Formulating crop management options for Africa’s drought-prone regions: Taking account of rainfall risk using modeling

Dimes, J (2011) Formulating crop management options for Africa’s drought-prone regions: Taking account of rainfall risk using modeling. In: Innovations as Key to the Green Revolution in Africa. Exploring the Scientific Facts, 1 . Springer, Netherlands, pp. 785-794. ISBN 978-90-481-2541-8

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Few smallholder farmers in Africa’s extensive semi-arid regions use fertilizer and virtually none use recommended high levels of application. Essentially, Africa’s farmers have ignored the formal fertilizer recommendations of national research and extension systems. Because of this, productivity gains from fertilizer use remain grossly under-exploited. The existing fertilizer recommendations are one clear example of an information constraint that has proven intractable, despite more than 15 years of farmer participatory research in Africa. Due largely to training, researchers are generally preoccupied with identifying and reporting only the best option – the near-maximum yield result. While such optima may be correct from an agro-climatic perspective, in drought-prone regions, the risk associated with seasonal rainfall variations can determine whether or not farmers are likely to adopt a new technology and in what form. Yet, almost no research and extension recommendations given to farmers in Africa include any estimates of the variability in technology response that can be expected due to climatic risk. ICRISAT and partners have been pursuing a range of improved crop management options for the semi-arid tropics through crop systems simulation and farmer participatory research. This chapter presents some examples of how the application of crop modeling can provide a cost-effective pathway to formulation of crop management options under variable rainfall conditions and for farmers with a range of resource constraints. It includes examples of fertilizer recommendations, crop cultivar selection, and residue management in semi-arid regions

Item Type: Book Section
Series Name: Exploring the Scientific Facts
Uncontrolled Keywords: Crop systems simulation; Farmer participatory research; Fertilizer recommendation; Technology adoption; Rainfall risk; Drought
Subjects: Mandate crops > Millets
Mandate crops > Chickpea
Mandate crops > Pigeonpea
Mandate crops > Groundnut
Mandate crops > Sorghum
Depositing User: Ms K Syamalamba
Date Deposited: 31 Jul 2013 05:04
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2013 05:41
Acknowledgement: UNSPECIFIED
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