Research School for Socio-Economic and
Natural Sciences of the Environment
Research School for Socio-Economic and
Natural Sciences of the Environment

Geoffrey Evans Owino Ogutu

Date: 14 September 2020
Time: 13:30 - 15:00
Location: Auditorium, Wageningen University

Dissertation title: 

Towards Seasonal Forecasting of Maize Yield in eastern Africa: Skill in the Forecast Model Chain as a Basis for Agricultural Climate Services

Water Systems and Global Change, Wageningen University
Promotor: dr RWA Hutjes
Co-promotor: dr ir I Supit and dr P Omondi Aming'o


In this thesis, we analyse skill of ECMWF SYS4 climate forecasts for primary meteorological variables and find both potential and real skill for rainfall and temperature in typical cropping seasons in eastern Africa. Next we analyse correlations between reported production and anomalous weather using a range of climate indicators relevant for arable farming, and timing during consequent maize growth phases in two case study regions, revealing significant levels of correlation and skill that open up the potential for statistical forecasting. We explored the use of full process based crop models forced by seasonal climate forecasts to forecast anomalous water-limited maize yield and find again potentially useful levels of skill with at least two months lead before planting, in most agricultural regions. Finally, we try to attribute skill levels to physiographic characteristics and address issues of scale of aggregation for two case study regions in Kenya and Ethiopia

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