For policymakers to make informed decisions about food policy Planning- from production, trade, climate for the general safety of food in the country impacts is essential that access to their forecasts of crop yields in the season.
CCAFS Regional Agricultural Forecasting Toolbox (CRAFT), developed jointly with the Center for Hazards Asia, South Asia using seasonal climate predictions, the bases of historical data and current time to estimate the yields of various crops in advance.
You can provide policymakers and stakeholders precise about the likely volume of crop production in specific areas at different times of the year information. The tool also supports risk analysis and impact studies of climate change for policy makers and help anticipate the impacts of climate variability on agricultural production and farm management decisions and food security.
CCAFS in South Asia has been working closely with stakeholders in the region to improve their ability to forecast performance. We work to make these accessible to national research institutes and policy makers tools to enable better policy formulation and planning. Recently held a workshop to release V2.0.0 CRAFT – an updated version of the toolbox. The new version of CRAFT is easier to use than the previous version and can accurately predict crop yields in the season.
In total, 32 participants from South Asia (Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka) and Africa representing the national agricultural research centers, ministries of agriculture, NGOs, national universities and CGIAR centers attended a workshop to learn about the improvements to the toolbox. Specialist guided the participants through the data requirements structure and functions of the software installation process, and the preparation and during the season forecast crop yields.
The CRAFT V2.0.0 offers support for spatial data input, spatial simulations integrating crops and seasonal climate forecasts, spatial aggregation and probabilistic analysis of forecast uncertainty. The new version enables calibration of the model predictions agricultural historical statistics, analysis and visualization. This toolkit is based on System Support for crop simulation model Decision for Agrotechnology Transfer (DSSAT) and incorporates Toolkit Climate Prediction (CPT).
The case studies were carried out using the old version of CRAFT in Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. CCAFS research partners in each country participated in the test of the toolbox in different ecological systems. Initial results indicate that the custom toolbox for South Asia Region was able to predict crop yields very well. However, the simulation model is required to validate and calibrate to suit different crops and ecological conditions.
The new version of CRAFT is used to forecast yields in Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Center for Environmental and Geographic Information Services (CEGIS) in Bangladesh Meteorological Department of India and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research in India, Nepal Monitoring System Food Safety, Ministry of Agriculture, and the Center for Management Natural Resources (NRMC) Department of Agriculture, Sri Lanka updated to use the CRAFT forecasting performance of various crops in different seasons. Scientists from African countries were enthusiastic to test the toolbox for forecasting crop yields in different cropping systems in East and West Africa.
CRAFT maintenance team work to solve some technical problems with the software and incorporate feedback from users CRAFT and stakeholders. They have plans to include more crops produced in the region CRAFT.
Feedback from participants
The participants expressed their appreciation for the toolkit and provide feedback on some issues
Simplify installation: the installation CRAFT is a major bottleneck in its broadest scope. Installation requires a professional highly qualified software. Most participants emphasized the need for a simpler installation procedure.
Include more crop models: Many participants called for the inclusion of other models as InfoCrop CRAFT, agricultural production systems Simulator (APSIM) and AquaCrop with DSSAT. Including other CRAFT-DSSAT crop was also requested.
Payload: Some participants requested help upload their data, providing loading facilities simplified data.
Help and Support: The need for a user group or forum to deal with technical support for troubleshooting and suggested CRAFT.
Given this suggestion, a group of Google in CRAFT was created by users.
For best supporting actors on the use of the toolbox, a support group online has also been created.