Improved modeling of rice under environmental stresses

By Tao Li & Samarendu Mohanty, IRRI


Photo Credit: IRRI

The worldwide usage of and increasing citations for ORYZA2000 has established it as a robust and reliable ecophysiological model for predicting the growth and yield of rice in an irrigated lowland ecosystem. Because of its focus on irrigated lowlands, its computation ability is limited in the representation of the effects of the highly dynamic environments of upland, rainfed, and aerobic ecosystems on rice growth and yield. Additional modules and routines to quantify daily variations in soil temperature, carbon, nitrogen, and environmental stresses were then developed and integrated into ORYZA2000 to capture their effects on primary production, assimilate allocation, root growth, and water and nitrogen uptake.

The newest version has been renamed “ORYZA version 3 (v3)”. Case studies have shown that the root mean square errors (RMSE) between simulated and measured values for total biomass and yields ranged from 11.2% to 16.6% across experiments in non-drought and drought and/or nitrogen-deficient environments. ORYZA (v3) showed a significant reduction of the RMSE by at least 20%, thereby improving the model’s capability to represent values measured under extreme conditions. It has also been significantly improved in representing the dynamics of soil water and crop leaf nitrogen contents. With an enhanced capability to simulate rice growth and development and predict yield in non-stressed, water-stressed and nitrogen-stressed environments, ORYZA (v3) is a reliable successor of ORYZA2000.

Download the paper here

Crop and bio-economic modeling for an uncertain climate

By Gideon Kruseman (CIMMYT)

The potential impact of climate change on agriculture and the complexity of possible adaptation responses require the application of new research methods and tools to develop adequate strategies. At a recent five-day training workshop titled “Crop and Bio-economic Modeling under Uncertain Climate,” scientists applied crop and bio-economic models to estimate biophysical and economic impacts of climate variability and change.

Workshop participants. Photo credit: CIMMYT.

Workshop participants. Photo credit: CIMMYT.

Crop system modeling is used to simulate yields for specific weather patterns, nutrient input levels and bio-economic household modeling involves using quantitative economic methodology to incorporate biological, chemical and/or physical processes to analyze the impact of technology development, policy interventions and such exogenous shocks as extreme weather events on the decision-making processes of smallholder farmers and related development indicators. Events influence results in two ways: the probability of occurrence will shape decision-making and actual occurrence will shape realized results.

Read more on the CIMMYT blog.

To Latin America for Global Connections

By Daniel Mason-D’Croz (IFPRI)

Argentinian Counterparts
In early December, Daniel Mason-D’Croz presented at the second annual International Conference on Agro-Industrial Projections hosted by INAI (, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. This is the second year that Daniel has presented at the conference and is a part of building collaboration with the economic modeling team at INAI. In 2014, Daniel presented a selection of results from studies considering the effects of adopting new crop technologies (Rosegrant et al 2014, and Robinson et al 2015). In this second conference, Daniel presented a selection of preliminary results from the upcoming IMPACT baseline scenarios and highlighted the new features available in IMPACT 3 ( along with recent improvements and updates to the climate scenarios that now include results across all representative concentration pathways (RCPs) from the IPCC’s 5th assessment report.

Global Colleagues
In addition to the day of presentations discussing agricultural projections, a follow-up modeling meeting was held where representatives from a variety of modeling teams, including OECD-FAO, IFPRI, INAI, and others, discussed the modeling philosophies and ongoing work being done by the different teams. Daniel presented work being done in collaboration with ILRI through the GFSF project to improve the IMPACT livestock module as well as work connecting IMPACT to country land-use models as was done in Colombia (blog post, report).

Climate Change in Context
Changing climate is not just affecting agriculture through the direct effects of changing temperatures and precipitation. The ½ degree increase we have already observed is leading to changes in the distribution of plant pests and diseases as new areas have become hospitable to new plagues. These transitions are likely to increase as temperatures increase even more, and they won’t just be limited to plant pests and diseases. Increasing temperatures will likely lead to spreading of tropical diseases (i.e. dengue, malaria, etc.) to higher latitudes in both the northern and southern temperate zones. These changes, among many others, could have many unexpected impacts that would greatly alter the way our global economy and society function. As a part of the International Grains Forum (,, Daniel presented a few of these many challenges that face our global food system to help provide context of the nearer term challenges that climate change presents in addition to the longer term challenges that we so often focus on as a part of the Global Futures and Strategic Foresight project.

