In March, 2018 the 2nd cohort UPTAKE fellowship ended with the fellows’ showcase at the UPTAKE HQ in Chicago. The showcase involved presentations from eight data science fellows. Vital Signs was represented by the Vital Signs’ Africa Field Director; Dr. Peter Alele.
For this beyond.uptake data science fellowship program, Vital Signs was selected from a diverse pool of applicants and organizations spanning several countries. The fellowship aimed at building organizations’ capacity to use data and predictive analytics to solve big problems and create solutions in the social sector.
Mentored by Edwin Campos, Jake Stewart, and Alexandria Chouldechova, Vital Signs’ Dr. Alele developed spatial visualizations for indicators of soil fertility, and analyses for agriculture intensification across 6 landscapes in Rwanda.
They found that sampled top and sub-soils from Rwanda fell below the optimal C/N range for microbial activity, signifying that most soils in Rwanda are depleted and would benefit from corrective measures like fertilizers and sustainable agricultural practices. This can be attributed to Rwanda’s steep terrains and vulnerability to soil erosion, as well as widespread unsustainable agricultural practices.
The results suggest that Rwanda needs to implement extensive sustainable agriculture policies and interventions to increase soil fertility for improved agricultural yields and livelihood.
These results were published on the Vital Signs blogs and are being used to engage partners within Rwanda to encourage their uptake and application in decisions.