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.

Reviewing 4 Years of IMPACT Outreach and Training

By Daniel Mason-D'Croz

This month marks 4 years since the revamping of the IMPACT training curriculum to bring it up to date with the new version of the model. With more than 4 years now of experience, it seems appropriate to review and highlight some of the successes of these outreach and training efforts. >> Read more

WorldFish hosts future fish supply and demand scenarios in ASEAN technical meeting

By Shahnila Islam and Chin Yee Chan

Participants from 7 ASEAN countries in Penang, Malaysia.

Participants from 7 ASEAN countries in Penang, Malaysia.

From June 7-8th, WorldFish organized a technical workshop, “Future Fish Supply and Demand Scenarios in the ASEAN Region.” As a research activity of the Global Futures and Strategic Foresight project (GFSF), the IMPACT fish model developed by IFPRI, World Bank, FAO, and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff was delivered to the WorldFish foresight modeling team in August 2015. Since then the WorldFish team has been working to update the model to generate a research paper focused on the ASEAN region with projections out to 2050. In the two-day workshop, 19 participants from 7 countries (Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam) representing capture fisheries, aquaculture research and administration as well as fish economic modeling experts from both public and private sectors came together to:

  1. Validate the business-as-usual projections of ASEAN fish supply and demand to 2050
  2. Explore maximum potentials/carrying capacity for fisheries and aquaculture in ASEAN countries
  3. Identify government targets/plans for fisheries and aquaculture in ASEAN
  4. Explore plausible scenarios of fisheries and aquaculture in ASEAN for analyzing with the IMPACT fish model

The IMPACT multi-market model and the IMPACT Fish Model were presented by Shahnila Islam (IFPRI) and Chin Yee Chan (WorldFish), respectively. The country teams then presented the state of capture fisheries and aquaculture in their countries and provided feedback on the current baseline results/trajectories from the IMPACT fish model. This allowed for a participatory approach for calibrating the fish model, which has been a focus of the WorldFish foresight modeling team.

For scenario development, Nhuong Tran of WorldFish narrowed down three major topics of interest that the participants could focus on for the region. These were: capture fisheries, aquaculture, and climate change impact on both capture fisheries and aquaculture. The participants worked in three groups to develop narratives around these three main topics to come up with plausible scenarios for the future of fish. These will later be quantified for the model. In addition to the IMPACT Fish model, it was noted that other models could be used depending on the research/policy question being addressed. The AsiaFish model was presented as an alternative country level model. Also, a US Fish model of demand side behaviors was also presented that could be adapted for use in other countries.

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 GFSF.

Workshop: Crop Modelling and Biotic Stress

How can we take biotic stress into consideration with crop growth modelling in maize and wheat?

As part of the Global Futures and Strategic Foresight (GFSF) project funded by the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) is organizing a three-day workshop titled:

"How can we take biotic stress into consideration with crop growth modelling in maize and wheat?"

Crop growth models have been and are being used as part of bio-economic modelling endeavors. One of the key aspects that has not been resolved is biotic stress as a yield reducing factor, despite the fact that biotic stress is a very important contributing factor to low yields in the target areas of CGIAR. Existing crop growth models that we use, do not adequately simulate biotic stress.

>> Read more

Strategic foresight? What’s that?

By Steven D. Prager, DAPA, CIAT

"Strategic foresight? What’s that?"-- we often hear when introducing the Global Futures and Strategic Foresight project to our internal and external partners. Yes, let’s admit it: strategic foresight is still an unfamiliar concept to many, even among our colleagues. If you don’t understand something, you are often naturally biased against it. To change this undermining attitude towards our work, we at CIAT’s Global Futures and Strategic Foresight team decided to, so to speak, take this bias bull by the horns.

How do you present a complex subject to a diverse audience? One good way is to use games and role-playing.

CIAT recently conducted a game with colleagues from various CIAT offices and members of the Fondo Latinoamericano para Arroz de Riego (FLAR), one of CIAT’s key boundary partners. Read more about the game and outcomes here on the blog of the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets:

GFSF-game-CIAT-2For more information, please contact Steve Prager (CIAT).

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

CIAT convenes researchers and regional stakeholders to inform foresight research prioritization for rice in Latin America and the Caribbean

By Steve Prager (CIAT)

Rice is an important food around the world and, in the case of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), makes up approximately 11.5% of the diet (CGIAR, 2014). In LAC, rice serves an important role in food security and is, likewise, an important commodity in both domestic and international economic activity. Yet, production of rice in Latin America only accounts for approximately 3.7% (CGIAR, 2014; FAO, 2015) of the global total.

What does this mean for rice producers and consumers in Latin America? In short, given relatively low levels of production and high levels of dependence on imported product, the sustainability of rice production in LAC is highly sensitive to the global market. Likewise, this adds a certain level of volatility and serves to link food security in Latin America and the Carribean to any number of factors outside the region.

Photo by IRRI. Source: Flickr (IRRI Photos)

Photo by IRRI. Source: Flickr (IRRI Photos)

>> Read more

Bioversity International hosts workshop on integrating ecosystem services into GFSF foresight research, Rome, May 7-8, 2015

By Anita Regmi (Bioversity)

csm_Modelling_Biodiversity_Ecosystems_Workshop_participants_a974551c13As part of theCGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM) and the Global Futures and Strategic Foresight Program, Bioversity International convened a workshop at its Headquarters near Rome, Italy, on May 7 and 8, 2015, on integrating biodiversity and ecosystem services into foresight models. The workshop was attended by 45 participants from CGIAR Centers and research partner institutions.

The goal of the workshop was to identify opportunities to enhance existing agricultural modelling capabilities to incorporate key ecosystem services affecting sustainable agricultural productivity growth, and to support these modelling capabilities with relevant geospatial data from Bioversity International and other sources.

The workshop focused on modelling biodiversity and ecosystem services on three scales:

  • household/farm-level
  • agricultural sector
  • economy-wide

Please find the agenda, other workshop documents and presentations in the original post on Bioversity International’s website here.

ICRISAT hosts Global Futures and Strategic Foresight (GFSF) Crop Model Training (Part II), Patancheru, India, April 20-24, 2015

By Ricky Robertson (IFPRI)


During the week of April 20 to 24, many of the crop modelers and social scientists for the Global Futures and Strategic Foresight program gathered at ICRISAT for a continuation of the previous training conducted in January. The participants reviewed the basics of running the Mink gridded crop modeling system, then learned more advanced techniques and worked on issues of direct interest to their research.

>> Read more

Crop System Models training program at ICRISAT, Patancheru, India, March 23-27, 2015

By Ricky Robertson (IFPRI)

Group Photo

As part of its activities in the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM)  and the Global Futures & Strategic Foresight (GFSF) program, ICRISAT recently organized a five-day training program, titled “Cropping System Models: Application in Land Resource Management”. The training took place from the 23rd to 27th March at ICRISAT headquarters in Patancheru, India. Dr. Gerrit Hoogenboom of Washington State University and Dr. Cheryl Porter of the University of Florida served as faculty, while Dr. Dakshina Murthy and Dr. Piara Singh of ICRISAT served as resource persons. About 30 participants from India, the Philippines, Jordan, Ethiopia and the United States attended the training course, along with crop modelers from GFSF participating CGIAR centers such as CIMMYT, ICARDA and IRRI as well as NARS partners. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) of the government of India sponsored 10 participants for this course. >> Read more