Please see the slides presented here:


This work was supported by funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the CGIAR Research Programs on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM) and Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) to Global Futures and Strategic Foresight Program (GFSF).

IFPRI and partners share insights on climate change and food security in Paris

By Keith Wiebe (IFPRI)

circus_sidebanner_home_pastIFPRI researchers Mark Rosegrant, Keith Wiebe and Alex de Pinto led a session (“Up and down the scales of time and place: Integrating global trends and local decisions to make the world more food-secure by 2050”) on December 5 at the Global Landscapes Forum on the margins of COP21 in Paris. The session explored climate change impacts and solutions at global, regional and country scales, drawing on new research to analyze policy options that promote healthy growth of the agricultural sector and food security in a changing climate. Participants Mercedita Sombilla (Director ANRES, National Economic and Development Authority, Office of the President, Philippines), Kirit N Shelat (Executive Chairman, Indian National Council for Climate Change Sustainable Development and Public Leadership), and Rodrigo Suarez Castaño (Climate Change Director, Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, Colombia) also shared insights and experiences from the national level. >> Read more

Exploring Indonesian aquaculture futures: new report from WorldFish

By Nhuong Tran (WorldFish), Evgeniya Anisimova (PIM)

AquaculWorldFish-report-aquaculture-futures-271x300ture is the fastest-growing food production sector globally, with production projected to double within the next 15–20 years. Future growth of aquaculture is essential to providing sustainable supplies of fish in national, regional and global fish food systems; creating jobs; and maintaining fish at affordable levels for resource-poor consumers. To ensure that the anticipated growth of aquaculture remains both economically and ecologically sustainable, we need to better understand the likely patterns of growth, as well as the opportunities and challenges that these trends present. This knowledge will enable us to better prioritize investments that will help ensure the sustainable development of the sector.

In Indonesia, WorldFish and partners have applied a unique methodology to evaluate growth trajectories for aquaculture under various scenarios, as well as the opportunities and challenges these represent. The analysis indicates that aquaculture will overtake capture fisheries as the major source of fish in Indonesia before 2030 and that investment in aquaculture will be essential in order to increase domestic fish supplies and consumption, maintain affordable fish prices for domestic consumers, and sustain the contribution fish makes to Indonesian food and nutritional security.

See more finding on the CGIAR Policies, Institutions and Markets blog here, and read the full report here.


WorldFish-report-Envisioning-possible-futures-for-fish-production-in-Indonesia-cover-287x300Envisioning possible futures for fish production in Indonesia

In addition, a related report released by WorldFish summarizes the results of a systematic effort to explore possible futures for aquaculture and fisheries in Indonesia. The work described is part of a larger effort that seeks to develop a shared vision for the sectors that 1) aligns public and private investments to foster growth and economic sustainability; 2) reduces environmental impacts and improves efficiency; 3) increases access by small and medium enterprises to the financial and technical assistance necessary to transition to more sustainable practices.

See a summary of the report on the CGIAR Policies, Institutions and Markets blog here, and read the full report here.


IFPRI’s IMPACT model update: a core component of GFSF’s quantitative foresight modeling.

By Daniel Mason-D'Croz (IFPRI)

Models can be powerful tools that help us systematically apply data and theory to test our understanding of complex and interconnected systems. A major focus for the Global Futures and Strategic Foresight project is to use IFPRI’s IMPACT model for quantitative foresight modeling to analyze how agricultural and food systems might evolve under alternative futures across multiple dimensions (i.e. population, climate, economic development, among many others). As new data and knowledge become available, quantitative models need to be reviewed and updated to reflect the improved understanding.


Figure 1- IFPRI’s IMPACT Model

Figure 1- IFPRI’s IMPACT Model

Continual updating is an integral part of the IMPACT model’s history. With improved data and computational power, the IMPACT team works to enhance the model’s relevance for policymakers in exploring critical issues around long-term agriculture development and food security. The latest model improvements are just the next chapter in the model’s history, building on the work of previous efforts to simulate the food system in ever greater detail by expanding the number of commodities and individual countries covered by IMPACT.

In this latest update, the IMPACT model was designed to incorporate not only better agricultural data but also best practices in model structure and coding.  This enables the model to expand to cover new areas of research interest while at the same time ensuring cleaner and modular code. Improvements in model design and structure are explained in detail in the new documentation. Additionally, we go into more detail on the IMPACT modeling philosophy, including discussions on scenario analysis and the role of simulation models in ex-ante analysis.

