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Seventh Thematic Seminar

Tuesday, 5 July 2022

July 5, 2022 the fourth Thematic Seminar was held. Here, Firouzeh Taghikhah and Arjuna Srinidhi gave a talk about Integrated modeling of extended agro-food supply chains: A systems approach and Redesigning watershed development to improve climate resilience of semiarid farming systems in India.

Sadly, something went wrong with the recording of the seminar, so no recording is available. Besides this, a short overview of the talk can be found below. 

From February 22, 2022 we will start Thematic Seminars every three weeks. The seminars will be organized by our 4TU RE DeSIRE Thematic Working Groups. Slots & times will be rotating, so everyone (also fellows from other time zones) have at least the possibility to join a few of the seminars. We aim at 12 sessions this year, two dedicated seminars per DeSIRE theme.

The talks will be open for everyone who is interested in Resilience Engineering and will be recorded. Recordings and a summary will be published afterwards via our 4TU RE website. You are warmly invited to join these seminars and share the link amongst interested colleagues!

Integrated modeling of extended agro-food supply chains: A systems approach by Firouzeh Taghikhah

The current intense food production-consumption is one of the main sources of environmental pollution and contributes to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Organic farming is a potential way to reduce environmental impacts by excluding synthetic pesticides and fertilizers from the process. Despite ecological benefits, it is unlikely that conversion to organic can be financially viable for farmers, without additional support and incentives from consumers. This study models the interplay between consumer preferences and socio-environmental issues related to agriculture and food production. We operationalize the novel concept of extended agro-food supply chain and simulate adaptive behavior of farmers, food processors, retailers, and customers. Not only the operational factors (e.g., price, quantity, and lead time), but also the behavioral factors (e.g., attitude, perceived control, social norms, habits, and personal goals) of the food suppliers and consumers are considered in order to foster organic farming. We propose an integrated approach combining agent-based, discrete-event, and system dynamics modeling for a case of wine supply chain. In practice, our proposed model may serve as a decision-support tool to guide evidence-based policymaking in the food and agriculture sector.

Redesigning watershed development to improve climate resilience of semiarid farming systems in India by Arjuna Srinidhi

Watershed Development (WSD) has been the national approach to improve agricultural production and alleviate poverty in semiarid, dryland regions of India. However, despite the initial success of WSD interventions, the over-exploitation of groundwater to support water-intensive cash crops has led to falling water tables in several districts. In addition, the semiarid areas are threatened by an increasing frequency of extreme weather events, land degradation and desertification which are exacerbated by climate change. Several studies and policy experts call for a redesign of WSD in India to improve the climate resilience of its farming systems. We apply the Climate Resilience in Semiarid India (CRISI) framework to two case-studies that have been subject to different trajectories of WSD and identify interventions and design characteristics of the interventions that contribute to or hinder building climate resilience. Results show that typical WSD interventions (e.g. water harvesting structures) did not adequately address issues important for resilience of the farming system, such as equity and the sustainable management of water. Additional efforts towards diversifying livelihoods and building capacities of the local community for governance of resources, products and services contributed to the resilience capacities of adaptability and transformability, but they often lack adequate financial and technical support. We recommend that WSD programmes have in-built features to benefit marginalised sections and empower the local community for long-term adaptive management of the farming system (e.g. by promoting inclusive farmer producer organisations).

All individual seminars can be found in de 4TU RE calendar.