Feedback Loops in the Field: System Dynamics Modeling Examples in Agriculture

Büşra Atamer Balkan, Wageningen University and Research


Policy design problems in agricultural systems include several nonlinear feedback relationships with complex interacting elements, and system dynamics modeling has been accepted as a powerful methodology for decision support in these problems. In this talk, I will present two recent examples of system dynamics modeling applications in agricultural systems. In the first example [with Nicolaidis Lindqvist, A., Odoemena, K., Lamb, R., Tiongco, M. A., Gupta, S., Peteru, A., and Menendez, H. M], we focused on understanding the impact of the pandemic on agriculture and food supply chains from the viewpoint of the smallholder farmer communities. In the second example [with Atzori, A.S and Gallo, A.] that required a more data-intensive approach, we investigated the dynamics of dairy farms to imulate variations in dairy production and hence reorganize supply during market shocks. These two projects vary in their purpose, scale, qualitative and quantitative characteristics, and intensity of data use. In this talk, I will discuss how feedback systems theory and systems thinking tools helped us to model the underlying dynamics of system structure and behavior in both examples.

Short Bio

Büşra Atamer Balkan is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Wageningen University and Research. She obtained her BSc, MSc, and PhD degrees from the Industrial Engineering Department of Middle East Technical University. After completing her PhD thesis entitled “System Dynamics Modeling of Agricultural Value Chains: The Case of Olive Oil in Turkey”, she worked in diverse international research projects at the intersection of systems modelling, agriculture and public health. In her current position, she is a member of an interdisciplinary research team building hybrid simulation models to understand the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in indoor social environments. Her research interests include simulation, system dynamics, agent-based modelling, agriculture and food  supply chain management, value chain sustainability and public health.


Friday, May 27, 2022, 4.00 pm - Zoom Meeting


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