A strong crop modeling community has developed in Ethiopia during the past several years. Under the auspices of the Community of Practice of the Decision Support Modeling Tools for Ethiopia (DSMT-E), an initial training workshop on crop modeling and DSSAT was held from March 14-18, 2022 at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) Sholla Campus in Addis Ababa. Following this initial workshop, bi-weekly virtual meetings were held to discuss advancement on data entry and crop model calibration and evaluation.
A second advanced workshop on DSSAT was held from December 12-16, 2022 at the ILRI Sholla Campus. The emphasis of this second workshop was to review the introductory material that was presented during the first workshop and crop model calibration and evaluation. During the final days of the workshop, the emphasis was on applications of the Cropping System Model and DSSAT, including seasonal and risk analysis; crop rotations and sequence analysis; spatial analysis; in-season yield forecasting; and climate change impact assessment, adaptation, and mitigation.
The second workshop was attended by 14 participants representing the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR), Werer Agricultural Research Center, Kulumssa Agricultural Research Center, Debre Zeit Agricultural Research Center, Melkassa Agricultural Research Center, Wolaita Sodo University, Debre Markos University, Haramaya University, Ambo University, Arba Minch University, and the International Fertilizer Development Center. The workshop was facilitated by Esayas Lemma with the Ministry of Agriculture. The workshop trainer was Gerrit Hoogenboom with the University of Florida.
The participants of the second workshop were provided with a certificate that shows that they are now qualified to serve as “trainers” for crop modeling and DSSAT evaluation and applications. Several of the participants already have organized training sessions following the March workshop, while others are planned for the near future in 2023 and beyond. The participants also agreed to continue collaboration through monthly zoom meetings.
The second DSSAT Advanced Workshop was financially supported by the CGIAR Initiative on Digital Innovation, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), and Luma Consulting through a grant provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.