Impacts of farming system, climate, and topography on soil properties in the Sankuru Province, central Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC): a soil fertility evaluation and classification study
Presented by Al Lohese
Abstract: Many developing countries are experiencing chronic hunger, especially those located in tropical regions where the natural environment constrains soil productivity. Extensive local field study and soil laboratory analyses have been undertaken on soils across a climatic gradient in Sankuru Province (DRC), to search for ways to restore and sustain soil productivity and build local competency to provide a foundation for future efforts to address crop productivity and food insecurity. This study involves strong connections with local academic institutions, farmers, and community extension agents in an effort to understand the relationship between soil fertility, environmental factors, and anthropogenic land use. We thus target dual objectives: (1) help farmers bridge their soil related knowledge gap and empower them with technical skills to better manage their own local resources and (2) enhance scientific understanding of local soil formation and geological processes necessary for further soil classification and mapping.
Biography: Al Lohese, PhD candidate in Land and Atmospheric Science (Soil Science emphasis) at the University of Minnesota, Twin-Cities, Saint Paul Campus. Prior to pursuing my PhD, I obtained my B.S. in Soil Science from the University of Zaire /DRC, and my M.S. in Agricultural Economics from The Ohio State University, and worked as an agricultural extension agent in central DRC for 10 years.