10 July 2019 Addis Ababa – The Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA) organized a consultative workshop on the Ethiopian Soil Information system (EthioSIS) data sharing protocol.

The consultative workshop aimed at discussing on ways to share data that the ATA in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) and other partners gathered and analyzed in the past five years while developing Atlases on Ethiopian soil fertility status and fertilizer recommendations.

Participants from research institutes, universities, development partners and media attended the event.

On the occasion, H.E Dr. Kaba Urgessa, State Minister for the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), noted the importance of sharing data gathered through the EthioSIS project while making sure that they are used for the intended purposes.

Dr. Kaba also reiterated the impact of the EthioSIS project in the transformation of Ethiopian agriculture. As inputs such as fertilizers have a great effect in enhancing production and productivity of farmers, the EthioSIS will serve an important role in this regards. “As we approach the completion of nationwide effort to digitally mapping soil fertility status and fertilizer recommendation, we will witness continued and sustained growth in agricultural production and productivity,” Dr. Kaba added.

The CEO of ATA Khalid Bomba in his opening noted the information produced through then EthioSIS.  The first thing is that the digital soil maps will benefit smallholder farmers to use an appropriate fertilizer for their land so as to increase their productivity, Khalid said.

Khalid also adds that the data from the EthioSIS project has also played an important role in facilitating investments that investors make decisions based on the data they got. “OCP, a Moroccan fertilizer manufacturing company has invested more than 3.7 billion USD to establish a fertilizer manufacturing company based on the information from the EthioSIS,” Khalid said.

He has called upon Universities and researchers to collaborate with ATA to further engage in research projects on Ethiopian soils using the data collected.

The Ethiopian Soil Information systems (EthioSIS) project is mapping the soil fertility status and fertilizer recommendations of all 748 agricultural woredas in Ethiopia. The project has analyzed more than 97% of the country’s agricultural soils using extensive soil sampling and remote sensing satellite imagery. The project has handed over soil fertility status and fertilizer recommendation maps to Amhara, SNNP, Tigray, Harari, Benishangul Gumuz, Gambella region and Dire Dawa administration. The soil map for Somali and Afar regions are expected to follow shortly while soil national soil map is underway.