Analysis of Andean blackberry (Rubus glaucus) production models obtained by means of artificial neural networks exploiting information collected by small-scale growers in Colombia and publicly available meteorological data
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Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/43181
The Andean blackberry (Rubus glaucus) is an important source of income in hillside regions of Colombia. However, growers have little reliable information on the factors that affect the development and yield of the crop, and therefore there is a dearth of information onhowto effectively manage the crop. Site specific information recorded by small-scale producers of the Andean blackberry on their production systems and soils coupled with publicly available meteorological data was used to develop models of such production systems. Multilayer perceptrons and Self-Organizing Maps were used as computational models in the identification and visualization of the most important variables for modeling the production of Andean blackberry. Artificial neural networks were trained with information from 20 sites in Colombia where the Andean blackberry is cultivated. Multilayer perceptrons predicted with a reasonable degree of accuracy the production response of the crop. The soil depth, the average temperature, external drainage, and the accumulated precipitation of the first month before harvest were critical determinants of productivity. A proxy variable of location was used to describe overall differences in management between farmers groups. The use of this proxy indicated that, even under essentially similar environmental conditions, large differences in production could be assigned to management effects. The information obtained can be used to determine sites that are suitable for Andean blackberry production, and to transfer ofmanagement practices from sites of high productivity to sites with similar environmental conditions which currently have lower levels of productivity.