Sustainable behaviors in agriculture: Modeling societal transitions from individual decision making

In the context of climate change, global increase in production as well as consumption of limited resources requires a transition to a more climate resilient, and resource efficient society. While research and development policy on transition toward sustainable behavior have focused primarily on communicating sustainable behavior and changing attitude to climate change, little is known about the decision making process leading to behavior change at the individual level or the collective impact this change may have on the socio-economic-environment at a larger spatial-temporal scale. Considering that agricultural production and consumption contributes largely to greenhouse gas emissions, and climate change is threatening food security, sustainable behavior in supply and demand parts of the agrifood system can be an important part of climate change mitigation. This research aims to model sustainable behavior adoption in agriculture from both supply-demand side and how changes from one side affect the other. Innovative integrated modeling combining both bottom-up agent-based modeling of individual behavior, top-down general equilibrium analysis, and participatory tools with role playing game are developed. The research closes the research gap in modeling supply-demand dynamics and a practical gap in policy intervention promoting adoption of sustainable behaviors.

  • : Nga Nguyen, Alexey Voinov