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Optimizing cropland cover for stable food production in Sub-Saharan Africa using simulated yield and Modern Portfolio Theory

Bodin, Per LU ; Olin, Stefan LU ; Pugh, Thomas Alan Miller and Arneth, Almut (2014) In Earth System Dynamics Discussion 5. p.1571-1606
Abstract
Food security can be defined as stable access to food of good nutritional quality. In Sub Saharan Africa access to food is strongly linked to local food production and the capacity to generate enough calories to sustain the local population. Therefore it is important in these regions to generate not only sufficiently high yields but also to reduce interannual variability in food production. Traditionally, climate impact simulation studies have focused on factors that underlie maximum productivity ignoring the variability in yield. By using Modern Portfolio Theory, a method stemming from economics, we here calculate optimum current and future crop selection that maintain current yield while minimizing variance, vs. maintaining variance... (More)
Food security can be defined as stable access to food of good nutritional quality. In Sub Saharan Africa access to food is strongly linked to local food production and the capacity to generate enough calories to sustain the local population. Therefore it is important in these regions to generate not only sufficiently high yields but also to reduce interannual variability in food production. Traditionally, climate impact simulation studies have focused on factors that underlie maximum productivity ignoring the variability in yield. By using Modern Portfolio Theory, a method stemming from economics, we here calculate optimum current and future crop selection that maintain current yield while minimizing variance, vs. maintaining variance while maximizing yield. Based on simulated yield using the LPJ-GUESS dynamic vegetation model, the results show that current cropland distribution for many crops is close to these optimum distributions. Even so, the optimizations displayed substantial potential to either increase food production and/or to decrease its variance regionally. Our approach can also be seen as a method to create future scenarios for the sown areas of crops in regions where local food production is important for food security. (Less)
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author
organization
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type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Earth System Dynamics Discussion
volume
5
pages
1571 - 1606
publisher
Copernicus Gesellschaft Mbh
ISSN
2190-4995
DOI
10.5194/esdd-5-1571-2014
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
ac66c50a-93bb-4d9a-a2f6-e63618f28d43 (old id 4857461)
alternative location
http://www.earth-syst-dynam-discuss.net/5/1571/2014/esdd-5-1571-2014.pdf
date added to LUP
2016-03-09 14:47:43
date last changed
2016-04-16 02:09:54
@article{ac66c50a-93bb-4d9a-a2f6-e63618f28d43,
  abstract     = {Food security can be defined as stable access to food of good nutritional quality. In Sub Saharan Africa access to food is strongly linked to local food production and the capacity to generate enough calories to sustain the local population. Therefore it is important in these regions to generate not only sufficiently high yields but also to reduce interannual variability in food production. Traditionally, climate impact simulation studies have focused on factors that underlie maximum productivity ignoring the variability in yield. By using Modern Portfolio Theory, a method stemming from economics, we here calculate optimum current and future crop selection that maintain current yield while minimizing variance, vs. maintaining variance while maximizing yield. Based on simulated yield using the LPJ-GUESS dynamic vegetation model, the results show that current cropland distribution for many crops is close to these optimum distributions. Even so, the optimizations displayed substantial potential to either increase food production and/or to decrease its variance regionally. Our approach can also be seen as a method to create future scenarios for the sown areas of crops in regions where local food production is important for food security.},
  author       = {Bodin, Per and Olin, Stefan and Pugh, Thomas Alan Miller and Arneth, Almut},
  issn         = {2190-4995},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {1571--1606},
  publisher    = {Copernicus Gesellschaft Mbh},
  series       = {Earth System Dynamics Discussion},
  title        = {Optimizing cropland cover for stable food production in Sub-Saharan Africa using simulated yield and Modern Portfolio Theory},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.5194/esdd-5-1571-2014},
  volume       = {5},
  year         = {2014},
}