Interactive Soil Quality Assessment (iSQAPER)

  • Interactive soil quality assessment in Europe and China
  • For agricultural productivity and environmental resilience
  • Providing decision-makers with reliable knowledge and data
  • Science-based, easy-to-apply, and cost-effective tools to manage soil quality and function
Soil quality assessment methods
Abdallah Alaoui explains soil quality assessment methods. Photo: Gudrun Schwilch

Background, problems addressed, and overall project goal

Good soil quality is fundamental to local and global food production and ecosystem resilience. Globally, agricultural soils face threats and pressures including growing demand for food and biofuels, changing diets, land degradation, and associated productivity decline. Reliable knowledge and data help land users assess their soils and make well-informed decisions about their use.


iSQAPER will review soil quality indicator systems and identify knowledge gaps in the interactions between agricultural management activities and soil properties. A Soil Quality Assessment Tool will then be developed and supported with experimental activities to close identified knowledge gaps. Testing and validation will be implemented via a multi-actor approach in 14 case study sites; innovative agricultural practices will be evaluated as to their potential for scaling up.

Summary of results

CDE’s tasks include identifying relevant stakeholders, applying and testing the soil quality assessment tool with various actors, creating an inventory of soil quality status and applied agricultural management practices in case study sites, and evaluating innovative agricultural management practices to improve soil quality.

Institutional setting

Project coordinator: Prof. Coen Ritsema, Wageningen University, Soil Physics and Land Management Group.
Twenty-five project partners across Europe and China.
Funded by the European Union Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, the Chinese Academy of Science and the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation.

Project duration: May 2015 – April 2020

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