The European Alliance on Agricultural knowledge for Development

Soil Quality Assessment and Biofunctool workshop

The workshop in the framework of Participatory and Integrative Support for Agricultural Initiative program PISAI was held from 19/11/2018 to 24/11/2018 at Khon Kaen University in Thailand,  and organised by two Agrinatura (CIRAD and from IRD ECO&SOLS) experts: Dr Alain Brauman and Dr Alexis Thoumazeau with assistance of local staff Mrs Phantip Panklang and Mrs Porntip Puttasso.

The training gathered 16 students from Khon Kaen University, Thailand, one of the PISAI project members. The main objective of the training week was to assess a part of farm sustainability, based on the soil system analysis. To do so, the Biofunctool® indicators, based on low-tech and rapid measurements of the soil biological functioning were implemented.

At the beginning, the students worked on scientific papers focusing on the soil quality. This exercise allowed them to understand the global scientific dynamic on this subject. From this basis, Dr Brauman and Dr Thoumazeau introduced the importance to assess soil quality, the methods available and the Biofunctool® framework through short lectures.

On the second day, a field mission was organised in Ban Nong Waeng Klang village to implement the Biofunctool® set of indicators in three plots with three different land uses (Rice, Mango and Guava). The students went through different working groups led by the trainers. The objective was for them to understand and implement all the Biofunctool® indicators in the field.

The third day was devoted to short laboratory analysis and results readings. Mrs Panklang also trained the student on statistical analysis of the datasets, using R software.

The students were finally able to analyse their data-set, and to build a consistent presentation on the impact of several land uses on soil quality, using their results obtained with the Biofunctool® indicators. This lead to interesting scientific discussion between trainees and trainers during a final oral presentation.









Author Alexis Thoumazeau, CIRAD

Photo by Alexis  Thoumazeau, CIRAD