Universität Bonn

INRES Pflanzenbau

GlobE - BiomassWeb

Improving food security in Africa through increased system productivity of biomass-based value webs (BiomassWeb)


Increasing global demand for food, but also for feed and biomass-based raw materials, has increased pressure on the agricultural sector and food production in Africa. BiomassWeb aims therefore at contributing to food security in Sub-Saharan Africa by focusing on biomass-based value webs. Biomass-based value webs are complex systems of interlinked value chains in which food and fodder, fuels, and other raw materials are produced, processed and traded.  BiomassWeb expects to contribute to enhancing the capacity of African countries to participate in the emerging regional and international bio-economy.


The crop science group will analyze current and potential productivity of biomass webs maize and cassava for the countries Ghana, Nigeria and Ethiopia based on new large-scale models of productivity and resource use. Factors determining productivity gaps in biomass webs will be determined and options to improve resource use and web productivity will be identified. Scenarios of potential changes in crop and soil management and indicators describing the overall productivity of biomass webs and overall resource use efficiency will be developed. To facilitate knowledge transfer to project partners and stakeholders, the models will be implemented in the user-friendly modeling framework SIMPLACE (Scientific Impact assessment and Modeling Platform for Advanced Crop and Ecosystem management).

Persons in charge

Frank Ewert, Thomas Gaiser, Stefan Siebert, Amit Srivastava





Cooperating partners


Srivastava, A.K., C.M. Mboh, T. Gaiser, F. Ewert, 2017. Impact of climatic variables on the spatial and temporal variability of crop yield and biomass gap in Sub-Saharan Africa – a case study in Central Ghana. Field Crops Research, 203, 33-46. DOI:10.1016/j.fcr.2016.11.010.

Srivastava, A.K., C.M. Mboh, G. Zhao, T. Gaiser, F.  Ewert, in press. Climate change impact under alternate realizations of climate scenarios on maize yield and biomass in Ghana. Agricultural Systems. DOI:10.1016/j.agsy.2017.03.011.

Srivastava, A.K., T. Gaiser, F. Ewert, 2016. Climate change impact and potential adaptation strategies under alternate climate scenarios for Yam production in the sub-humid savannah zone of West Africa. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change 21, 955-968. DOI:10.1007/s11027-015-9639-y.

Srivastava, A.K., C.M. Mboh, T. Gaiser, H. Webber, F. Ewert, 2016. Effect of sowing date distributions on simulation of maize yields at regional scale – A case study in Central Ghana, West Africa. Agricultural Systems 147, 10-23.  DOI:10.1016/j.agsy.2016.05.012.

Trawally, D., H. A. Webber, W. A. Agyare, M. Fosu, J. Naab, T. Gaiser, 2015. Effect of heat stress on two maize varieties under irrigation in Northern Region of Ghana. International Journal of Biological and Chemical Sciences 9, 1571-1587.

Trawally, D. M. A, H. Webber, W. A. Agyare, M. Fosu, J. Naab, T. Gaiser, 2015. Modelling heat stress effect on two maize varieties in Northern Region of Ghana. Global Advanced Research Journal of Agricultural Science 4, 145-155.

Folberth, C., H. Yang, T. Gaiser, J. Liu, X. Wang, J. Williams, R. Schulin, 2014. Effects of ecological and conventional agricultural intensification practices on maize yields in sub-Saharan Africa under potential climate change. Environmental Research Letters 9, 044004. DOI:10.1088/1748-9326/9/4/044004.

Siebert, S., F. Ewert, 2014. Future crop production threatened by extreme heat. Environmental Research Letters 9, 041001. DOI:10.1088/1748-9326/9/4/041001.

Webber, H., T. Gaiser, F. Ewert, 2014. What role can crop models play in supporting climate change adaptation decisions to enhance food security in Sub-Saharan Africa? Agricultural Systems 127, 161-177. DOI:10.1016/j.agsy.2013.12.006.

West, P. C.,  J. S. Gerber, N. D. Mueller, K. A. Brauman, K. M. Carlson, E. S. Cassidy, P. M. Engstrom, M. Johnston, G. K. MacDonald, D. K. Ray, S. Siebert, 2014. Leverage points for improving food security and the environment. Science 345, 325-328. DOI:10.1126/science.1246067.

Dagbenonbakin, G., A. Srivastava, T. Gaiser, H. Goldbach, 2013. Maize nutrient assessment in Benin Republic: Case of Upper Ouémé Catchment. Journal of Plant Nutrition 36 (4), 587-606. DOI:10.1080/01904167.2012.754031.

Folbert, C., H. Yang, T. Gaiser, K.C. Abaspour, R. Schulin, 2013. Modelling maize yield responses to improvement in nutrient, water and cultivar inputs in sub-Saharan Africa. Agric. Systems 119, 22-34. DOI:10.1016/j.agsy.2013.04.002.

Porkka, M., M. Kummu, S. Siebert, O. Varis, 2013. From food insufficiency towards trade-dependency: a historical analysis of global food availability. PLOS ONE 8, e82714. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0082714.

Dagbenonbakin, G., A. Srivastava, T. Gaiser, H. Goldbach, (2012). Diagnosis and Recommendation Integrated system: A tool for detecting nutrient deficiencies in Yam (Dioscorea rotundata).  Journal of Plant Nutrition, 35 (14), 2124-2134. DOI:10.1080/01904167.2012.724492.


Trawally, D. M. A., 2015. Modelling heat stress and the impact of climate change on maize yield and biomass in Northern region of Ghana. PhD thesis, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Department of Civil Engineering, Kumasi, Ghana.

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