Model-based estimation of the value of agronomic responses to seasonal forecasts

Host Institution: International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT).

 Location:  KG 563 ST, P.O. Box 1269, Kacyiru, Kigali, Rwanda.

 Supervisors: Dr. Desire M. Kagabo (Ph.D), Scientist, Climate Services for Agriculture, CIAT (The research team from CIAT or CCAFS, IRI, University of Reading working with the Rwanda Climate Services for Agriculture Project will be available to supervise the interns).

Project Description :

The idea is to use simple bio-economic modeling – combining crop simulation, enterprise budget analysis, and optimization or heuristic decision rules – to estimate the expected productivity and economic value of agronomic management responses to seasonal forecasts.  Linking this analysis to a subset of planned farmer-managed test plots would extend the empirical analysis by testing results with many years of weather and hindcast data.  I could envision this involving two interns.

Select a set of test plot locations where all data for crop simulation are available.

Collect biophysical and economic data sets.

Test ability of crop models to capture yields in response to weather, soil and management information.

Identify optimization criteria or heuristic rules that approximate farmer agronomic decisions without and with seasonal forecasts.

Develop a bio-economic modeling framework and tools that link crop simulation, enterprise budgeting and decision rules (or optimization).

Model decisions, yield results, and gross margins for all available years of weather data and downscaled seasonal hindcasts.

Validate results against records during field trial implementation, and farmer and expert judgment.

Applications for this internship should be submitted via the online application system, stating clearly the title of the internship.

Deadline for applications: June 30th, 2018 – 11:59 PM (EAT).

Any inquiries about these internships should be sent to: