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World Soil Day blog … celebrates growing soil information resource

5 December 2016A library of over 400 information products has grown out of a soil project in Africa. Today on World Soil Day,  we wanted to share with you how a unique library of promotional materials has grown out of a soil health project.

Since 2011, the CABI-led Africa Soil Health Consortium (ASHC) has been working with partners to develop materials that promote Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM). In addition to sharing the information with farmers, every piece of promotional material has been placed into a searchable library on the ASHC website. A good number of our materials fall within the 2016 World Soil Day theme; ‘Soils and pulses, a symbiosis for life’ covering crops such as common bean, soybean and groundnut.

548 and 549 poster and flipcards

The ASHC collection of material is not just an archive of our work,but is meant to be an inspiration to others who regularly face the task of repackaging information materials to increase uptake of technologies. We know how intimidating it can be sitting looking at a blank sheet or, even more difficult, a dense scientific publication and trying to produce a guide for farmers or a poster for an agro-dealer’s shop.

By sharing all the materials that have been developed on an open access basis we hope we will make it easier for others to create new inspiring materials.

330 Rhizobia-based biofertilizer277 benefits of soybean productionISFM poster


You can download materials developed by the consortium and adapt them where necessary for a specific context or agro-ecological zone.

You may be inspired by a format – or decide to adapt some of the text from a leaflet that you think would inspire farmers. Often artwork or photographs can be shared too as many of the materials are presented as Creative Commons. From handbooks, to field guides, flyers, leaflets and posters, the array keeps expanding. We have even recently uploaded radio transcripts from our partnership work in Tanzania.


Currently you can search by:

  • 26 crops from banana to yam
  • 25 languages from Arabic to Zama
  • 40 African counties from Angola to Zimbabwe
  • 17 formats from audio to social media
  • 11 suggested target audiences from agro-dealers to universities
  • 10 ISFM practices from improved seed to rotation

Ken Giller holding handbookRice guide colour portugueseRice cropping guide French b&w

The core users of the materials library include extension support teams, scientists, input producers, policy-makers and communications specialists.

This blog was initially commissioned by CABI for their blog site and a version also appeared on the GFAR blog site (the Global Forum for Agricultural Research).