Getting a Grip on Variability

Early CGIAR center work by Virmani et al.(1982) documented climatic trends in different regions in India and analyzed their implications for agriculture. This was followed by Sivakumar's seminal work in West Africa (Sivakumar 1988) on predicting variability in the length of the growing season and in soil water content to support crop growth. More recently, this baseline information was used to simulate crop yields in response to different climatic scenarios, e.g. Matthew et al. (1995) and Virmani and Shurpali (1999). In addition, microclimatology work was undertaken to forecast disease and pest incidence such as in Anantapur region, India (Virmani and Shurpali 1999). A third step was to relate these models to economic consequences, and generate policy and technology recommendations (e.g. Harris and Robinson 2001; Shapiro et al. 1993).

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