Why do some food availability policies fail? A simulation approach to understanding food production systems in south-east Africa
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Food production systems in south-east Africa face a persistent puzzle: despite the implementation of numerous plausible food availability policies, the region’s history is characterised by many cases of food production systems that have underperformed by not feeding the relevant population. This puzzle is addressed by investigating the dynamics of the region’s food production systems. A theory-based framework is proposed to describe the interaction of biological and socio-economic processes that determine the availability of food calories. The framework is translated into a formal model and computer simulation used to analyse its dynamics in a population growth scenario together with different policy interventions. The results suggest three key concepts for understanding the performance of food production systems: stock management of soil organic matter, policy effort threshold, and land use anticipation. These concepts constitute theoretical approaches to explaining how dynamic interactions can create the puzzle of potentially beneficial policies failing to provide enough food calories.
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CitationSystems Research and Behavioral Science
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons
Subjectsouth-east Africafood production systemsfood availabilityfood policySystem Dynamics modelling
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