Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 382594
Title Identifying key entry-points for strategic management of smallholder farming systems in sub-Saharan Africa using the dynamic farm-scale simulation model NUANCES-FARMSIM
Author(s) Wijk, M.T. van; Tittonell, P.A.; Rufino, M.C.; Herrero, M.; Pacini, C.; Ridder, N. de; Giller, K.E.
Source Agricultural Systems 102 (2009)1-3. - ISSN 0308-521X - p. 89 - 101.
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agsy.2009.07.004
Department(s) Plant Production Systems
PE&RC
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2009
Keyword(s) soil fertility management - term crop response - western kenya - exploring diversity - resource-allocation - use efficiencies - field-scale - productivity - nitrogen - integration
Abstract African smallholder farming systems are complex, dynamic systems with many interacting biophysical subcomponents. In these systems the major inputs and outputs are managed by human agency ¿ the farmers. To analyse potential developmental pathways of smallholder farming systems in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), we recognised the need for a tool that can capture the effects and consequences of decision-making on the use of resources. Here we describe and apply such a new modelling tool, developed within the NUANCES framework (Nutrient Use in ANimal and Cropping systems: Efficiencies and Scales), called NUANCES-FARMSIM (FARM SIMulator), an integrated crop ¿ livestock model developed to analyse African smallholder farm systems. NUANCES-FARMSIM was used to analyse a representative case study farm in the highlands of Western Kenya, a site for which each of the components of FARMSIM has been thoroughly tested. We present the results of a sensitivity analysis which showed the model to be sufficiently robust to identify key management options that explain most of the variability in farm productivity, and the long-term consequences of these options for the case study farm. The analyses showed clearly that the most important decisions are those related to the interactions between the different components of the farm and therefore justify the need of integrating crop and livestock components within one modelling tool. The allocation of limited resources across the farm, and the way organic matter is recycled or redistributed within the farm determines the long-term production capacity of the system. The results of the sensitivity analyses further showed that for the case study farm in Western Kenya a strong focus on improving the reliability of the subsystem level or process descriptions will only result in minor improvement in simulating productivity at farm level
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