Agriculture - IFs

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Alert-warning.png Note: The documentation of IFs is 'under review' and is not yet 'published'!

Model Documentation - IFs

Corresponding documentation
Previous versions
Model information
Model link
Institution Frederick S. Pardee Center for International Futures, University of Denver (Pardee Center), Colorado, USA,
Solution concept
Solution method Dynamic recursive with annual time steps through 2100.
Anticipation Myopic

The agriculture/food model represents crops, meat, and fish production, consumption, and trade in the aggregate, Agricultural production is a function of the availability of resources, e.g. land, livestock, capital, and labor, as well as climate factors and technology. Crop yield is a function of technology, capital, and labor. It is differentiated between irrigated and non-irrigated land. It is posited to have upper limits and to be responsive to stocks/inventories.

The model also accounts for lost production (such as spoilage in the fields or in the first stages of the food supply chain), distribution and transformation losses, and consumption losses, which are responsive to average income. Income levels are the primary drivers of caloric demand, which then determines food demand taking into account country-specific differences than can reflect income and cultural differences. The model distinguishes crop demand for food, animal feed, and industrial usage. Stocks or inventories (or relative prices in different model versions) provide feedback to supply and demand sides of the model.

Stocks and stock changes also play a role in driving the model’s demand for agricultural investment. The actual levels of investment are finalized in the economic model of IFs and subject to constraints there. The investment can be of two types – investment for expanding and maintaining cropland (extensification) and investment for increasing crop yields per unit area (intensification). The expected relative rates of return determine the split.

The final key dynamics addressed in the agriculture model relate to land, livestock, and water. The latter of these is very straightforward, driven only by crop production. Changes in livestock herd size are influenced by changes in the demand for meat, but also by changes in available grazing land, and the ability of countries to import.