Value of Climate Forecasts for Adjusting Farming Strategies in Sub-Saharan Africa
Author: Amissah-Arthur, Abigail
Source: GeoJournal, Volume 62, Numbers 1-2, January 2005 , pp. 181-189(9)
Abstract:Sustaining and increasing crop production and productivity has to be a major policy thrust for developing countries. Using a simulation approach different production strategies were evaluated conditioned on climate information to derive optimal strategies to help farmers reduce risk and increase productivity. By examining the existence of options in this case planting dates the study provides an analyses of the expected value and risks associated with changing decisions based on the availability of climate forecasts. The 15-March planting date produced the highest mean yield for the two cultivars examined although 1-April, 15-April and 1-May plantings had one to zero probability of crop failures compared to 15-March with crop failures in 4 out of 20 years. Results indicate losses of between 25 and 35 kg/day due to delays in planting from 15-March planting to 1-June planting for the 120- and 150-day cultivar. El niño years were associated with positive yield deviations for both cultivars and most planting dates. Farmers are known to make tactical adjustments to their management in light of information perceived relevant to the prospects of forthcoming crop. Although in its present form most current forecast products do not provide information on onset of the rainfall, however the information they do provide could play a crucial role in helping farmers reduce the risks posed by climatic variability.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Department of Geography, Geology and Environment, Slippery Rock University, 16057, Slippery Rock, PA, USA, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Publication date: 2005-01-01