E-TUMBA, CIRAD and IRD are strengthening their R&D collaboration within the framework of the French Recovery Plan to launch a project to digitize soil health assessment indicators. This digitization involves the design and development of a digital solution that will form the SaaS and mobile web platform, BIOFUNCTOOL, of the same name as the BIOFUNCTOOL Kit (https://umr-absys.cirad.fr/expertises/biofunctool-r) developed by CIRAD and IRD researchers.
This project provides an operational and innovative response to a very important question in agronomy and the environment: how to assess the impact of land use and agricultural practices on the biological functioning and sustainability of soils? Faced with an agriculture in transition (e.g.: transition from conventional to organic or conservation agriculture, transition from one crop to another, etc.), it becomes necessary to be able to quickly estimate the evolution of the health and quality of one’s soil.
The main advantages of the proposed solution will be :
- A simple kit accessible to all thanks to the independence from laboratories, the rapid development of broadband Internet and the high penetration of cell phones, especially in developing countries.
- Field measurements and results available in 24 hours (true at the time of collection of variables but provided that 2 tools have been pre-installed beforehand such as membranes and lamina baits) in-situ compared to soil analyses performed in a laboratory which can take 3 to 4 weeks.
- A low-cost tool thanks to the replacement of expensive equipment (e.g. spectrophotometer) by already available equipment (e.g. smartphone).
- Rapid estimation of 3 ecosystem services critical to the sustainability of agricultural systems: (1) decomposition of organic matter – carbon cycle – , (2) recycling of nutrients, (3) maintenance of soil structure.
Who is it for?
BIOFUNCTOOL® is intended for all the actors in the agricultural and environmental value chain.
- actors of the technical supervision of the agricultural and environmental sectors.
- researchers (soil, agriculture, ecology, etc.) for knowledge creation, transfer and training,
- farmers, farmers’ organizations, institutions (chambers of agriculture, agricultural extension organizations, etc.)