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Map Charts Soil Fertility in Ethiopia

A comprehensive digital map charting soil fertility in Ethiopia is proving an important tool in tackling the country’s low farm productivity, a challenge made more acute by climate change.

The nationwide mapping effort was launched by the Ethiopian Soil Information System (EthioSIS) in 2012, and is due to be finished this year.

The project in the Horn of Africa nation is already achieving results, with new fertilizer combinations boosting wheat yields from around 1 tonne to 3 tonnes per hectare on more than 40 percent of its agricultural land last year.

Tekalign Mamo, program leader for EthioSIS, said fertility and other soil characteristics are dynamic processes that must be well understood for a country to be able to feed its population.

NASA Johnson

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