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Agroclimatologie et agrométéorologie en zone tropicale sèche d'Afrique

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    ABSTRACT: The main objective is to review the current status of research related to the monitoring of agricultural production in the Sahel (West Africa). The Sahel suffers from frequent shortages of food. It is therefore important to have a tool to monitor environmental variables, and thus crop production, during the agricultural season. Satellite remote sensing can contribute significantly to such a system by collecting information on crops and on environmental variables at a sub-continental geographical scale and with a high temporal frequency. One part of the problem is to estimate crop acreage. The technique of area-sampling frame has to be adapted to the Sahelian landscape, which is dominated by traditional farming systems. The second part is to estimate crop yields. Three main approaches exist: statistical, semi-deterministic or deterministic. The use of vegetation indices is discussed as well as techniques to derive biophysical variables from remotely-sensed data. Finally, the integration of these remote-sensing techniques with crop-growth models is discussed and some research needs are identified. It is argued that the quantitative assessment of agricultural production in the Sahel should be based on the integration of remotely-sensed data with semi-deterministic agrometeorological models. This approach will allow a regionalization of the production estimates.
    Journal of Environmental Management - J ENVIRON MANAGE. 38(4):24.

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