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Mathematical programming model (MMP) for optimization of regional cropping patterns decisions: A case study

Mostafa Mardani Najafabadi, Saman Ziaee, Alireza Nikouei and Mahmoud Ahmadpour Borazjani

Agricultural Systems, 2019, vol. 173, issue C, 218-232

Abstract: The economic, technical and strategic factors are the three most important factors in examining the cropping patterns in Iran. Iran is geographically located in a part of the planet with specific climate constraints. Drought is one of the constraints that has been a major challenge to agricultural development for many years and has always been the subject of discussions and investigations. On the other hand, constraints such as agricultural soils, economic factors, climate change, agricultural workforce, etc., multiply the production challenges in the country. Despite such constraints, planning a coherent and targeted program for the cultivation of crops and overcome the existing problems is inevitable. The present study introduced a model for optimization of regional cropping pattern decisions, which is one of the subsets of the Multi-Objective Structural Planning (MOSP) approach, and addressed different objectives, such as economic, social and environmental objectives, separately and jointly. However, it is important to address the exchange of crops in different areas in order to achieve the fundamental objectives of determining the optimal cropping pattern. Therefore, in the proposed model of optimal regional cropping pattern, issues such as the transportation of crops and, consequently, virtual water and energy exchanges were also considered. In order to evaluate the proposed model, agricultural arable lands located in the political-geographic divisions of 23 counties of Isfahan province (Iran) were selected for examination. The results showed that in the main groups of grains and forage, a significant reduction was observed in the optimal crop area of the multi-objective model by 26% and 5%, respectively. Increasing the crop area of horticultural products by 10% in the optimal pattern of multi-objective model was another important factor in the analysis of the results. In general, in order to achieve the economic, social and environmental objectives mentioned in this study within the framework of a multi-objective planning, a 16% reduction in the level of the crop area in Isfahan province is inevitable. The results of this measure are reduction in the irrigation water consumption by 17%, increase in the profit by 58% and increase in the production by 11%. Regarding the fact that in the structural planning of cropping pattern, different and sometimes conflicting objectives are considered and the compromise between the objectives is possible in the multi-objective structural planning model, the decision makers are recommended to use this model.

Keywords: Regional cropping pattern; Multi-objective structural planning; Robust optimization; Iran (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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