African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6863

Full Length Research Paper

Sensitive parameters for EPIC model evaluation and validity under soil water and nutrients limited conditions with NERICA cropping in West Africa

Omonlola Nadine Worou
  • Omonlola Nadine Worou
  • West African Science Service for Climate Change and Adapted Land Use.
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Thomas Gaiser
  • Thomas Gaiser
  • University of Bonn, Institute of Crop Science and Resource Conservation, Katzenburgweg 5, 53115 Bonn, Germany.
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Sylvester Oikeh
  • Sylvester Oikeh
  • African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), P. O. Box 30709-00100, Nairobi, Kenya.
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  •  Received: 09 December 2014
  •  Accepted: 26 April 2015
  •  Published: 28 May 2015


Crop models known to be based on the theory of crop physiology for describing the dynamic process of crop growth are recently explored for their uncertainties in model application under resource limited conditions. The aim of this study was to test Environmental Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC), on upland land rice production by taking into account seasonal variability in Guinean and Guinean-Sudanian zones in Benin and Nigeria (West Africa). A range of data available under farmer or experimental conditions in rainfed agriculture were measured or used from literature. The results show the accuracy of the model to simulate LAI, total above ground biomass and grain yield of upland rice for 2 NERICA rice cultivars. After calibration, the model showed average mean relative error between 0.06 and 0.15 with the model efficiency up to 0.98% in the case of LAI. The assessment of the model performances about sensitivity to N or P fertilizer application is also discussed under Ultisols. Large root mean square (RMSE) in calibration and the validation (>100) process suggested that robustness of the model became restrictive under severe environmental conditions such as in drought or flooding condition. Performance of the model at large scale should be executed of with land marginality classification.


Key words: Environmental Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC), modeling, upland rice, West Africa.