Session 3: Modeling Agriculture, Food Systems, and Land Use

9:30 AM - 10:50 AM | Room Michigamme (Lower level)

Using Participatory System Dynamics Modeling of Agricultural-Environmental Systems in a Rural Development Context

Robert B. Richardson and Laura Schmitt Olabisi
Michigan State University

To meet rising global demand for food, there have been calls for a focus on sustainable intensification, defined as increasing food production from existing agricultural lands while minimizing pressure on the environment. The objective of this study was to advance the understanding of landscape-level implications of sustainable intensification of agriculture for forest conservation in Zambia. Participatory system dynamics modeling was used to examine evidence for linkages between sustainable intensification of agriculture and forest conservation. Results suggest that deforestation is largely driven by clearing land for agriculture and production of cooking fuels to meet the needs of a rapidly rising population.

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Developing Consensus-Based Models of Readiness and Capacity for Implementing Farmers’ Market Interventions

Eunlye Lee, David Ngendahimana, Henry Olaisen, Jarrod E. Dalton, and Darcy Freedman
Case Western Reserve University
Pat Beb
Ohio State University Extension
Ashley S. Davis
Ohio Department of Health

Nutrition-related policy, systems, and environmental (PSE) interventions such as farmers’ markets are increasingly identified as a strategy for improving population health through the promotion of healthy eating practices within communities. The principal objective of this research is to provide practitioners with a resource base for evaluating community readiness and capacity for PSE interventions using an iterative, consensus-based modeling process. Results inform the development of a web-based tool for use by public health and community nutrition practitioners to guide identification of PSE intervention strategies based on the realities of community context and capacity.

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Mental Models of Food Security in Mali

Udita Sanga and Laura Schmidt Olabisi
Michigan State University
Louie Rivers III
North Carolina State University

West Africa struggles with high levels of food insecurity. In this study, we aim to address the various mechanisms and processes within the complex food security systems in Mali. The study developed mental models using individual narratives around climate change and food security using data collected in July 2015 among 44 respondents in Koutiala district, Mali. The mental modeling process revealed underlying issues such as intergenerational conflicts and loss of social capital around climate change and food insecurity in ways that have not been explored before. It will guide future collaborative system dynamics and agent based model building on food security.

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