Seed distribution in East Africa
Fine tuning crop seed distribution based on expected seasonal rainfall

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Principle 5: Potential Impacts
After suffering drought in much of the region for two years, the most recent rainy season has been average, except for a few remaining dry pockets (see map of drought index for this rainy season). Farmers are anxious to recoup losses and reap a good harvest this year. If they expect a good rainy season, they are more likely to plant more maize, proportionately, that they might have under a forecast for dryer than normal conditions. They also might be a bit cautious about the possibility that above normal rainfall implies an increased chance of flooding or waterlogged fields.

Under normal circumstances (climatology), Simon would ship 17 tons of maize and 13 tons of sorghum to the moderately wet area, which roughly reflects the proportion of area planted to these two crops, accounting for differences in planting density. If farmers expect it to be a dry year, they would tend to purchase more sorghum and less maize, so shopkeepers might run out of sorghum and have maize left over. If the expectation is for rainfall to be near average, they might do well, selling nearly all the seed they have in stock. If farmers expect the season to be wet, they may be tempted to plant more maize, since their returns are good in a good year. Here are the possible scenarios Simon outlines:

(View decision tree for this case)

1) Ship "as usual" (17 tons maize/13 tons sorghum)

a) Drier than normal season: run out of sorghum, have maize leftover
b) Normal season: shopkeepers have just enough of each type
c) Above normal season: run out of maize, have too much sorghum

2) Ship slightly more maize (20 tons maize/11 tons sorghum)

a) Drier than normal season: run out of sorghum, have lots of maize leftover
b) Normal season: shopkeepers might still run out of sorghum but there will be plenty of maize to satisfy farmers' demand
c) Above normal season: have just enough maize, and maybe not even enough sorghum, if farmers increase the total area planted.

3) Ship equal amounts of seed (15 tons maize/15 tons sorghum)

a) Drier than normal season: might be enough sorghum but it depends on how farmers react; maybe just the right amount of maize
b) Normal season: shopkeepers have plenty of sorghum but might run out of maize
c) Above normal season: shopkeepers run out of maize, but have too much sorghum left unsold.