70% of Rwanda’s population rely on agriculture for their livelihoods. However, productivity has been severely compromised by a lack of crop and soil-specific fertilizers and soil erosion. Real-time, reliable, soil and agronomy data can inform farmers, helping them to make the best decisions for their land, but this data is currently not shared between stakeholders. The Government’s Rwanda Soil Information Service will provide a centralised resource for in-country actors to better understand the state of soils in Rwanda at a local level. CABI’s integral role will be to lay the foundations of a modern soil information system that will rationalize the costs of obtaining high-quality soils data. Working on the basis of FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) data principles will ensure that legacy and new investments in soil research maximise their potential and result in better decision-making for Rwandan farmers and their soils.
I joined CABI in 2020 as a Project Manager in the Knowledge and Data Management Team. I have worked in the Information and Communications Technologies for Development, capacity development and knowledge management sector for nine years. In this time, I have worked on several projects and programmes in Sub-Sahara Africa, focusing on enhancing capacity amongst the research and education communities in the latest data and information tools, and advocating for the adoption of digital technologies that drive development. Prior to joining CABI, I worked as a Project Coordinator on an open data project at the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Co-operation ACP-EU (CTA).
Efforts to reach Sustainable Development Goals in food security, nutrition and livelihoods are being hindered by crop loss. Up 40% of crop yields are lost to pests and disease but the data available to prove and show trends is limited. The Global Burden of Crop Loss project will collect, validate, analyse and disseminate data on the extent and causes of crop loss with the aim of gathering sufficient and reliable data that can act as evidence to enable prioritisation of research and policy in plant health, to improve our ability to predict the impact of emerging diseases.