Digital solution from Abaco and NIAB has been created in partnership with Asda, Tesco and McCain

Antonio Samaritani

Antonio Samaritani

European agri-tech firm Abaco Group and crop science organisation NIAB have partnered with Asda, Tesco and McCain Foods to launch a digital application aimed at supporting farmers and growers to better manage soil health and productivity.

Th new solution provides a database to record and analyse soil sample results and is described as offering tangible advice to farmers on how to improve the quality of their soil.

The partnership comes as rising costs and soil degradation are creating an increasingly challenging environment for the UK’s agricultural sector, and partners are leveraging technology and innovation to improve soil quality, productivity and in turn, sustainability in food production over the long-term.

Abaco and NIAB’s Soil Health Scorecard (SHSC) will now be used by Asda, Tesco and McCain within their own supply chains. The scorecard establishes an open, accessible, and data-driven solution that supports data collection and benchmarking for soil health.

The application also provides a way to measure the success of specific management practices and offers tailored advice to farmers on how to improve soil health. It will allow supply chain partners “to fast-track the technology transition in agriculture and innovatively address key issues in food production.”

Specifically, the digital solution will help farmers improve the targeted and efficient use of nutrients, increase yield resilience, reduce the need for fertilisers, and provide better support for biodiversity, according to the creators. It will also provide a cutting-edge enterprise view and benchmarking of soil health within the agri supply chain.

Antonio Samaritani, chief executive of Abaco Group, said: “Abaco has found ideal partners to foster innovation and sustainability in agriculture and farming. At Abaco, we put Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) concerns at the forefront of everything we do, and finding partners who are completely aligned with these objectives has made this a natural fit for us.”

Chris Brown, senior director of sustainable supply chains at Asda, added: “We are thrilled to be part of the launch of this digital soil health scorecard. This platform is the first of its kind and will enable key stakeholders to monitor and improve soil across the UK. We believe it is a step in the right direction towards more sustainable farming practices.”