Decision Support Tools
DSTs enable those engaged in agricultural research and extension to use geographic information systems (GIS), market information systems (MIS) and crop modeling to collect, interpret and analyze soil, weather and market information and to generate site- and crop-specific soil nutrient recommendations.
Increasing Crop Yields and Profits
DSTs allow for the integration of field data and offer more efficient methods of disseminating and utilizing information, resulting in increased yields and higher profits.
As this enhanced information is disseminated through the agricultural value chain, smallholder farmers can more effectively and profitably manage their farms.
Engaged in Research and Development
IFDC, in cooperation with partner organizations, has engaged in research and development activities coupled with extensive field testing to validate decision support systems that can enhance decisionmaking at the smallholder farmer level.
These systems enable rapid assessment of more effective and economic combinations of locally available nutrient sources and inorganic fertilizers that farmers can apply on a site-specific basis to increase crop yields and incomes. These site-specific recommendations are developed within the framework of climate variability and the potential for long-term climate change.
DSTs cover all facets of fertilizer recommendation systems, including risks associated with climatic and market fluctuations. IFDC’s array of decision support tools provides a wide range of data and offers critical information on:
- General fertilizer requirements and integrated soil fertility management (ISFM).
- Use of existing soil, climate, crop and socioeconomic data and crop simulation models for ex-ante analysis of yields and market accessibility for strategic site selection.
- Identifying yield gaps and plant nutrient demand for target yields.
- Determination of optimal nutrient rates within the context of ISFM.
- Designing field trials and data collection exercises.
- Maintaining and updating nutrient recommendations.
- Employing DSTs such as Decision Support System for Agro-technology Transfer (DSSAT) and Phosphate Rock Decision Support System (PRDSS) for rapid analyses and recommendations.
- Application of GIS and Integrated Decision Support System tools for site-specific recommendations.