Computational Model Library

Large-scale land acquisitions (LSLAs) threaten smallholder livelihoods globally. Despite more than a decade of research on the LSLA phenomenon, it remains a challenge to identify governance conditions that may foster beneficial outcomes for both smallholders and investors. One potentially promising strategy toward this end is contract farming (CF), which more directly involves smallholder households in commodity production than conditions of acquisition and displacement.

To improve understanding of how CF may mediate the outcomes of LSLAs, we developed an agent-based model of smallholder livelihoods, which we used as a virtual laboratory to experiment on a range of hypothetical LSLA and CF implementation scenarios.

The model represents a community of smallholder households in a mixed crop-livestock system. Each agent farms their own land and manages a herd of livestock. Agents can also engage in off-farm employment, for which they earn a fixed wage and compete for a limited number of jobs. The principal model outputs include measures of household food security (representing access to a single, staple food crop) and agricultural production (of a single, staple food crop).

The SMASH model is an agent-based model of rural smallholder households. It models households’ evolving income and wealth, which they earn through crop sales. Wealth is carried in the form of livestock, which are grazed on an external rangeland (exogenous) and can be bought/sold as investment/coping mechanisms. The model includes a stylized representation of soil nutrient dynamics, modeling the inflows and outflows of organic and inorganic nitrogen from each household’s field.

The model has been applied to assess the resilience-enhancing effects of two different farm-level adaptation strategies: legume cover cropping and crop insurance. These two strategies interact with the model through different mechanims - legume cover cropping through ecological mechanisms and crop insurance through financial mechanisms. The model can be used to investigate the short- and long-term effects of these strategies, as well as how they may differently benefit different types of household.

Peer reviewed An Agent-Based Model of Campaign-Based Watershed Management

Samuel Assefa Aad Kessler Luuk Fleskens | Published Mon Sep 21 13:47:41 2020 | Last modified Fri Jun 4 15:23:59 2021

The model simulates the national Campaign-Based Watershed Management program of Ethiopia. It includes three agents (farmers, Kebele/ village administrator, extension workers) and the physical environment that interact with each other. The physical environment is represented by patches (fields). Farmers make decisions on the locations of micro-watersheds to be developed, participation in campaign works to construct soil and water conservation structures, and maintenance of these structures. These decisions affect the physical environment or generate model outcomes. The model is developed to explore conditions that enhance outcomes of the program by analyzing the effect on the area of land covered and quality of soil and water conservation structures of (1) enhancing farmers awareness and motivation, (2) establishing and strengthening micro-watershed associations, (3) introducing alternative livelihood opportunities, and (4) enhancing the commitment of local government actors.

This is an Agent Based Model of a generic food chain network consisting of stylized individuals representing producers, traders, and consumers. It is developed to: 1/ to describe the dynamically changing disaggregated flows of crop items between these agents, and 2/ to be able to explicitly consider agent behavior. The agents have implicit personal objectives for trading. Resilience and efficiency are quantified using the ascendency concept by linking these to the fraction of fulfillment of the overall explicit objective to have all consumers meet their food requirement. Different types of network structures in combination with different agent interaction types under different types of stylized shocks can be simulated.

The model is designed to analyse the effects of mitigation measures on the European brown hare (Lepus europaeus), which is directly affected by ongoing land use change and has experienced widespread decline throughout Europe since the 1960s. As an input, we use two 4×4 km large model landscapes, which were generated by a landscape generator based on real field sizes and crop proportions and differed in average field size and crop composition. The crops grown annually are evaluated in terms of forage suitability, breeding suitability and crop richness for the hare. Six mitigation scenarios are implemented, defined by a 10 % increase in: (1) mixed silphie, (2) miscanthus, (3) grass-clover ley, (4) alfalfa, (5) set-aside, and (6) general crop richness. The model shows that that both landscape configuration and composition have a significant effect on hare population development, which responds particularly strongly to compositional changes.

The purpose of this model is to explain the post-disaster recovery of households residing in their own single-family homes and to predict households’ recovery decisions from drivers of recovery. Herein, a household’s recovery decision is repair/reconstruction of its damaged house to the pre-disaster condition, waiting without repair/reconstruction, or selling the house (and relocating). Recovery drivers include financial conditions and functionality of the community that is most important to a household. Financial conditions are evaluated by two categories of variables: costs and resources. Costs include repair/reconstruction costs and rent of another property when the primary house is uninhabitable. Resources comprise the money required to cover the costs of repair/reconstruction and to pay the rent (if required). The repair/reconstruction resources include settlement from the National Flood Insurance (NFI), Housing Assistance provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA-HA), disaster loan offered by the Small Business Administration (SBA loan), a share of household liquid assets, and Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) fund provided by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Further, household income determines the amount of rent that it can afford. Community conditions are assessed for each household based on the restoration of specific anchors. ASNA indexes (Nejat, Moradi, & Ghosh 2019) are used to identify the category of community anchors that is important to a recovery decision of each household. Accordingly, households are indexed into three classes for each of which recovery of infrastructure, neighbors, or community assets matters most. Further, among similar anchors, those anchors are important to a household that are located in its perceived neighborhood area (Moradi, Nejat, Hu, & Ghosh 2020).

TERRoir level Organic matter Interactions and Recycling model

Myriam Grillot | Published Wed Apr 19 14:33:44 2017 | Last modified Wed Jun 17 14:13:35 2020

The TERROIR agent-based model was built for the multi-level analysis of biomass and nutrient flows within agro-sylvo-pastoral villages in West Africa. It explicitly takes into account both human organization and spatial extension of such flows.

Peer reviewed Hydroman

Dean Massey Moira Zellner | Published Sat May 16 17:02:25 2020

Hydroman is a flexible spatially explicit model coupling human and hydrological processes to explore shallow water tables and land cover interactions in flat agricultural landscapes, modeled after the Argentine Pampas. Hydroman aligned well with established hydrological models, and was validated with water table patterns and crop yield observed in the study area.

Political Participation

Didier Ruedin | Published Sat Apr 12 23:07:27 2014 | Last modified Tue Apr 14 19:59:31 2020

Implementation of Milbrath’s (1965) model of political participation. Individual participation is determined by stimuli from the political environment, interpersonal interaction, as well as individual characteristics.

AMBAWA simulates the flows of biomass between crop and livestock systems at the field, farm, and village scales in order to showcase innovating management practices of soil fertility in West Africa.

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