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New publication on the role of soil moisture information

Thumbnail New publication on the role of soil moisture information

The WATERAPPS team published a new paper in the Agronomy journal with the title “the Role of Soil Moisture Information in Developing Robust Climate Services for Smallholder Farmers: Evidence from Ghana” (Figure 1). In this paper, Sutanto et al. assess the role of soil moisture information in farmers’ agricultural decision-making. Below, we provide the summary of research as it is published in the Agronomy journal: 


In Ghana, most of the farmers are engaged in small-scale rainfed farming where the success is influenced by the prevailing weather conditions. Current Climate Information Services (CISs) only provide information on rainfall conditions to reduce their farming vulnerability to climate extremes. Access to other practical knowledge, such as soil moisture content would benefit farmers further in the decision-making process. This study aims to assess the role of soil moisture information in farmers’ agricultural decision-making and to understand how this information is being perceived, assessed, and applied. Exploratory research, combined with field visits and farmer interviews, was carried out in Gbulung, Napakzoo, and Yapalsi communities in the outskirts of Tamale, northern Ghana in October–December 2021. Results show that soil moisture information is highly important for activities, such as fertilizer application and sowing. Soil moisture information, however, is not readily available to the farmers, causing them to rely solely on their indigenous knowledge to monitor the soil moisture conditions. Our study reveals that developing a CIS embedded with soil moisture advisory module (CIS-SM) will help farmers in conducting strategic and tactical decision-making in their daily farming activities.

Figure 1. Sutanto et al. paper as it is published in the Agronomy journal.