A geographic information system (GIS) is a technological tool that analyzes and presents information tied to spatial location. IFDC uses GIS to develop maps that help farmers make informed decisions and which support fertilizer recommendation systems. GIS is also used to monitor research and farming sites and gather data such as weather, topography, land use, demographics, economic information and soil type. In agribusiness, GIS can be used to identify locations of suppliers for seed, fertilizer or other inputs, locate the best distribution network, and assess the risk of an area for erosion, drought and flooding. After analysis and evaluation, IFDC updates geographic and attribute databases and exchanges this information with associates in a region or country and/or other agricultural organizations.
GIS also helps IFDC monitor nutrient mining. This allows IFDC to develop guidelines for fertilizer recommendations and strategies for crop production in soil fertility management projects. Much of the geographic information is used to monitor and improve country and regional markets and support fertilizer policies.
IFDC’s work with GIS can provide:
- Data creation
- Cartographic products
- Site buffers
- Distance analysis
- Image processing and interpretation
- Join and link data
- Geo-statistical interpretation
- Risk assessment and predictions
Graphic: Courtesy of Olivia Gist