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CSIR MAG develops multi-purpose app for development in the agricultural sector

General News of Monday, 26 April 2021

Source: Donald Gwira, Contributor

2021-04-26

File photo of a farmerFile photo of a farmer

Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) with support from the Canadian government through Modernization of Agriculture in Ghana (MAG) program are on track developing multi-purpose applications that bring agriculture, research, science and technology closer to the end-user.

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Agriculture is the main stay of Ghana’s economy engaging about 52% of the labor force; 29% in services and 19% in industry. Agriculture also contributes to 54 % of Ghana’s GDP, and accounts for over 40 % of export earnings, while at the same time providing over 90 % of the food needs of the country.

The soil holds the future for humanity. Soil information is therefore critical to the transformation of agriculture and other industries like building/real estate, horticulture, roads construction and the allocation of land for development. This sentiment is re-echoed succinctly in this heading of a book “Soil: The Life Supporting Skin of the Earth” (KV Ragnarsdóttir.

Soil information is fundamental to any successful farming activity, crop fertilization, performance of new crop varieties, pasture development, afforestation, food security and improved nutrition. Soil information in Ghana was stored on analogue maps which were open to the vagaries of rodents chewing the maps, and the need to have large and secure rooms for storage. Information was also not easily accessible with End-users having to be physically present in order to access them.

It is therefore opportune that the development of CSIR-Soil Research Institute’s web-based application platform has come at the right time.

They have converted all their analogue maps into digital formats for easier storage and retrieval.

The platform host information on the soil resources of Ghana online to enhance soil data accessibility, availability and acquisition in the country.

The online platform contains digitized soil maps of specific locations, soil characteristics and appropriate nutrient/mineral requirements for optimum growth and yields for key crops in each agro-ecological zone of Ghana.

It also provides information on soil nutrient availability, soil physical properties and fertility limitations, as well as soil suitability for selected crops. Soil management recommendations, strategies and limitations, are also included.

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