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  • 10 August, 2022

  • 8 Min Read

Soil Mapping in agriculture

Soil Mapping

In order to use fertilisers more effectively, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) recently launched a project to digitally map soil nutrients in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and central America.

Additionally, it will arrange and enhance current soil maps.

About soil mapping

Soil Mapping is the process of delineating natural bodies of soils, classifying and grouping the delineated soils into map units, and capturing soil property information for interpreting and depicting soil spatial distribution on a map.


  • It will improve knowledge of the kinds of nutrients our soils and crops require.
  • Additionally, it will improve fertilizer effectiveness and decrease waste during application.
  • Without sacrificing output, it can increase short-term adaptability to fluctuations in fertilizer markets and climatic dynamics.
  • It aids in the development of national soil databases and soil information systems that can be used for the long-term gain of policymakers, the business sector, and particularly farmers.

Soil Mapping Project:

  • The initiative, which has been expedited, will organize and enhance the current soil maps in Guatemala, Honduras, and other central American and SSA nations.
  • An Ethiopian soil-mapping project is already receiving help from FAO as it expands. Digital soil nutrient mapping technologies were employed in the Ethiopian project to produce timely data on the best ways to apply fertilisers.
  • Africa experienced the biggest increase in moderate or severe food insecurity between 2020 and 2021. Middle Africa is the subregion of sub-Saharan Africa that experiences the highest levels of food insecurity.


  • In SSA, unsustainable agricultural methods, a lack of funding for capacity building and nutrient underuse have led to severe soil nutrient loss, low crop yields, and poverty, placing many farm families in a precarious position and posing a threat to their food security.
  • Many African nations lack the capacity, expertise, and understanding necessary to design and carry out sustainable soil management programmes. They often lack legislation governing soil.

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

  • It is a specialised organisation that was founded by the UN in 1945 and oversees global initiatives to end hunger.
  • Its main office is in Rome, Italy.
  • In an effort to end hunger, it works to disseminate knowledge and encourage sustainable agriculture through national policies.
  • It seeks to ensure that everyone has access to adequate wholesome food on a regular basis to lead active, healthy lives.

Released major publications

  • World Fisheries and Aquaculture: Current Situation (SOFIA).
  • Forest Status Around the World (SOFO).
  • The World's Nutrition and Food Security Situation (SOFI).

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