Project Description


Crop Risk Zones Monitoring System for Resilience to Drought in the Sahel.
A model that offers the opportunity to assess drought impacts for large areas throughout the growing cycle of main rainfed crops (millet, sorghum, cowpea, groundnut). The information produced by the model allows farmers to implement appropriate strategies for risk reduction.

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Agriculture in the Sahelian Region is characterized by traditional techniques and is strongly dependent on climatic conditions and rainfall. In general, low rainfall during the crop growing season can lead to lower crop yields and, sometimes, to food crises (Sultan, 2005).

Crop yields may suffer significantly with either a late onset or early cessation of the rainy season, as well as with a high frequency of damaging dry spells. (Mugalavai et al., 2008). Early rains at the beginning of the season are frequently followed by dry spells that can last a week or longer. As the amount of water stored in the soil at this time of the year is negligible, early planted crops can suffer water shortage stresses during a prolonged dry spell, up to the death of the seedlings.


The main need of Sahel farmers is to ensure a better food security, adapting traditional crop calendar to climatic variability in order to minimize risks and maximize yields.

The choice of sowing date; the ability to effectively estimate the onset of the season and potentially dangerous dry spells.

Advice to farmers is a fundamental component of prevention.


CRZMS is an operational tool based on a specific model for climate risk prediction.

It increases the accessibility of the right drought risk information for different stakeholders; it provides specific advice for end users at different decision-making levels, bridging the gap between available technology and local users’ needs.

CRZMS TOOL gives the possibility to evaluate impacts due to drought stress during the whole crop growing cycle over large areas and to provide farmers with information for implementing appropriate and timely strategies to minimize risk exposure.

The early identification of Zones at Risk for the most important Sahelian rainfed crops aims to intercept agricultural drought phenomena, detecting seeding delay and failure, and monitoring of crop water conditions in each growth stage. The CRZMS TOOL model works with the 10-days rainfall estimates by satellite and 7- days rainfall forecast images.

The challenge and objective of this work are to make an open access/source system available for MWGs and any other local users to monitor crop risk zones and support decision making for drought risk reduction and resilience improvement. The first release has been developed for Niger and Mali NMSs, based on a coherent Open Source web-based infrastructure to treat all input and output data in an interoperable, platform-independent and uniform way.


  • MSG Cumulated Precipitation Estimate (MPE) Images (5 – 10 dd)
  • GFS Cumulated Precipitation Forecast (240 hrs)
  • Average daily PET (Potential Evapo-Transpiration)
  • Average Start and Average End of growing season
  • Available soil moisture (SWI) images
  • Crops agronomic data: phenological phases, crop cycle length and cultural coefficient (Kc)


  • Date : crop installation, sowing failures, re-sowing condition
  • Actual vs. Average crop installation
  • Actual vs. last year crop installation anomalies


  • Phenological stage
  • Crop water satisfaction level
  • Soil water availability
  • Number of water stresses suffered by the crop
  • Crop potential yield estimate


  • Sowing advice
  • Seeding success prediction
  • Crop water status prediction
The System architecture and functions are based on an agrometeorological model where the data collected from different sources and the model output will be accessible using OGC (Open Geospatial Consortium) web services.
CRZMS web application is supported by CLIMS-I, Geodata Engine.
CRZMS web application is supported by CLIMS-I (CLIMateServices Infrastructure).

Multidisciplinary Working Groups

In the Sahel, particularly in CILSS (Permanent Interstates Committee for Drought Control in the
Sahel) countries, national Early Warning System (EWS) for food security are underpinned by Multidisciplinary Working Groups (MWGs) led by National Meteorological Services (NMS).

Information for Decision Making

The Multidisciplinary Working Groups (MWGs) are in charge of agro-hydro-meteorological monitoring
and the production and dissemination of agrometeorological information supporting the decision making process from farmers to national and international stakeholders.

Analyze at large-scale planting periods, verify the success of wet sowing and know very early lagging areas, follow the different phenological phases.
CRZMS TOOL allows validation by considering the ground conditions; the information is used to create the agro-meteorological bulletins. A very important service for farmers.
The benefits: Growth Stages and sowing failures that are not present in other software, probable duration of the season, especially the forecasting module.


Questo Servizio è realizzato nell’ambito delle attività di ricerca dell’Istituto di Biometeorologia  (IBIMET) – CNR. IBIMET CNR non è responsabile di eventuali danni derivanti dall’uso delle informazioni di questi servizi.