HarvestChoice CELL5M-SSA is an on-line database of over 750 biophysical and socio-economic indicators for Africa south of the Sahara. This database was created as the central core to a decision-support system for policy analysts, development practitioners, and researchers to explore the spatial relationships at the nexus of our climate, the environment, agriculture, nutrition, health, and poverty. All indicators are currently geo-referenced to a spatial resolution of 5 arc-minute (equivalent to around 10 km2 at the Equateur).

Data Retrieval

Several options are available to retrieve subsets of HarvestChoice indicators.

  • HarvestChoice Data Services v3.0
    The preferred method of data retrieval is through HarvestChoice RESTful API published under HarvestChoice Data Services v3.0. This API provides a full range of methods to retrieve, summarize, aggregate, graph and map HarvestChoice 5-arc-minute spatial layers for sub-Saharan Africa.

Other data retrieval and data visualization options are listed below.

  • HarvestChoice MAPPR
    An option to interactively explore and summarize HarvestChoice data layers is to use HarvestChoice MAPPR on-line platform. Individual indicators may be mapped and summarized across pre-defined spatial domains or across user-selected geographies. MAPPR also provides advanced query tools for marketshed analyses.

  • HarvestChoice TABLR
    Another tool for quick data summaries is HarvestChoice TABLR. This is an on-line report generator to quickly retrieve and export subsets of CELL5M-SSA. Best for users who do not need to visualize results on a map.

  • HarvestChoice Data Catalog
    For more information about the International Food Policy Resaearch Institute (IFPRI) and HarvestChoice Program, and to explore individual data layers, visit HarvestChoice website.


Please cite and reference:

HarvestChoice; International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI); University of Minnesota, 2016, “CELL5M: A Multidisciplinary Geospatial Database for Africa South of the Sahara”, http://dx.doi.org/10.7910/DVN/G4TBLF, Harvard Dataverse.

Help topics

  • category
    Return HarvestChoice indicator categories (3-level deep)
  • datapackage
    Write auxiliary files to CSV and JSON (Tabular Data Package RFC specifications)
  • dominant
    Return the dominant class (the mode of a classified variable)
  • genCartoCSS
    Generate CartoCSS snippet to symbolize raster tiles
  • genFile
    Download HarvestChoice indicators in raster and/or tabular formats
  • genPlot
    Plot HarvestChoice 5-arc-minute spatial indicators
  • genRank
    Rank agricultural productions across geographies
  • getLayer
    Query, subset, and/or summarize HarvestChoice indicators
  • getLayerWKT
    Summarize HarvestChoice indicators over WKT geometri(es)
  • hcapi
    Query, subset, summarize, and download HarvestChoice indicators
  • indicator
    Return HarvestChoice indicator metadata
  • iso
    List of ISO3 country and/or region codes
  • similar
    Rank spatial units by similarity
  • stats
    Generate histogram and boxplot of HarvestChoice indicators
  • vi
    Catalog of HarvestChoice indicators



  • Depends: data.table
  • Imports: RSclient, stringr
  • Suggests: raster, sp, classInt, RColorBrewer, foreign, rgdal, rgeos