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Symposium Poster - Ali Parsa.pdf (543.79 kB)

Agent-based modelling of agroforestry and mixed farming in England

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posted on 2024-04-11, 14:37 authored by Ali Parsa, Marco Van De Wiel, Ulrich Schmutz, Katharina Dehnen-Schmutz, Rosemary Venn

Leaving the EU, the United Kingdom faces a pivotal moment in reimagining its food production and distribution system. In this context, and to envisage a sustainable and resilient system, the UK government is responding with new policies with ambitious targets to reform agriculture and land use, restore biodiversity, sequester carbon and pay farmers ‘public money for public goods’. It is widely acknowledged that without such significant changes in current model of land use and food production, particularly through agroecological transition, government's current commitment to achieving 'net zero 2050' is unattainable. Any alterations in national policies would profoundly impact farmers and the local and regional food systems, necessitating thorough assessment.

Utilising Agent-based Modelling (ABM), this study aims to explore: 1) how current and future policies influence farmers’ land use allocation decisions (i.e., if and how they adopt agroforestry and mixed farming methods), and 2) how the resulting system withstands external disruptions (e.g., storms, droughts, pandemics, and conflicts). ABM, as an increasingly popular systems approach for the evaluation of agricultural policies, offers the ability to model the heterogenous behaviour and decision making of individual actors as well as their interactions with their social and physical environment. By simulating the intricate interdependencies among farmers’ livelihoods, income, land use, biodiversity, and carbon sequestration, this study will equip policymakers with a decision support tool to identify and implement the most effective strategies for a sustainable and resilient future.

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