Publications des agents du Cirad


Agricultural impacts of regional variability of the West African monsoon

Sultan B., Baron C., Dingkuhn M., Janicot S.. 2004. In : Turner Neil (ed.), Angus John (ed.), Mc Intyre Lynne (ed.), Robertson Michael (ed.), Borrell Andrew (ed.), Lloyd David (ed.). New directions for a diverse planet : Proceedings for the 4th International Crop Science Congress, Brisbane, Australia, 26 Sep - 1 Oct 2004. Gosford : Regional Institute. International Crop Science Congress. 4, 2004-09-26/2004-10-01, Brisbane (Australie).

Agriculture in the Sudano-Sahelian zone is heavily dependent on the seasonal characteristics of rainfall, i.e. onset, length and termination of the wet season, seasonal rainfall totals and intraseasonal rainfall distribution. This study seeks to characterize components of regional climatic variability and their impact on simulated, attainable, plot-level yields of millet. First, we will characterize at a regional scale two main events in the seasonal pattern of the monsoon over West Africa by using a daily rainfall dataset over the 1968-1990 period, that is, (1) the "onset" of the summer monsoon characterized by an abrupt northward shift of the ITCZ from 5°N to 10°N around the 24th June, and (2) large and coherent, intra-seasonal rainfall fluctuations at two different spectral windows, between 10 and 25 days and between 25 and 60 days. Second, we will investigate the impact of these regional phenomena on local crop yields using SARRAH, a crop model simulating water-limited yield, by means of sensitivity analyses. The response of attainable yield (limited by climate and water resources but not mineral nutrition) to sowing date was studied for 19 years of the 1968-1990 period for a 90-day millet crop at Niamey. Yield variability is analysed with respect to the apparent validity of regional (climatic) and local (rainfall events) decision criteria for sowing date, while taking into consideration interannual variability of rainfall and intra-seasonal dry spells. Results indicate that information on regional climate dynamics might help improve crop production locally.

Mots-clés : prévision météorologique; modèle de simulation; variation saisonnière; date de semis; rendement des cultures; afrique occidentale; zone soudano-sahélienne; mousson

Communication de congrès

Agents Cirad, auteurs de cette publication :