Climatic Anticipation of Dry Cereal Producers in the Groundnut Basin of Senegal

Review Article

Austin J Bus Adm Manage. 2023; 7(2): 1063.

Climatic Anticipation of Dry Cereal Producers in the Groundnut Basin of Senegal

Pape Bilal Diakhaté¹*; Moussa Sall¹; Mor Ngom¹; Djiby Dia¹; Birahim Bouna Niang²; Mouhamadou Dieye³

¹Institut Sénégalais de Recherches Agricoles, Bureau d’Analyses Macroéconomiques, BP 3120 – Dakar, Sénégal

²Faculté des Sciences Économiques et de Gestion, Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar (Sénégal)

³Institut Sénégalais de Recherches Agricoles, Bureau d’Analyses Macroéconomiques, BP 3120 – Dakar, Sénégal

*Corresponding author: Pape Bilal Diakhaté Institut Sénégalais de Recherches Agricoles, Bureau d’Analyses Macroéconomiques, BP 3120 – Dakar, Sénégal. Email: [email protected]

Received: August 19, 2023 Accepted: October 03, 2023 Published: October 10, 2023


The Groundnut Basin is one of six agro-ecological zones in Senegal where farmers are very affected by climate uncertainty during the rainy season. This paper examines the types of climate anticipation of dry cereal producers before the start of the rainy season. The main parameter used to determine the types of anticipation is based on climate information. Farmers are characterized according to their ability to formulate a climate forecast from climate information sources for which they have a degree of confidence. The results show that the majority of farmers formulate adaptive expectations on the climate by defining a margin of error to the received information (35.41%), while only 1.65% makes expectations without a formal source. This study suggests that insurance policies should take into account the profile of farmers in the face of climatic information, in particular the level of tolerable loss anticipated by the producer and his other socio-economic characteristics, accessibility to basic social services and the production system practiced.

Keywords: Senegal; Groundnut basin; Climate information; Anticipation; Probit model

Classification J.E.L: C91 – D81 – D82 – Q12


Climate information is an agricultural input along with seeds, fertilizers, and equipment that form the basis of production [1]. Its importance is justified by the uncertain nature of the climate and the strong dependence of agricultural production on rainfall. Indeed, since 1996, the Sahel has been marked by alternating wet and dry years (Agrhymet, 2013). In Senegal, climate forecasts show an average temperature variation that ranges from of +1.1°C to 1.8°C. During extreme rainfall periods average temperature varies between -30% and +30% by 2035 (Republic of Senegal, 2015b). This climate variability affects the level of production and particularly dry cereal yields. Indeed, from 1980 to 2015, the agricultural sector has experienced at least eleven (11) major climatic shocks that occurred on average every three to four years and resulted in irregular growth in production (Republic of Senegal, 2015a). These shocks resulted in losses of more than 5% of the gross value of production every third year, on average, due to natural hazards. Production losses during years of extreme rainfall can be three to four (4) times higher (Republic of Senegal, 2015a). The decline in cereal production recorded between 2012 and 2014 was 12% and 17% between 2010 and 2014.

However, an institutional mechanism has been created to facilitate the appropriation of climate information by farmers. The National Agency for Civil Aviation and Meteorology of Senegal (ANACIM) and the Multidisciplinary Working Group (GTP) are key players in the production and dissemination of climate information. This information is disseminated to producers on request, but also through community radio stations and institutional and village relays. The village relays also set up demonstration fields allowing a comparison of yields obtained using traditional information sources with those resulting from strategies based on climate data during the preceding three months. In 2014, seasonal forecasts predicted a very late start of the season around August 10 in many places, a situation not seen since 1966. Despite this, the results showed an increase in yields between 85% and 100% for millet, 66% and 140% for groundnut and cowpea (Republic of Senegal, 2015a). This is attributable, among other things, to the use of climate forecasts that prompted the authorities to launch an emergency operation to distribute improved short-cycle seeds to compensate for the expected deficit in cereal production (ANACIM, 2015). These seeds, granted by the state, are those received by households that contributed to the rural tax. The use of climate information by farmers reduces the uncertainly associated with decisions of crops to selection, the variety of seed, land preparation, planting date, weeding practices, use of herbicides and pesticides (Hansen and al. 2004).

Despite the importance of climate information and its good perception by farmers, the number of producers using it is still low (ANACIM, 2014). This situation is explained by access difficulties, on the one hand, and the existence of several sources of climate information, on the other hand (PARM, 2017). In addition, in areas where the access is easy, it is noted that the information does not arrive on time, that is, the desired time for the producer [2].

