Building an operational system for crop monitoring and yield forecasting in Morocco

Wit, A.J.W. de; Hoek, S.B.; Ballaghi, R.; Hairech, T. El; Qinghan, D.


Morocco has an agricultural production system for cereals which is dominated by rainfed, low yielding cereal production which is highly vulnerable to fluctuations in rainfall. Crop yield forecasting systems could play a significant role to reduce the vulnerability of the Moroccan agriculture to weather risks in the framework of a food security strategy. This paper describes the efforts that were carried out for adapting the European Crop Growth Monitoring System to Moroccan conditions for crop monitoring and regional yield forecasting. Results demonstrate that the correlations between CGMS output and regional reported yields can be strongly improved by relatively simple changes to the parameterization of the crop model and a different strategy for the initialization of the soil water balance