Chad’s food security is critical because it is a landlocked country located in the heart of the Sahel. Its climates vary from tropical savanna in the south to desert in the north with rainy and dry seasons linked to the West African monsoon circulation. Chad population has been growing rapidly.
This study investigates the impacts of population and precipitation on crop production in Chad. Using regression polynomials, Gaussian model, and sum of sine model, we examined the relationships among population and precipitation as independent variables and various crop yields (sorghum, maize, and rice) as dependent variables. Population and crop data were obtained from the Food and Agriculture Organization portal (FAOSTAT). The precipitation data were derived from the Global Precipitation Climate Project (GPCP). The dataset was collected from 1980 through 2011.
As results, population and precipitation are positively correlated with crop yields, but population explained more of the variation in crop yields. Population had significant correlations with yields in sorghum (0.94), maize (0.90), and rice (0.85). Precipitation was also positively correlated with yields of the three crops (0.73, 0.72, and 0.78, respectively). Population explained 72%, 50%, and 56% of the variability of yields in sorghum, maize, and rice, respectively. The variability of maize yield is a function of the de-trended population data with a time delay of 2-3 years. Precipitation accounted for 32%, 37%, and 62% of the respective crops. Both population and precipitation accounted for 73%, 55%, and 76% of the variability of yields in sorghum, maize, and rice, respectively.