Challenges in modeling crop productivity

Team RAB is now in Kigali, and had the opportunity to get to know the beautiful neighborhoods in the city, visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial, and interact with the welcoming Rwandan people. The city is very clean, and we were surprised to learn that there is the sense of community here that works together to maintain the city. For examIMG-20150519-WA0002ple, on the last Saturday of each month, there is a community service day when all Rwandans go help clean the streets of their neighborhood. Even the President partakes in this cleaning day, and it helps Rwandan people build a sense of togetherness and collaboration.

We are enjoying the city, getting to know its people, the food, and what it has to offer, but we have also faced challenges with our project. We knew that a reliable productivity model would require a lot of data, which has to be obtained for several years and has to contain the same data for those years. We were asked to model crop productivity based on inputs such as soil quality, improved seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, land and labor. Thus, we would need data for the past years on all of these variables.

In our client meeting we learned that we would not get data on all of these inputs, making the completion of our task very difficult. Some of the data we did received we do not know how it was collected, and there are inconsistencies between each year and season. We have yet to meet with another RAB representative, who will hopefullyIMG-20150519-WA0005 show us some of the data available, and based on what we find and what we talked to our client about, we will need to redefine our deliverables, and decide whether building a simple model with the data we have is even possible.

We hope to redefine our project in a way that will be most helpful to our client. Whether we are able to build some kind of a model or not, we will try to give valuable advice to our client by outlining everything that would be needed for the completion of the project, ways to improve the data collection process.

Hopefully our meeting tomorrow will help us get a clear scope!

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