This article presents conceptual and empirical foundations for new parsimonious simulation models that are being used to assess future food and environmental security of farm populations. The conceptual framework integrates key features of the biophysical and economic processes on which the farming systems are based. The approach represents a methodological advance by coupling important behavioural processes, for example, self-selection in adaptive responses to technological and environmental change, with aggregate processes, such as changes in market supply and demand conditions or environmental conditions as climate. Suitable biophysical and economic data are acritical limiting factor in modelling these complex systems, particularly for the characterization of out-of-sample counterfactuals in ex ante analyses. Parsimonious, population-based simulation methods are described that exploit available observational, experimental, modelled and expert data. The analysis makes use of a new scenario design concept called representative agricultural pathways. A case study illustrates how these methods can be used to assess food and environmental security. The concluding section addresses generalizations of parametric forms and linkages of regional models to global models.
Antle, J.M.; Stoorvogel, J.J.; Valdivia, R.O. New parsimonious simulation methods and tools to assess future food and environmental security of farm populations. Philosophical Transactions B: Biological Sciences (2014) 369 (1639) 1-15. [DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2012.0280]