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Development and Implementation of Systems for Sharing Sustainable Land Management Knowledge and Information (LandPKS)

Program Duration: 2013-2017
Donor: United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
Program Contact for ATPS: Dr. Nicholas Ozor, Executive Director, ATPS. Email: 
Principal Investigator: Dr. Jeff Herrick: 
Program Coordinator: Adam Beh, Email: 

Project Value: US$ 368,000

The African Technology Policy Studies Network, in collaboration with United States Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) research unit in Las Cruces, New Mexico (Jornada) is engaged in a project to develop and implement a system for sharing sustainable land management knowledge and information (LandPKS). With funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the project aims to support long-term sustainable land productivity through the process of collecting, sharing, and integrating local and scientific knowledge about the potential productivity and resilience of specific types of land for local, regional, and global application.

The Land-Potential Knowledge System application seeks to leverage on the emerging trends in mobile phone technology to allow farmers, development organizations, extension workers and national governments to share, access and apply the best available knowledge and information at field, regional, and national scales. It will allow land potential to be defined explicitly and dynamically for unique and constantly changing soil and climate conditions, and to be updated based on new evidence about the success or failure of new management systems on different soils.The Land Potential Knowledge Systems (LandPKS) project is currently being piloted in the Northern regions of Kenya and Namibia.

ATPS role

The ATPS will provide the overall coordination for the project in Africa. Specifically the ATPS will undertake field visits to LandPKS project location in Samburu County in Kenya and Kavango region in Namibia for ground truthing assessment of LandPKS application. Part of ATPS’s mandate is to provide training and Sensitization activities for stakeholders including farmers, rural planners, policy makers, extension workers on the use of the LandPKS technology.

Project Outcome

  1. Improved targeting of investments on food security, watershed management and natural resource conservation, range management and rehabilitation, value chain development, dry land agriculture Increasing probability of success of rangeland management and restoration efforts by focusing efforts on areas most likely to respond to interventions.
  2. Provision of accurate information necessary to make evidence-based decisions about what intervention options are suitable for increase land productivity.
  3. Assist governments, funders, and non-governmental organizations identify specific locations within each region where investments in specific projects, such as technical support and drought assistance, are likely to have the greatest long-term impact and return on investment, while helping to select the interventions that are likely to have the greatest impact.

Project Outputs

The LandPKS research team has completed and launched the first two mobile applications; LandInfo and LandCover from the LandPKS project. The two applications are now publicly available on Google play. 

The LandInfo application allows users to enter point-specific information about soil texture, topography and easily observable soil properties. It provides free cloud storage and sharing, and allows the app to return site-specific data including temperature, rainfall, estimated amount of water the soil can store for plants, and growing season length. 

The LandCover application functions via the stick method in assessing vegetation cover and structure of pastureland. The outputs of the Land cover provide important information such as percentages of bare ground and vegetation cover, which is important in rangeland health monitoring.

To download the new Apps, search the names in the Google Play Store or use the link: or click on the icons below:

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