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Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2015)

Spatial and temporal Allocation of water and Land Resources for optimal cereal production in Kenya

Xydi, Afroditi

Titre : Spatial and temporal Allocation of water and Land Resources for optimal cereal production in Kenya

Auteur : Xydi, Afroditi

Université de soutenance : Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Grade : M. Eng. 2015

Résumé
As the population of the world increases, food security becomes a more pressing issue. This is especially true for Kenya. The country’s population is increasing at a very fast rate and food production has not been able to keep up with the increasing population. This analysis assesses Kenya’s ability to feed its own people by modelling the potential for increasing the production of cereals, specifically maize, wheat and rice, which together amount to approximately half the calories in the average Kenyan diet. To determine the spatial and temporal allocation of land and water resources for the optimal calories produced by maize, wheat and rice two optimization models were used. The first optimization is a least squared estimation used to calibrate the model and reproduce current conditions. The second optimization maximizes total calories produced for wheat, maize and rice, while being constrained by a water balance and land availability given soil suitability for each crop. The results of this analysis reveal that Kenya has a very large potential to increase its cereal production mainly on the western and southern part of the country. Approximately half the water for these crops comes from irrigation. As production increases, the flow in the river decreases, and groundwater use increase. The conclusion of this paper is that Kenya has the potential to increase its calorie production of cereals by at least a factor of 5.

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Page publiée le 10 octobre 2016, mise à jour le 23 décembre 2017