• Recently, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) started a project to digitally map soil nutrients in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and central America to increase efficiency in using fertilizers.
  • Also, it will organize and improve existing soil maps.

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 enhance the understanding of what types of nutrients our soils and crops need.
  • Further, it will reduce waste when applying fertilizers and increase their effectiveness.
  • A United Nations project is digitally mapping soil nutrients in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and central America to increase efficiency in using fertilisers. The project is being carried out by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
  • It would foster the creation of national soil databases and soil information systems as public goods to be used by policymakers.
  • Further, the private sector, and especially farmers can generate long-term benefits from it.
  • It will also improve short-term flexibility to adapt to trends in fertilizer markets and climate dynamics without compromising output.


  • There were unsustainable agricultural practices, a lack of resources and capacity development, and nutrient underuse in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), which has resulted in significant soil nutrient depletion, low crop yields, and poverty, leaving many farm families in a scenario of vulnerability and food insecurity.
  • Many African countries lack policies regulating soil as well as the capacity, knowledge and experience to plan and implement sustainable soil management programmes.
  • Africa’s Total Factor Productivity growth, especially in the sub-Sahara region, does not match up to the growth of other developing regions.
  • Total factor productivity growth is the difference between the growth of output and the growth of a combination of all factor inputs, usually labour and capital. 


  • The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger.
  • Its goal is to achieve food security for all and make sure that people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active healthy lives.
  • With 195 members – 194 countries and the European Union, FAO works in over 130 countries worldwide.


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