Working Paper

Collecting the Dirt on Soils : Advancements in Plot-Level Soil Testing and Implications for Agricultural Statistics

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collection.link.5
https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/9
collection.name.5
Policy Research Working Papers
dc.contributor.author
Carletto, Calogero
dc.contributor.author
Aynekulu, Ermias
dc.contributor.author
Gourlay, Sydney
dc.contributor.author
Shepherd, Keith
dc.date.accessioned
2017-05-23T22:28:59Z
dc.date.available
2017-05-23T22:28:59Z
dc.date.issued
2017-05
dc.date.lastModified
2021-06-14T10:14:16Z
dc.description.abstract
Much of the current analysis on agricultural productivity is hampered by the lack of consistent, high quality data on soil health and how it is changing under past and current management. Historically, plot-level statistics derived from household surveys have relied on subjective farmer assessments of soil quality or, more recently, publicly available geospatial data. The Living Standards Measurement Study of the World Bank implemented a methodological study in Ethiopia, which resulted in an unprecedented data set encompassing a series of subjective indicators of soil quality as well as spectral soil analysis results on plot-specific soil samples for 1,677 households. The goals of the study, which was completed in partnership with the World Agroforestry Centre and the Central Statistical Agency of Ethiopia, were twofold: (1) evaluate the feasibility of integrating a soil survey into household socioeconomic data collection operations, and (2) evaluate local knowledge of farmers in assessing their soil quality. Although a costlier method than subjective assessment, the integration of spectral soil analysis in household surveys has potential for scale-up. In this study, the first large scale study of its kind, enumerators spent approximately 40 minutes per plot collecting soil samples, not a particularly prohibitive figure given the proper timeline and budget. The correlation between subjective indicators of soil quality and key soil properties, such as organic carbon, is weak at best. Evidence suggests that farmers are better able to distinguish between soil qualities in areas with greater variation in soil properties. Descriptive analysis shows that geospatial data, while positively correlated with laboratory results and offering significant improvements over subject assessment, fail to capture the level of variation observed on the ground. The results of this study give promise that soil spectroscopy could be introduced into household panel surveys in smallholder agricultural contexts, such as Ethiopia, as a rapid and cost-effective soil analysis technique with valuable outcomes. Reductions in uncertainties in assessing soil quality and, hence, improvements in smallholder agricultural statistics, enable better decision-making.
en
dc.identifier
http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/748621494523429244/Collecting-the-dirt-on-soils-advancements-in-plot-level-soil-testing-and-implications-for-agricultural-statistics
dc.identifier.uri
http://hdl.handle.net/10986/26736
dc.language
English
dc.language.iso
en_US
dc.publisher
World Bank, Washington, DC
dc.relation.ispartofseries
Policy Research Working Paper;No. 8057
dc.rights
CC BY 3.0 IGO
dc.rights.holder
World Bank
dc.rights.uri
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/igo
dc.subject
LAND PRODUCTIVITY
dc.subject
HOUSEHOLD SURVEYS
dc.subject
SOIL SPECTROSCOPY
dc.subject
SOIL FERTILITY
dc.subject
LOCAL KNOWLEDGE
dc.subject
AGRICULTURE STATISTICS
dc.title
Collecting the Dirt on Soils
en
dc.title.subtitle
Advancements in Plot-Level Soil Testing and Implications for Agricultural Statistics
en
dc.type
Working Paper
en
okr.crossref.title
Collecting the Dirt on Soils: Advancements in Plot-Level Soil Testing and Implications for Agricultural Statistics
okr.date.disclosure
2017-05-11
okr.doctype
Publications & Research
okr.doctype
Publications & Research :: Policy Research Working Paper
okr.docurl
http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/748621494523429244/Collecting-the-dirt-on-soils-advancements-in-plot-level-soil-testing-and-implications-for-agricultural-statistics
okr.googlescholar.linkpresent
yes
okr.identifier.doi
10.1596/1813-9450-8057
okr.identifier.externaldocumentum
090224b084bbb02d_2_0
okr.identifier.internaldocumentum
27449195
okr.identifier.report
WPS8057
okr.imported
true
okr.language.supported
en
okr.pdfurl
http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/748621494523429244/pdf/WPS8057.pdf
en
okr.region.administrative
Africa
okr.region.country
Ethiopia
okr.statistics.dr
748621494523429244
okr.topic
Agriculture :: Agricultural Knowledge & Information Systems
okr.topic
Agriculture :: Agricultural Research
okr.topic
Agriculture :: Climate Change and Agriculture
okr.topic
Agriculture :: Crops & Crop Management Systems
okr.topic
Agriculture :: Food Security
okr.unit
Development Data Group

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