remote Sensing and Resource Surveys, the Kenya Forest Service and the Kenya Met Department came together at a data management training led by ISRIC - World Soil Information as part of the Land Soil Crop Hubs (LSC Hubs) project.
RWANDA: Digital soil mapping training delivered
From November 21-23, 2023 the project carried out training on digital soil mapping in Musanze, Rwanda. Project team members from ISRIC - World Soil Information delivered the training to Rwandan professionals with most coming from LSC Hubs project partner Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board (RAB). The focus was joint development of a new set of high-resolution digital soil maps of Rwanda.
RWANDA: National training workshop on LSC Hub held in Kigali
The Land, Soil, and Crop Information Services (LSC-IS) to support Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) project organised a national workshop in Rwanda from 30 November to 1 December 2023.
The workshop, hosted by Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board (RAB), was coordinated by the International Livestock Research Institute and supported by the staff of ISRIC - World Soil Information, Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation (WCDI), Wageningen Environmental Research, World Agroforestry (CIFOR-ICRAF), Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA) and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
RWANDA: Information access for farmers
Mr. Francois Uwumukiza, from the Embassy of the Kingdom of The Netherlands in Rwanda says: ‘Our transformation journey is still long but having a functional Information hub is a first step towards farmers accessing information, and data. The hub requires the commitment of all relevant government officials to make sure that it is functional for farmers by encouraging its use, maintaining it, and entering data regularly so farmers can benefit.’
Hub user experience feedback
The Land Soil Crop Hub prototypes that were developed for use in Kenya, Ethiopia and Rwanda are now in the iterative process of national-level partners, especially KALRO and RAB, shaping the user experience. The hub design is evolving based on their input. The beta version of the LSC hub will be released by the end of 2023.
Mapviewer for Land, Soil and Crop maps
Based on project partner feedback, a mapviewer was created to visualize and compare various land, soil and crop maps. This first version of the mapviewer contains soil maps created in this project, and spatial data available from the LSC data catalogue. The mapviewer will be futher developed based on input from project partners.
VIDEO TOUR: Land Soil Crop Hub Prototype
In this five-minute video, ISRIC - World Soil Information project coordinator Thaisa van der Woude introduces the Land Soil Crop Hubs (LSC Hubs) prototype.
ETHIOPIA: Research fieldwork underway
‘…[the] research is novel in that it goes beyond mapping only basic soil properties but extends this to more complex soil properties, such as the root zone plant available water holding capacity. This is highly relevant information for farmers and land managers,’ explained Prof. dr. Gerard Heuvelink.
Digging into LSC Hub design
Behind the scenes on a data and information hub, the catalogue is the principal component of the platform’s architecture.
What is a land, soil, crop 'hub'?
The land, soil and crop (LSC) Hubs are easy-to-access online platforms, managed by the Ethiopia Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR), Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organisation (KALRO) and Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB), enabling stakeholders to access information on soil, crops, land and climate such as data, maps and advisory services.
DLR begins covariate preparation
German Space Agency (DLR) has begun their work with Land Soil Crop Hubs, incorporating Earth Observation inputs (e.g. satellite and remote sensing data) to provide the project with innovative soil mapping methodologies. Preliminary products will be available for review later this year. Check back for an update!
We compiled more than 240 available land, soil, and crop information sources for each project country: Ethiopia, Kenya and Rwanda. This data consists of national and global spatial vector data (point, line, polygon), gridded maps and related metadata, and is collected from various sources:
- Country project partners (EIAR, KALRO and RAB);
- ISRIC – World Soil Information;
- Project partners (e.g. ICRAF and IUCN);
- Third parties (online sources).
ETHIOPIA: Regions of focus
The two pilot regions for LSC Hubs in Ethiopia are Basona Worena and Adami Tulu Jido Kombolcha.
RWANDA: National and regional stakeholder workshops
A series of consultation workshops was held in Rwanda at national and regional levels during November 2022. They served to identify the needs and demands among stakeholders in the country with regards to land, soil and crop information. Read more
LSC Hubs expands network at ASARECA conference
On 18 May 2023, LSC Hubs project team presented a session at the ASARECA Agriculture Ministerial Conference in Uganda titled: Land, Soil, Crop Information Services for Climate-Resilient Food Systems in Africa. The presentation reached 15 Ministires of Agriculture in East and Central Africa.
RWANDA: Regions of focus
The two districts of focus in Rwanda for piloting the information services are:
Team connects at Annual Project Meeting in The Netherlands
Land Soil Crop Hubs (LSC Hubs) project partners gathered in Wageningen, The Netherlands from May 9 - 13, 2023 for the ‘Annual Project Meeting’. Partners travelled from Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda to be present and the group followed an interactive program to dig in on the next steps for each of the project’s work packages.
LSC-hubs developed a process to enable project partners to describe their data’s metadata systematically. The process includes:
- An inventory metadata template in Excel or
- An Open Data Kit (ODK) form;
By standardizing the metadata collection for the data which will eventually feature in the Land Soil Crop Hub (LSC Hub), the metadata can be seamlessly uploaded to the LSC Hubs.
ASARECA Agricultural Ministerial Conference
A delegation from the Land Soil Crop Hubs project will present at the ASARECA Agriculture Ministerial Conference in Uganda from 17-19 May, 2023. Read more
KENYA: Food basket for the coastal region
John Mlamba, Director Climate Change and Environment - County Government of Taita-Taveta (picture by ASARECA) says:
“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”.
ETHIOPIA: Regional stakeholder workshops
In January 2023, two regional level workshops were organised in Ethiopia, in:
- Batu (Ziway) and
- Basona Werena
KENYA: Assessing technical capacity with KALRO
ISRIC and KALRO met from 17-20 January 2023 in Nairobi to:
- assess technical capacity (human, software, hardware) to operate, maintain and use the hub;
- understand current portals/apps/tools developed by KALRO that support agricultural decision-making;
- initiate discussions about the architectural design for Kenya’s LSC Hub.
The technical capacity assessment showed that the KALRO IT team is a good team with highly diverse skills.
ETHIOPIA: National stakeholder workshop
- Date: 23-31 January 2023
- Participants: 60
Policymakers and agricultural experts highlighted the urgent need to expand data-driven decisionmaking, to help Ethiopian agriculture cater to the country’s food and nutrition needs amid climate change and land degradation. Read more
KENYA: Hub architectural design
During the January 2023 meeting of the KALRO and ISRIC teams, a draft plan was created that focuses on catalogue service. Catalogue service is the main element of an LSC Hub that provides FAIR data management functionality to the land, soil and crop datasets available at KALRO.
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.
KENYA: 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
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!” Read more
KENYA: Improving soil fertility management
Mr. Stephen Wathome, Agriculture, Job Creation & Resilience Section, Delegation of the European Union to Kenya says:
“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.”
KENYA: Counties of focus
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.
KENYA: 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.