In the presence of several sources of climate information, the choice of the producer is oriented towards the one for which he/she has more confidence. Indeed, agricultural producers do not place the same degree of importance on their information sources. Some give priority to meteorology, while others use it only as an indication, and tend to compare it with their own traditional knowledge and individual convictions. In addition, the actor does not seem to be able to change his disposition regarding his production decision insofar as each additional piece of information is likely to modify his choice because it partially calls into question his point of view. In this respect, questions such as: "What is the level of climatic information of farmers? "or "How much confidence do they have in this information?" become necessary for to understanding expectations in front of the climate change. The answers to these questions allow us to understand to what extent a farmer decides to adopt or not an adaptative strategy to face of climate change.

To answer to these questions, this study seeks to determine the type of climate anticipation strategy adopted by farmers in the Senegalese Groundnut Basin by identifying the main sources of climate information, and the form of climate anticipation as this relates to socioeconomic characteristics.

The hypothesis of this work is that membership in a producer group increases the probability of using climate information. Thus, within a group, individuals can modify the state of knowledge of others thereby influencing decision making and facilitating change and thus lead them to adopt certain new behaviors.

After a conceptual development of the notion of anticipation in decision making, we will present the analysis framework, the results and the conclusion.

Economic Development of the Notion of Anticipation in Decision Making

The neoclassical model has shown its limits in decision-making in a world under uncertainty. Indeed, neoclassical analysis considers that the producer and the consumer can anticipate exactly the result of their choice because they are supposed to have the perfect information at the time of the decision and are capable of analyzing it (Menger (1840-1921), Jevons (1835-1882) and Walras (1834-1910) [3-5]. However, neoclassical analysis encountered two main obstacles, namely the "irrationality" of economic agents and the imperfect information [6].

Economic literature considers “anticipation” as individual representations, more or less informed, of random future events (Myrdal, 1931). Models of decision-making in an uncertain universe emphasize the importance of information in improving the quality of anticipations (Kast, 2002). As such, each additional piece of information is likely to reduce the uncertainty of the decision maker (Cayatte, 2009). Economic theory distinguishes three types of anticipation. The first, known as "naive anticipation", is observed when the agent relies solely on information from the previous year and believes that it will be exactly the same in the current year and the following years (Chavas, 1999). The simplest way to represent "naive anticipation" is to consider that tomorrow will be identical to today. However, this representation has the disadvantage of describing myopic behavior [7]. Thus, agents are not interested in their past mistakes to improve their present and future. There is therefore no adaptation process.

The second form of anticipation is called adaptive or "quasi-rational". It occurs when the actor makes anticipations by taking into account the mistakes made in previous years (Nerlove and Fornari, 1998). This hypothesis requires a gradual learning process on the part of the decision-maker, who must necessarily take the past into account.

Thus, actors do not include in their forecasts, the future events they expect with certainty. Similarly, the development of adaptative anticipations leads to systematic forecast errors even in situations where they have been well identified. A third type of anticipation is known as "rational" anticipation. These anticipations are observed when the decision-maker uses all the information at his disposal to determine the future value of a variable (Lucas, 1970). In this model, anticipations are made as if future events were known by the agents. In other words, in the absence of surprises, the assumption of rational anticipations is equivalent to the assumption of perfect foresight on the part of agents (Devoluy, 1998).

In this study, the concept of anticipation was considered in terms of the use of seasonal climate information disseminated by traditional and modern sources and the degree of confidence given to this information. Thus, the margin of error given to the source of information allows us to characterize farmers who make "adaptive" and "rational" anticipations.

Framework for Analysis

Study Area

This work was carried out in the Groundnut Basin of Senegal located in the semi-arid part of the country with an estimated population of 6,409,201 inhabitants, i.e. 47% of the territory's inhabitants. The rainy season lasts three months (from July to September) with isohyets ranging from 400 to 500 mm in the north and 800 to 900 mm in the south. However, the duration of the rainy season is highly volatile due to uncertainty regarding the actual beginning start of the rains (Diop, 1996).

The main activity in the Groundnut Basin remains agriculture. This zone includes 52% of the country's farming households and most of the cultivated area (ANSD, 2015). The proportion of farming households practicing rainfed agriculture in the Basin represents 57% of the 87.1% estimated at the national level (ANSD, 2015). The regions that make up the Basin provide 35% of the country's cereal production and accounts for 62% of the national area devoted to cereal crops (ANSD, 2015). Despite the importance of cereal crops, observed yields (0.70 tons/hectare) remain below the national average (1.23 tons/hectare in 2015).

Three regions were chosen according to their level of aridity. These are the Louga region, an arid north, with average rainfall levels close to those of the Niayes [8] (200 mm); the Kaolack region, a semi-arid center, with rainfall levels between 400 and 600 mm; and the Kaffrine region, a humid south, close to Tambacounda, where the rainfall recorded per year exceeds 600 mm (Figure 1).