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Avoid Risk With Crop Monitoring and Forecasting

14 November 2013

NIGERIA - Assessing sowing dates, monitoring crops and water availability step by step and forecasting yields are all tasks that can be done by a crop monitoring model, SARRA-H, that CIRAD and its partners have been developing over the past thirty years.

The model is particularly suited to respond to global issues such as climate change and food security, and has long since proved its efficacy. New improvements were made recently that are specifically relevant to the countries of West Africa.

Since the 1980s, CIRAD has been developing and improving a crop monitoring model of which the latest version, SARRA-H, was launched recently. This colossal work, which has been done in partnership, has given rise to various applications in partner countries.

In Brazil, the government used the CIRAD model to guide public policy as regards management of the grants available to producers. That policy, which has been in place for twenty years now, has doubled production and helped the country make significant savings.

In West Africa, the Agrhymet regional centre uses the model as the basis for crop water monitoring and yield forecasting operations.

It has also developed an early warning system aimed at preventing food crises.

In 2013 and 2014, a series of courses to train users in the new version of the model is being offered by Agrhymet, with the support of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the participation of CIRAD. It concerns seventeen countries in West Africa.

The model has been used in major international projects such as AMMA (African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analysis) and AgMIP (Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project), at the request of the IPCC.

TheCropSite News Desk

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