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Dr. Keith Shepherd

Keith Shepherd is Chief Scientist and cofounder of Innovative Solutions for Decision Agriculture (iSDA), where he is implementing AI-enabled, digital agronomic advisory tools for smallholder famers in Africa. He has over 40 years’ experience in agricultural research and development, including over 30 years with World Agroforestry (ICRAF) based in Nairobi, where he led international research programmes on sustainable land/soil management and applied decision science. He has pioneered global developments in soil-plant diagnostics using infrared and x-ray fluorescence spectroscopy and in 2021 was awarded the Foodshot prize: Innovating Soil 3 Deep Dive Groundbreaker. He co-founded the Africa Soil Information Service and co-authored the iSDASoil digital soil map of Africa. Keith has led the development of a Global Soil Spectral Library & Estimation Service and helps steer the Soil Spectroscopy for Global Good network. He is currently assisting the National Cooperative Soil Survey of the USA on deployment of soil infrared spectroscopy in their field offices. Prior to joining ICRAF, Keith has developed science-based agronomic recommendations for Southern Darfur in the Sudan; dryland cropping systems in rice-based systems at the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines; Mediterranean areas at the International Centre for Research in the Dry Areas in Syria; and tillage systems for the drylands of Swaziland. Keith holds a BSc in Soil Science and PhD in Agricultural Botany from the University of Reading, UK and holds an Honorary Scientist position at Rothamsted Research in the UK.

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