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Water 2018, 10(4), 356; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10040356

Crop Upgrading Strategies and Modelling for Rainfed Cereals in a Semi-Arid Climate—A Review

1
Leibniz Center for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), Institute of Land Use Systems, Eberswalder Straße, 84, 15374 Müncheberg, Germany
2
Faculty of Life Sciences, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Unter den Linden 6, 10099 Berlin, Germany
3
Department of Engineering Sciences and Technology, Sokoine University of Agriculture, P.O. Box 3003, CHUO KIKUU, Morogoro 3003, Tanzania
4
Crop. Production Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Ulls väg 16, 75007 Uppsala, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 November 2017 / Revised: 9 March 2018 / Accepted: 16 March 2018 / Published: 22 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Water Conservation: Dynamics and Impact)
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Abstract

Spatiotemporal rainfall variability and low soil fertility are the primary crop production challenges facing poor farmers in semi-arid environments. However, there are few solutions for addressing these challenges. The literature provides several crop upgrading strategies (UPS) for improving crop yields, and biophysical models are used to simulate these strategies. However, the suitability of UPS is limited by systemization of their areas of application and the need to cope with the challenges faced by poor farmers. In this study, we reviewed 187 papers from peer-reviewed journals, conferences and reports that discuss UPS suitable for cereals and biophysical models used to assist in the selection of UPS in semi-arid areas. We found that four UPS were the most suitable, namely tied ridges, microdose fertilization, varying sowing dates, and field scattering. The DSSAT, APSIM and AquaCrop models adequately simulate these UPS. This work provides a systemization of crop UPS and models in semi-arid areas that can be applied by scientists and planners. View Full-Text
Keywords: The Agricultural Production Systems sIMulator (APSIM) software; AquaCrop; cereals; DSSAT; field scattering; food security; microdose fertilization; rainfall variability; tied ridges; upgrading strategies The Agricultural Production Systems sIMulator (APSIM) software; AquaCrop; cereals; DSSAT; field scattering; food security; microdose fertilization; rainfall variability; tied ridges; upgrading strategies
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Silungwe, F.R.; Graef, F.; Bellingrath-Kimura, S.D.; Tumbo, S.D.; Kahimba, F.C.; Lana, M.A. Crop Upgrading Strategies and Modelling for Rainfed Cereals in a Semi-Arid Climate—A Review. Water 2018, 10, 356.

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