Written by Xinyuan Shang
IFPRI senior research fellow Keith Wiebe, scientist Daniel Mason-D’Croz, and senior research analyst Shahnila Dunston presented the International Model for Policy Analysis of Agricultural Commodities (IMPACT) at a workshop hosted by the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), on September 18-22, 2017. The workshop was organized by Agricultural Information Institute of CAAS, Center for International Agricultural Research of CAAS, and the International Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (ICARD).
Nie Fengying, deputy director of Agricultural Information Institute and deputy director of Center for International Agricultural Research, welcomed the IMPACT team and elaborated the objectives of this workshop. There is great potential in Africa’s agriculture sector that has yet to be unlocked. However, arable land use and agricultural productivity remain low, while millions of people are hungry and malnourished on the continent. Since 1960s, China has been playing an important role in Africa’s agriculture sector. Technology transfer from China to Africa, is a key element of China’s South-South Cooperation and poverty alleviation strategies. Sino-Africa technology transfer helps improve agricultural productivity, diets, and nutrition and health outcomes. In the meantime, having the right analytical tool to help researchers understand the potential impact of technology transfer and provide evidence-based results to policy makers, is vital. Because of its power of scenario analysis, IMPACT model help inform and improve policymaking, according to Nie.
IMPACT model was developed in the early 1990s to study the long-term challenges in reducing hunger and poverty sustainably. With a partial equilibrium multi-market economic model at its core, IMPACT model has been expanded to a network of linked economic, water, crop, and climate models. The new IMPACT is a global agricultural system simulation model that helps researchers analyze complex policy questions and inform policymaking. The integration of different models enables researchers to use IMPACT model for in depth analysis of critical issues in a changing world. IMPACT model has been extensively used in a variety of studies on the impact of macroeconomic policies, climate change, and water scarcities on agricultural markets, food consumption, and nutrition and health outcomes at national, regional, and global levels.
A total of 12 participants from Agricultural Information Institute of CAAS, Institute of Agricultural Economics and Development of CAAS, Institute of Environment and Sustainable Development in Agriculture of CAAS, and Biodiversity International attended this workshop. Coming with different research agendas, they joined the workshop to learn how to apply IMPACT model to study a variety of agricultural economic issues, as well as the state-of-art modelling and advanced technical methods.
The training was offered by Mason-D’Croz and Dunston. Through scenario analysis exercises, they helped participants understand the research design and mechanisms of the IMPACT model. The team presented examples of research design for recent IMPACT projects, including food security and climate change to 2050. Participants learned how to build and analyze scenarios using the model and discussed research topics of interest that could use this model. The workshop received positive feedback from the participants.
As lead of IFPRI’s IMPACT program, Wiebe said the team is always interested in developing ties to potential collaborators at the country-level. This workshop increased visibility for the model, linked IFPRI researchers to experts working in similar areas in China, and helped the IMPACT team improve and validate their modeling work.
Additional information about the IMPACT model:
a. Global Futures and Strategic Foresight website: http://globafutures.cgiar.org
b. IFPRI’s IMPACT website: https://www.ifpri.org/program/impact-model
c. And the IMPACT documentation: http://www.ifpri.org/publication/international-model-policy-analysis-agricultural-commodities-and-trade-impact-model-0