Digital Agriculture for Food and Soil Security

20 January 2017

To address the global demand for digital soil and crop health information for food security and global environmental management in India and Australia, Faculty of Agriculture and Environment staff was awarded the Australia Awards Fellowships (AAF) from Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), to conduct a two-week workshop from 6 - 18 November 2016. Professor Budiman Minasny, Ass. Professor Brett Whelan, Dr. Kanika Singh, Dr. Brendan Malone and Mr. Patrick Fillippi organised this workshop to demonstrate the use of technology driven agriculture to tackle food and soil security. This should strengthen and build formal collaboration between countries in studying the effects of climate and land use on food security.

organisations across India under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Uttarbanga Krishi Biswabidyalay University, Indian Institute of technology, and Banaras Hindu University. The International crop research institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) is also represented.

The workshop culminated with the following resolution:

  1. Soil security is a major driver of food security in India in view of the declining soil organic carbon and increasing rates of soil erosion in India.
  2. Digital soil mapping is a globally-emerging initiative that has potential to improve soil quality through focused interventions once the mapping of soil is complete in a specified region.
  3. Although digitized soil mapping at scales of 1:2,50,000 has been successfully implemented across India, harmonization of such soil survey data and further improvement of map resolution are urgently needed for Indian soils.
  4. Digital soil mapping should be immediately initiated such that the digitized soil maps may quickly be augmented to create high spatial-resolution soil maps across India.
  5. A national science plan document should be created to formally implement digital soil mapping in India.

The participants of the workshop agreed to create a network of professionals across India and participate/support digital soil mapping initiative in India. The University of Sydney, with its experience in implementing digital soil mapping in Australia and leadership of global soil mapping across the world, has expressed its interest to support such an initiative.

Contact: Dr Kanika Singh

Phone: 02 8627 1141

Email: 2122361c1c024f16250a265a22420e222352415e081c37465907