IAAE symposium explores linkages between global and regional economic models

By Sika Gbegbelegbe (IITA)

The triennial conference of the International Association of Agricultural Economists (IAAE) provides a platform for the Global Futures and Strategic Foresight (GFSF) teams of the CGIAR centers to showcase their work. The first symposium organized by these teams was on ‘Bio-economic modeling to assess options for enhancing food security under climate change in the developing world’ and it took place during the 29th IAAE conference in Brazil in 2012. The teams came again together in 2015 to organize a second symposium on ‘Interpreting results from using bio-economic modeling for global and regional ex ante impact assessment’ at the 30th IAAE conference which took place in Milan on August 8-14, 2015.

Whereas the first symposium focused on the structure of the bio-economic modeling tools used for ex impact assessment on future global and regional food security, the second symposium put an emphasis on results interpretation. Since 2012, the GFSF teams in the CGIAR centers have applied the global bio-economic modeling tools to:

  • Improve the models by calibrating crop models for standard and promising germplasm (sorghum, maize, wheat, chickpeas, potatoes, and groundnuts) as well as improving the livestock bio-economic module;
  • Quantify the potential impact of climate change on crop-based systems in the developing world; and
  • Quantify the potential impact of promising crop technologies (groundnuts; potatoes; etc.) on future societal welfare

The work done within the centers since 2012 was summarized and presented during the symposium by Swamikannu Nedumaran of ICRISAT, whose presentation was aptly titled ‘Application of the geo-spatial bio-economic modeling framework to inform decision making’. This followed the first presentation of the symposium by Keith Wiebe of IFPRI, the leader of the GFSF project. His talk provided a description of the project which now involves 13 CGIAR centers and aims to achieve four objectives:

  • Improved system of integrated biophysical and economic modeling tools
  • Stronger community of practice for scenario analysis and ex ante impact assessment
  • Improved assessments of alternative global futures
  • To inform research, investment and policy decisions in the CGIAR and its partners

Keith’s presentation also included study results on ex ante impact assessment of improved germplasm for drought and heat tolerance in maize, wheat, potatoes, sorghum and groundnuts. This study was undertaken by most of the CGIAR centers involved in the first phase of the GFSF project.

John Antle, professor in Oregon State University and co-leader of the regional economics team in the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP), explained that AgMIP is a global community of science that is assessing and improving tools used in modeling used climate, water, soils, crops & livestock, economics, and pests & diseases. John’s presentation also included results from using regional bio-economic tools to quantify the impact of climate change on different types of households in Senegal and Zambia. In the analysis, results from global economic models (on production, food prices, etc.) were reviewed and adjusted by teams involved in regional economics and then introduced in the Tradeoff Analysis for Multi-Dimensional Impact Assessment (TOA-MD) model to assess the potential impact of climate change on household’s vulnerability to loss.

The symposium showed that gains are being achieved in using global and regional bio-economic modeling tools for ex ante impact assessment on the future of agricultural systems. However, more is needed to enhance the complementarity between global and regional bio-economic analyses, especially on assessing future outcomes such as food and nutrition security; poverty; vulnerability and resilience to climate change.

Please see the presentations here:

Application of the geo-spatial bio-economic modeling framework, ICAE 2015 from Global Future & Strategic Foresight Program (GFSF), Swamikannu Nedumaran of ICRISAT


For more information, please contact Khondoker A. Mottaleb (CIMMYT).