Project code: DFG SFB 564: G1.1
Contract period: 01.07.2003
Purpose of research: Basic research
Farm households, whose living standard largely depend on the successful management of natural resources, have a low per capita income and are in danger of further impoverishment due to unsustainable resource management. Investigations in the first phase confirmed the hypothesis. A great number of farms were analyzed and clustered in representative types in both countries. Sustainability was measured using a sustainability index, which indicates tremendous environmental effects and variation between individual farms and ethnic groups. Sub-project G1.1 will follow three major tasks. The first is to evaluate sustainability strategies on the farm and farming system level, as it was done in the previous phase, but on the basis of a significantly extended data base. The second is to aggregate farm household data to the regional level. For this, a comparative-static approach is chosen. The third is to develop a multi-agent-based simulation model. Multi-agent simulation models (MAS) as well as GIS-tools are gaining increasing importance as tools for simulating future agriculture resource use, since they allow the integration of a wide range of different stakeholder's perceptions. It becomes possible to simulate the dynamic effects of changing land use patterns, environmental policy options, and technical innovation together with environmental constraints and structural change issues. The MAS approach is used to model heterogeneous farm-household and political decision makerâ€™s perspectives by capturing their socio-economic, environmental, and spatial interactions explicitly. The integration of economic and spatial processes facilitates the consideration of feedback effects and the efficient use of scarce land resources. The simulation runs of the model will be carried out with a socio-economic and GIS data set, which is provided by the previous project phase in the attempt to generate effective ways of land use resource management. Land use efficiency is strongly influenced by the overall land allocation policy analyzed in project F1. Therefore, this is an important area further integrated research using MAS in combination with GIS as modeling tools. To achieve a continuous integration of results in the best possible way, a computer-based discussion/communication platform is developed. This serves as the conceptual basis for the development of the final multi-agent simulation model. Results of the discussion/communication platform and the agent-based simulation model will continuously be passed on to downstream sub-projects to be integrated into the ongoing research activities.