To read the new IMPACT documentation please go to

IFPRI Discussion Paper on Promising Technologies

by Shahnila Islam (IFPRI)

IFPRI, in collaboration with Global Futures and Strategic Foresight (GFSF) team members from CIAT, CIMMYT, CIP, ICRISAT, and IRRI has released a discussion paper titled “Climate Change Adaption in Agriculture: Ex Ante Analysis of Promising and Alternative Crop Technologies using DSSAT and IMPACT”. The paper reports results from Phase 1 of the GFSF program in which the participating centers identified promising technologies to model in linked crop and economic models. Drought and heat tolerant traits were modeled for maize, wheat, rice, potatoes, sorghum, and groundnuts, while a promising pest management strategy was tested on cassava. Specific regions and adoption rates were chosen for each of the promising technologies.

The study found that heat tolerant technologies outperformed drought tolerant ones and that the pure biophysical benefits of the technologies were able to offset the effect of climate change under GFDL climate scenario. When embedded in an economic modeling framework, we see that both climate and technology impacts on yields are dampened. Further, the analysis found that regions that adopted the technologies benefitted through better terms of trade, and showed a decreased vulnerability to global price shocks (link to full report)

Figure: Effects of Climate Change and Promising Technologies on Biophysical Yields in 2050

Figure: Effects of Climate Change and Promising Technologies on Biophysical Yields in 2050

Post 2015 Consensus: Analysis on the benefits of infrastructure and technology investments on post-harvest loss reduction

By Daniel Mason-D'Croz (IFPRI)

Achieving food security sustainably is a major challenge that will require continued efforts on increasing agricultural productivity. However, some of the gains in increased productivity may not be realized due to post-harvest losses (losses experienced between the field and the consumer).


Estimates on the magnitude of post-harvest losses range greatly depending on the method, yet are significant, ranging from 10–30 percent or greater in many cases. Many technologies already exist that could help reduce these losses, including improvements in storage, and investments in transportation technologies. However, encouraging adoption of these technologies is not costless. To assess some of the potential global benefits of decreasing post-harvest losses as well as the benefit-cost of these investments, IFPRI contributed to the Post 2015 Consensus an assessment paper [1] with a global analysis and a white paper [2] focused on India []. The Post 2015 Consensus is a program led by the Copenhagen Consensus to identify the best targets for the post-2015 development agenda. >> Read more

WorldFish hosts Fish IMPACT model training workshop targeted at ASEAN countries, Penang, Malaysia, Aug 25-29, 2015

By Nhuong Tran (WorldFish)

The Global Futures and Strategic Foresight Program (GSFS) held a training workshop on the IMPACT Fish model at WorldFish headquarters in Penang from Aug 25-29, 2015. Five participants attended, including staff from WorldFish and  partner institutions in Vietnam, Indonesia, and Bangladesh. The purpose of the training workshop was to deliver the latest version of the IMPACT fishery and aquaculture model to WorldFish’s modeling team. The model is the result of a collaborative effort between IFPRI, FAO, the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, and the World Bank, and serves as an interim step for developing WorldFish modeling capacity and the full fish module for the updated version of IMPACT.


From left to right: Chan Chin Yee (WorldFish, Penang), Khondker Murshed-E-Jahan (WorldFish Bangladesh), Miroslav Batka, Tran Van Nhuong (WorldFish Penang), Nguyen Van Giap (Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development, Vietnam), Tridoyo Kusumastanto (Bogor Agriculture University, Indonesia)| Copyright: WorldFish

>> Read more

IFPRI and KREI plan collaborative research on climate change and food security

By Keith Wiebe (IFPRI)

The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the Korea Rural Economics Institute (KREI) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding to support collaboration between the two institutions. Collaboration under the MOU will focus on dealing with climate change impacts on regional food and water security in Korea and East Asia, using IFPRI’s International Model for Policy Analysis of Agricultural Commodities and Trade (IMPACT) and related research programs as key building blocks. The MOU, covering an initial period of three years, was signed by IFPRI Director-General Shenggen Fan and KREI President Sei-Kyun Choi on July 7, 2015 at IFPRI headquarters in Washington DC.

Please see news in Korean language here:


Left: Dr. Shenggen Fan (IFPRI); Right: Dr. Sei-Kyun Choi (KREI) Photo credit: Milo Mitchell (IFPRI)


Photo credit: Milo Mitchell (IFPRI)