Home > Foresight modeling, Global Futures for Agriculture, International agricultural research, Potatoes, Priority setting, Simulation modeling > Simulation modeling for foresight analysis and ex-ante impact assessment in potato and sweetpotato

Simulation modeling for foresight analysis and ex-ante impact assessment in potato and sweetpotato

Is it possible to use large scale agricultural simulation models for the analysis of crops like potatoes and sweetpotatoes?

Yes! The Global Futures for Agriculture and Strategic Foresight (GFSF) project, which has the objective of developing and applying an integrated simulation modeling framework for the comprehensive analysis of trends and technology impacts in the CGIAR mandate crops and systems, is doing exactly this. At least the part of this research collaboration of all in all 12 centers of the CGIAR which is taking place at the International Potato Center (CIP), as was explained in a seminar held on 24 April 2014 at the CIP Headquarters in Lima.

The core component of the modeling framework developed in the project is the International Model for Policy Analysis of Agricultural Commodities and Trade (IMPACT), an economic partial equilibrium model of the world agricultural sector. IMPACT has the capability of generating forward looking global analyses of supply, demand, prices and trade of 56 agricultural commodities in 320 geographic regions, taking into account major drivers like

economic growth, population dynamics, and climate change. For the ex ante assessment of the impact of new crop technologies, the model can be linked to a geospatial crop modeling system which, via the process of “virtual crop modeling”, allows the estimation of productivity effects under different scenarios of climate change.

The principal objective of the seminar was to introduce the GFSF project to the CIP audience, to inform about the work carried out at CIP under the umbrella of the project over the past four years, and to present an outlook on future project activities. Following an introduction to the analytical approach, examples of applications of the modeling framework are given. These applications include foresight studies of crop sector development, ex ante modeling of the impacts of promising technologies for potato production based on expert opinion, and integrated bio-economic modeling of improved potato technologies.

It was argued that the approach developed and applied by GFSF represents a powerful tool to produce foresight studies and inform about the future development of potato, sweetpotato and other roots, tubers and bananas (RTB) crop sectors. Its advantages include a comprehensive systems approach which takes into account major driving forces of the development of the agricultural sector, natural resources and climate change in a multi-crop, multi-country setting as well as its ability to analyze aspects of food security.

With respect to priority setting and strategic planning, the model can make a strong contribution by connecting different expectations of the elementary effects of new technologies (e.g. changes in yields and changes in production costs along with expectations about adoption levels) in a coherent framework to show the joint impact of these elementary effects. This not only helps making scenarios driven by a variety of parameters comparable but also allows to check the consistency of the expectations regarding technology impacts. This “induced learning” and “guided thinking” through the use of the model rather than the mere numbers that come out of it constitute the big contribution of simulation modeling.


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