Soils, Cross-Cutting: Phase 2

Lead Organization:

Colorado State University Foundation

Community of Practice:

East & Southern Africa




Phase II continues to support projects in the three CCRP regions around issues of agroecological management and soil health so as to strengthen smallholder livelihoods and farming system resilience. The Soils team transitions from piloting and testing the soil toolkit toward design and refinement of a more usable, validated product and the public good. Toolkit outcomes will be linked with modeling and system-based analyses of farms and agroecosystems as we seek to inform larger conversations within the CCRP and beyond.

Grant Aims:

Objective 1: Refine the soil health toolkit developed in Phase I, focusing on design elements such as improved instructions, information flow to users, and ease of use, while considering options for locally sourced materials and knowledge.

Objective 2: Evaluate and quantify trade-offs of residue and nutrient management to understand implications for soil organic matter (SOM) dynamics, nutrient balances, and overall soil health in smallholder systems. These research activities aim to fill fundamental knowledge gaps in SOM and residue management, and will contribute heavily to the decision support tools and backstopping of CoP partners in the other two objectives.

Objective 3: Engage CoP and global-scale partners on soils research and sustainable cropping systems management to foster soil health, both within the three CoPs and in global-scale conversations. This occurs via activities such as research backstopping of CoP partners and agroecology hubs, formation of human capital in using the soil toolkit, and larger scale analyses that build the evidence base for sustainable smallholder management.

Outputs and Outcomes:

  • Adaptation, validation, and design of soil health assessment tools appropriate for different user groups
  • Research and modeling outputs on residue management in smallholder systems from a multidisciplinary perspective
  • Local, contextualized backstopping on soil health assessment and soil research for CoP projects
  • Participation in global dialogues with soils, assessment tool, and sustainable food systems communities of practice


  • Local and Scientific Soil Knowledge

  • A Soil Tool Kit to Evaluate Soil Properties and Monitor Soil Health Changes in Smallholder Farming Contexts

    Learn More
  • Kit de herramientas de salud

  • Kit d’outils pour la santé des sols

  • Building and Assessing Soil Health Across the CCRP Program

    East & Southern Africa