Effective Soil Management System

  • Listen
  • 17th Nov,2020
  • 3.8K views
  • 3 mins read

“Essentially, all life depends upon the soil ... There can be no life without soil and no soil without life; they have evolved together.” - Charles E. Kellogg, Soil Scientist

Soil mapping dates back to the early 19th century in Europe and US. Evaluation of soil quality and properties then was done majorly for taxation purpose. Later, with the evolution of soil science, agricultural productivity turned the priority for soil testing and classification. The need for an organized soil mapping, though, emerged only after World War II in the early 1950s under the auspices of Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO). Today, soil mapping is linked to crop productivity, tackling soil degradation, land resource management, restoring ecological balance and predicting natural catastrophes like landslides and floods. For the wealth beneath the soil to create value above it, we need to connect fundamental research with possible applications by leveraging technology.

Soil Management: Nations’ Response to the Need

Nations reached consensus on soil management with the FAO adopting the World Soil Charter and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) publishing the World Soils Policy in 1982. But it was the food crisis of 2008 that prodded policy makers to realize that soil is a finite resource and an important factor in the context of food security. And, soil mapping is important since it gives access to timely, reliable and accurate information on nature, extent and spatial distribution of soils.

Challenges Below & Above the ‘Soil’

Soil mapping is no trivial task given the ‘on-the-spot’ challenges. Manual or paper based soil profiling devours time, resulting in delay in information reaching the decision makers. Moreover, the lack of a centralized soil database makes it difficult to analyze or interpret the data on collected samples. To overcome the limitations of paper-based soil profiling, nations and authorities have turned on the ‘digital switch’. But half-hearted digitalization can’t be a cure-all. Hence, digital soil mapping has its share of challenges. The key challenge is where technology itself has failed to make inroads- the ‘digitally excluded’ regions of the earth.

The GovTech Remedy- Blending Smart Technology with Offline Rigor

Technology offers the leap of faith when dealing with mapping a resource as heterogeneous and complex as soil. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and spatial statistics offer powerful tools for producing soil maps.

Ethiopia, a developing economy, has jumped to the front of the queue in soil mapping. Its National Soil Information System (NSIS) is a case of end-to-end automation, integrated with multiple touch-points like the country’s national soil database, lab analysis results and data mining. The system conducts infrared spectroscopy as well as dry and wet chemistry analysis to evaluate soil characteristics. The field and lab results are fed to the soil database while the collected soil samples are archived in Soil Library for future analysis and forecasting. The system uses Machine Learning algorithms to generate soil fertility status and make recommendations for application of fertilizers. While technology is a huge enabler, many areas of Ethiopia are still untouched by internet. NSIS has a mobile app (synced with the national server) for capturing survey results achieved online which are then fed to the central data repository. Besides this, the mobile app has offline soil information useful for development agents to guide farmers on the right usage of fertilizers.

Such solutions lessen the dependency on human intervention and help to better manage soil resources. Also, GovTech solutions like NSIS stand out in merging technology with offline ground work. The future rests on exploiting smart technologies that link fundamental research with applications for the benefit of all stakeholders.

The author is Priyadarshi Nanu Pany, Founder & CEO of CSM Technologies. This article was originally published on his LinkedIn profile.

 

Image
AUTHOR:
Priyadarshi Pany

CEO & President

More Blog Posts from Priyadarshi Pany

Emerging Technologies - 4 MINS READ

Catalyzing Indian Deep Tech Start-ups

Emerging Technologies - 3 MINS READ

From 5G to Web 3.0, it’s the emergence of Edge Computing

Emerging Technologies - 4 MINS READ

AR Tech in Mine Sampling- The Disruption You Haven’t Realized

Emerging Technologies - 4 MINS READ

How Tech Companies are Powering the Net-zero Economy

Emerging Technologies - 3 MINS READ

How Low Code-No Code Solutions Can Empower Your Business

Enterprise Resource Planning - 3 MINS READ

Engage Better With Alumni to Combat The Great Resignation

Emerging Technologies - 3 MINS READ

Web 3.0- Reimagining The Internet’s Future with Blockchain

GovTech Solution - 3 MINS READ

How Golden Records Citizen Database Can Empower Governance

Enterprise Resource Planning - 3 MINS READ

Think Green for Jobs; Go Green for a Decarbonized World

GovTech Solution - 3 MINS READ

Why Governments Need a Unified Grievance Management System

Most Viewed Blog Posts

Mines & Minerals - 3 MINS READ

Digital Logistics for Pivoting To Mining 4.0

Mines & Minerals - 3 MINS READ

Big Data & Analytics For Mining Sector Transformation

Emerging Technologies - 3 MINS READ

Artificial Intelligence: The Future Is Here

Mines & Minerals - 3 MINS READ

Automated Industrial Inspections to Leapfrog Business Reforms

Emerging Technologies - 2 MINS READ

e-Governance: Adopting Agile Methodology

Digital Transformation - 3 MINS READ

How Digitization Reformed the Food Supply Chain in Odisha

Healthcare - 3 MINS READ

CoVaTrack: Tracking The Enigmatic Vaccine

Digital Transformation - 2 MINS READ

How This Budget with a Digital Pulse can Turnaround India

Blockchain - 1 MIN READ

Blockchain : The Trust Protocol for Data Integrity through Distributed Power

Emerging Technologies - 3 MINS READ

How Emerging Tech Can Empower Social Commerce


CSM Technologies

Subscribe to our newsletter


If you choose to provide us with your e-mail address and/or other (indirect) personally identifiable information, we will only use such information to send you our newsletter