Updated 28/09/22

April 2019 - March 2023

Kenya, Senegal, Zimbabwe


Soil-plant processes: soil samples

© Cirad - Remi Cardinael

The project

DSCATT proposes to explore the potential for sequestering carbon in cultivated soils, while achieving sustainable intensification of agriculture.

The project aims to identify and examine interactions between biophysical and socio-economic drivers across temporal and spatial scales. A better knowledge of which practices lead to carbon sequestration and of the conditions of their adoption and adjustments by stakeholders will help to better consider soil carbon in existing and alternative farming systems and agricultural policies.

To achieve these objectives, transdisciplinary, multiscale, systemic and multi-actor approaches are needed.

The DSCATT project is part of the objectives of the 4 per 1000 initiative.

DSCATT operates at 4 sites (Senegal, Zimbabwe, Kenya, and France). The project addresses 3 interrelated scales, i.e field, farm and territory or village scale.

At field level, research focuses on how biomass production and soil C sequestration relate, in different soil and climate conditions. At the territory (or farmers' network) level, the different compartments of agroecosystems and the organic matter flows will be studied. The project will analyze the role of the socio-economic and biophysical contexts and will test several possible changes and their impacts on soil C sequestration dynamics, economic performance of farms and food security.

DSCATT will link the knowledge on processes governing the preservation of carbon sequestration and farmers' multiple objectives and constraints.

Soil-plant processes: measures

© Cirad - Remi Cardinael


The main research question is: What are long-term efficient strategies to foster soil C sequestration in agricultural systems?

The overall goals of the project are:

  • to develop sustainable agricultural systems tailored for both higher productivity and higher C sequestration
  • to raise awareness of the role of soil management for the mitigation of greenhouse gases emissions
  • to assemble various research units from the Agropolis Foundations’ scientific network and their partners in addressing major challenges with climatic change and food security.

The specific objectives are :

  • to quantify and analyse the soil carbon sequestration dynamics in different agricultural systems at the field, farm and territory scales
  • to implement crop-soil, farm and landscape models to simulate long-term soil carbon sequestration (SCS)
  • to co-design through a multi-actor approach future agricultural systems that optimize the trade-offs between SCS and productivity
  • to share knowledge to scale out and to scale up innovate methods or soil management options

Three PhD students are currently involved in the project to do their thesis: Armwell Shumba, Rumbidzai Nyashawa et Prospere Mataruse.

Villages GPS points in croplands and common grazing area

© Cirad - Remi Cardinael

Participatory mapping with local actors of land use and natural resources management at Murewa

© University of Zimbabwe - Prosper Mataruse


Agropolis Fondation



To learn more about this project, please visit: www.dscatt.net