An Agent-Based Network Approach For Understanding, Analyzing And Supporting Rural Producer Organizations In Agriculture
Recent empirical findings suggest that empowerment of producer organizations (POs) in agriculture requires an effective targeting and case-specific design of development interventions. By viewing PO as a socio-economic network, we develop an agent-based modeling approach for ex-ante impact assessment of PO support interventions. The paper demonstrates the application of the approach to the example of coffee producers from Uganda and analyzes one of their sub-county level networks more closely. The simulation model is implemented with stakeholder involvement through interactive net-map sessions. The simulation experiments reflect the interventions that are being implemented or considered for implementation by ongoing research of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). The predicted effects of interventions are displayed at the levels of the producer organization and individual farming households, emphasizing the importance of careful implementation of future motivation schemes.
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