Nonlinear dynamics in agricultural systems in Chad

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Changes to agricultural systems in Sub-Saharan Africa are subject to a wide range of drivers, often resulting in rapid and nonlinear dynamics. Such dynamics are however rarely recognized in studies of trends and drivers, which usually rely on assumptions of gradual progressions, and often using highly aggregated data. This paper addresses this lack of recognition and understanding of nonlinear processes in agricultural systems in Sub-Saharan Africa by statistically identifying breakpoints and trends in regional crop production data in Chad for 1983–2016, which also makes it the most extensive and detailed study of the agricultural sector in Chad to date. By summarizing and visualizing the identified breakpoints and trends of a large group of variables in a concise and informative way, the roles of both abrupt and gradual processes are made clear. Results show that the progressions in the data predominantly have been driven by abrupt changes with lasting effects rather than gradual changes, contrary to what analyses on higher levels of aggregation would conclude. The potency of the developed methodology lies in its capacity to identify and summarize nonlinear progressions in agricultural systems constituted by a large set of variables, by separating the influence of abrupt and gradual processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-27
Number of pages27
JournalAfrican Geographical Review
Issue number1
Early online date2018 Aug 14
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Agricultural Science
  • Human Geography

Free keywords

  • agricultural systems
  • breakpoints
  • Chad
  • nonlinear progressions
  • regional analysis
  • trend analysis

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