Our friends of the HarvestChoice team at IFPRI have been busy. Hot on the heels of MAPPR, comes news that their Spatial Production Allocation Model (SPAM) will be used to produce a Global Yield Gap Atlas (GYGA), which will “reveal the ‘gap’ between the current average yields of farms and their maximum production potential.” Sounds very useful. We have blogged about SPAM before. I was particularly intrigued by this statement in the IFPRI post on the subject, though:
At a recent GYGA meeting in Naivasha, Kenya, Atlas collaborators—which include Jawoo Koo of IFPRI—comparatively reviewed two major crop distribution maps and announced that they would use the ones produced by an IFPRI model—the Spatial Production Allocation Model (SPAM)—as a basis for the Atlas.
It would be interesting to know what the other lot of crop distribution maps were, the ones that were found wanting. One of our earlier posts does try to get to grips with the taxonomy of crop mapping, not particularly comprehensively, it has to be said. So was it perhaps CIAT’s Crop Atlas of the World? Or was it the dataset of Monfreda et al. (2008), “Farming the planet: 2. Geographic distribution of crop areas, yields, physiological types, and net primary production in the year 2000”? Or something else that we missed at the time? Maybe HarvestChoice/IFPRI are too modest to say, but it would still be good to know the basis for GYGA’s decision.