SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.42 issue2Understanding the dynamics of multi-stakeholder innovation systems and the opportunities for joint learning by small scale farmersModelling effective and simultaneous promotion of food security and biodiversity conservation through agricultural extension activities author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand



Related links

  • On index processCited by Google
  • On index processSimilars in Google


South African Journal of Agricultural Extension

On-line version ISSN 2413-3221
Print version ISSN 0301-603X


MASERE, T. P.  and  DUFFY, K. J.. Factors cost effectively improved using computer simulations of maize yields in semi-arid Sub-Saharan Africa. S Afr. Jnl. Agric. Ext. [online]. 2014, vol.42, n.2, pp.39-50. ISSN 2413-3221.

Achieving food security is a challenge for the developed and developing world. These challenges are greater for developing nations such as in Africa because of the severity of the problems. An important aspect of this is poor agricultural productivity. Worldwide, technology is being developed to increase agricultural production. One aspect of this is the development of predictive computer models that enable farmers to optimise crops using management decision based on simulation scenarios. Most African farmers do not have the computer resources or expertise to implement these types of technology. Even extension offices in Africa, who provide much needed advice, can be under resourced in this way. We suggest here that simpler computer models that are cheaper and easier to use need to be developed. As a first step in this process we investigate here which factors are most cost effectively managed using computer simulations in semi-arid conditions pertinent to much of sub-Saharan Africa. Factors known to be important in crop farming are planting date, sowing density, variety, weeding, soils and fertiliser. We use qualitative arguments with simulations and conclude that interactions between rainfall, soil condition and fertiliser can benefitfrom simulations and thus should help in their management.

Keywords : modelling crop yields; small scale farming; food production.

        · text in English     · English ( pdf )


Creative Commons License All the contents of this journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License