At this week’s international conference on Integrated Systems Research for Sustainable Intensification in Smallholder Agriculture, Dolapo Enahoro made a presentation on foresight modeling to guide sustainable intensification of smallholder systems.
Concerns about the future of a global food and agricultural economy under threat from economic, socio-political and climate-related shocks has triggered renewed interest in the use of integrated foresight analyses to address questions of food supply and availability. With support from the CGIAR research program on Policies, Institutions and Markets (PIM), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and other donors, much attention is being paid to the development of tools and methodologies for assessing biophysical and economic dimensions and long-term prospects for global agricultural production and food security.
This presentation outlines foresight analysis work within the CGIAR’s Global Futures and Strategic Foresight program, highlighting the development and application of a quantitative modeling framework to address questions of technological innovation, climate change and agricultural productivity. We discuss the capacity of the modeling
platform for carrying out long-term projections of commodity markets and for evaluating the use and availability of key natural resources in agricultural production (e.g., land, water).
We point to some applications in which we quantify the country-level implications of global commodity interactions on agricultural incomes, nutrition, and related indices, and illustrate how this can serve as a useful way to guide research efforts and investments that are aimed at increasing productivity and production in agricultural systems. An example is provided of recent efforts to disaggregate the model’s representation of global livestock production into representative systems so as to improve its applicability. In this presentation we also suggest possible future directions in which the modeling platform of data, models and methodologies can be improved and linked to other activities so as to better address trade-offs, synergies and externalities relevant to sustainable intensification and smallholder agriculture. The institutional arrangement underlying the foresight analysis work is briefly outlined in the context of its potential for fostering cross-program collaboration and providing leverage to enhance systems-focused quantitative analyses.
More about the conference: