Modelling the yield, water requirement, and water productivity of major tropical tuber crops using FAO-AquaCrop - A study over the main growing areas of India

Raji Pushpalatha, S. Sunitha, V.S. Santhosh Mithra, Byju Gangadharan


A study was conducted to test and understand the reliability of the FAO-AquaCrop model for cassava and sweet potato over the major growing areas of India. This is the first study in India testing the FAO-AquaCrop model for the yield estimation of tropical tuber crops. Salem in Tamil Nadu, Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala, and West Godavari in Andhra Pradesh were selected for cassava, and Bhubaneswar in Odisha, Faizabad in Uttar Pradesh, and Kalyani in West Bengal were selected for sweet potato. The model simulations of cassava and sweet potato indicated the suitability of the FAO-AquaCrop model in estimating the crop’s yield irrespective of the agro-climatological conditions with percentage error values ranging from -2.33 to 3.92% and 0.3 to 5% for cassava and sweet potato, respectively. The model also estimated gross irrigation requirements and their corresponding water productivity values. The estimated water productivity of cassava and sweet potato ranged from 3-4 kg m-3 and 4-8 kg m-3, respectively. The water productivity of these tuber crops were higher than that of the major food grain crops and indicated their suitability in the context of water scarce conditions and ensuring food security. The information about the water requirement and crop water productivity can be used at farm level to utilize the available water resources and maximize production to ensure food security.


climate change, cassava, sweet potato, AquaCrop, simulations, yield, water requirement

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