March 20, 2014
Yiyi Sulaeman from the Indonesian Center for Agricultural Land Resource Research and Development is a young researcher with a strong background and considerable experience in soil survey and mapping in Indonesia. Soil information is essential in agricultural production in Indonesia. Farmers, agriculture extension agents, and policy makers must have comprehensive information on their soil conditions to determine the best inputs and practices to be employed. However current methods for soil mapping employed in Indonesia are time-consuming, inefficient and expensive.
Mr Sulaeman came to University of Sydney to learn a new discipline, digital soil mapping, which had been mostly developed in Australia. He was keen to learn new techniques in advanced application of geographical information systems (GIS), terrain analysis, soil landscape modelling, statistical modelling and data mining. This training also encouraged him to write journal articles to inform others about the research and work done Indonesia. He also appreciated time spent with other visiting researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA), the National Institute of Agricultural Technology, Argentina (INTAC) the Univerity of Florida (USA) and CSIRO (Australia).
Yiyi says he was challenged to apply techniques he learnt on his own data. He opted for two different landscapes in Java, Indonesia as case studies. It enabled him to test techniqes developed in other countries in the Indonesian landscape. This study provided a benchmark for further digital soil mapping work in Indonesia, and Yiyi now can train other soil surveyors and mappers in Indonesia on this new technology.