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Sheetal Sharma

Sheetal Sharma

Scientist - Soil Science and Research Leader - Digital Tools & Big Data


An expert in enhancing rice-based agri-food systems with improved soil nutrient management and agri-relevant ICT, Sheetal provides strategic leadership in developing, leading, and implementing programs utilizing ICT to amplify, disseminate, and package IRRI’s scientific research into knowledge tools for a variety of audiences. She identifies future innovative technology platforms to transfer knowledge and increase efficiencies in regenerative farming systems to improve soil health and system productivity. In addition to her focus on research for development, Sheetal also provides mentorship to emerging scientists. So far, she has advised two PhD and two MS students and is currently working with two PhD and one MS students.

She joined IRRI in 2008 as a scientist specializing in soil health. Since then, she has held several positions at the institute including postdoctoral fellow specializing in soil science and plant nutrition, and agronomist focusing on irrigated systems. Prior to IRRI, Sheetal was a research associate on soil science at the Himachal State Agricultural University, India. She has published widely in refereed journals, books, and magazines and has contributed to a vast array of international conferences and workshops. Sheetal is the first Indian woman to win the 11th Japan International Award for Young Agricultural Researchers.

Sheetal holds a PhD in Soil Science from the Himachal State Agricultural University, India. Her research focused on rainwater harvesting and recycling for improving the productivity and income of smallholder farmers. She is also a recipient of the State Gold medal for Doctoral Research in 2008.


  • Reducing Carbon emission from rice-based systems in Indonesia (Direction- Zero C). Funded by Nestle Indonesia, the project aims to reduce the environmental footprints particularly in the rice sourcing areas of Nestle.

  • Development and testing digital tools for rice-based cropping systems. A collaboration between Yara International ASA and IRRI, the project aims to develop real-time nutrient management digital tools.

  • Soil management options for improving overall soil health in rice-based systems. Funded by Grassroots Energy Inc., the project aims to develop sustainable rice-based agri-food systems to improve soil health and decrease environmental footprints.

  • Estimation of Baseline Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions from rice production systems, funded by Bayer CropScience.

  • 2021 IRRI-INDIA: ICAR collaboration with IRRI. Funded by ICAR, the project aims to develop climate-smart management options for rice-based systems in India.

  • Strengthening Capacity in South Asia for Scaling-up Climate-Smart Agriculture Technologies, Practices and Services (CCAFS). Funded by CCAFS, the project aims to develop climate change adaptation options for the smallholder rice farmers of Odisha and Bangladesh.

  • Increasing Productivity of Rice-based Cropping Systems and Farmer's Income in Odisha, funded by the Government of Odisha.


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