Tools

We are also developing tools to both complete our work as well as allow other stakeholders, including scientists, policymakers and practitioners, to address the global challenge of sustainable agricultural intensification. These assessment tools and information services allow context-specific recommendations, adaptive management, and monitoring and evaluation.

Important agronomic tools include the Africa Soil Information Service, a digital soil map of Africa, which focuses on soil properties relevant to agriculture, climate change and water resources. We are also developing SoilDoc, an innovative lab-in-a-box, and Vital Signs, a project with Conservation International and CSIR South Africa, which is an integrated monitoring system for ecosystem services in agricultural landscapes.

We are also developing a package of three research tools to assess nutrient gaps in village food systems. A first tool determines food and nutrient availability at the household and village level. A second tool calculates food and nutrient consumption. A third tool estimates the minimum cost of a nutritional food basket at the village level and compares this to household income. Further, local soil, climate and biodiversity data are used to identify potential for closing nutrient gaps.