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Are the impacts of global changes so irreversible? An application of the variability approach on tropical agrosystems

Abstract : Global changes have strong environmental and social-economic effects on the development of small islands. The expected negative effects (their abruptness and their intensity) put sustainable development at a core point of the agenda of these territories (Rio Summit, 2012; SAMOA pathway, 2014). Considering the role of agriculture for sustainability (ecosystem services, food security, income and wealth...), the earlier the agroecological transition is implemented, the better these territories will comply with sustainability. In this context, designing agroecological strategies face to global changes is of paramount importance. This leads to explore viability paths for agriculture. In this communication, we examine the conditions upon which French West Indies (FWI) can reach a state of agricultural viability. This approach is broadly discussed in the viability modeling literature that stresses on Social and Ecological Systems (De Lara and Doyen, 2008; Doyen et al., 2012). As far as farming systems are SES, a mathematical viability model is suggested at the farm scale to define in which ways agroecological transition is likely to occur (Durand et al., 2015). Our representation of farming systems grasps the complexity of cultivated areas (Désilles 2014). Two components are encompassed: an agronomic dimension (soil quality at plots scale) and an economic dimension (accumulated farmers’ income). The suggested model helps (1) determine viable trajectories of agrosystems in a context of uncertainty related to environmental perturbations and price instability. It also helps (2) reveal the decision rules that warrant the viability of farming systems. An illustration is provided for a diversity of farms that combine different crops (short cycle, annual, semi-perennial, perennial), agricultural practices (intensive vs. extensive) and soil characteristics (andosol, vertisol, ferralsol, nitisol...). Data show realistic situations. They were collected through soil analysis that discriminates crops, practices, and soil characteristics (Ozier-Lafontaine et al., 2014). By considering both economic and environmental perturbations, a numerical computation identifies the guaranteed basin capture and the associated feedback laws that drive the farming systems towards a robust viability. Our results shed light on the decision rules that permit farming systems to remain or become resilient.
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Submitted on : Thursday, June 4, 2020 - 10:34:50 PM
Last modification on : Friday, April 1, 2022 - 5:16:52 PM


  • HAL Id : hal-02784877, version 1
  • PRODINRA : 445594



Samuel Bates, Valérie Angeon, Anya Desilles, Patrick Saint-Pierre. Are the impacts of global changes so irreversible? An application of the variability approach on tropical agrosystems. World Conference on Natural Resource Modeling (RMA 2017 ), Jun 2017, Barcelone, Spain. ⟨hal-02784877⟩



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