FABI hosted a simulation modelling workshop led by two leaders in the field, Dr Serge Savary and Dr Laetitia Willocquet; both senior scientists at the AGIR Research unit of INRA’s Research Centre of Toulouse in France. Serge is also the Editor in Chief of the ISPP Journal, Food Security. Hosted during the week of 8 July, the 25 workshop participants included FABIans and representatives from the University of Pretoria, University of the Freestate, Stellenbosch University and Bindura University in Zimbabwe.

Professor Brenda Wingfield arranged this workshop with partial funding by a KIC Grant from the National Research Foundation (NRF) while the University of Pretoria provided the venue and the presenters donated their time.  The objective of the training was to provide participants with concepts and tools that will enable them to develop and use simulation models in botanical epidemiology and yield loss analysis.

Simulation modeling is a powerful tool for researchers. The workshop introduced and discussed the principles underpinning the development, use, and limits of simulation models in the broad field of agricultural research. It then specifically focused on plant disease epidemics and crop yield losses caused by animal pests, weeds, and diseases, using examples of generic simulation models.