New special sectors were added to the T21 model to facilitate detailed analysis of agriculture, food and nutrition security, and rural poverty; the focus of the CCGA project. A schematic overview of the structure of the new CCGA part of the model is shown below. This overview is highly simplified in order to facilitate understanding. A more detailed representation and a detailed legend of resources can be found in the library. At the centre of the figure lie Food and Nutrition Security, Food Production (Agriculture), and Rural Poverty. Food and Nutrition Security as defined by the FAO is influenced by the following pillars:
- Food availability: sufficient quantities of food available on a consistent basis.
- Food access: having sufficient resources to obtain appropriate foods for a nutritious diet.
- Food use: appropriate use based on knowledge of basic nutrition and care, as well as adequate water and sanitation.
As depicted in the figure, food and nutrition security affect the social resources, especially the health of the population while their components are driven by other factors of the system. Food availability is determined by Food Production (Agriculture) and net food import, food aid and food stocks; food use is predominantly a result of education and health; and food access depends on food prices and poverty. Rural poverty is determined by income (in rural areas mainly income from agriculture) and the distribution of this income. Income distribution is governed by access to social services, access to markets, access to credit, and employment levels, all of which are results of the interplay of social and economic factors.
Food Production, reduced by exports, feed, seed and other non-food uses, losses and waste, comprises the main food source of the people. It is a function of numerous factors in every sphere: economy, environment, and society. In the environment sphere, resources such as water availability, temperature, solar radiation, and soil nutrients are some of the most important determinants of food production. In the social sphere, resources such as education (particularly in agriculture), R&D, employment (labour force availability), and health are all crucial determinants of productivity. In the economic sphere, economic resources are calculated such as infrastructure (e.g. roads that are vital to provide inputs to the farmer and outputs to the market), agriculture machinery such as tractors, processing capacity for converting unprocessed products into processed food, irrigation equipment, and sufficient storage capacity to minimize food waste and loss.
Hence, food production is not only crucial for food availability but also the main driver of income for farmers, which reduces rural poverty and also enables savings and investment in various productive resources.
Therefore, in order to produce sufficient amounts of food to provide food and nutrition security for a growing population and to reduce rural poverty, it is necessary to ensure the availability of the contributing resources, whether economic, social, or environmental, as well as external inputs. In most of the cases, this can be done by investment. However, the availability of environmental resources for example is also affected by agriculture production itself and the use of external inputs. Synthetic inputs, such as mineral fertilizer and chemical pesticides, have to be bought by farmers as they cannot be produced on-farm, while natural inputs can be produced on-farm by the farmer’s themselves. In the latter case, the knowledge and resources needed are in reach of farmers through training, and in the case of synthetic inputs (e.g. mineral fertilizer) the resource needed is cash. That is why the model assumes that synthetic inputs can be provided through expenditure for subsidies etc. while natural external inputs such as natural fertilizer (e.g., manure) or biological pest control mainly depend on the level of social resources, specifically knowledge, and hence their use can be strengthened through expenditure for training. The sources of funds for the investments in resources can be either public or private. Public allocation of funds for different expenditures is a policy decision, explicitly left for the user of T21 to decide. The levels of private investment are mainly driven by income levels but also influenced by government decisions and the quality of governance since these affect the population’s propensity to save, and hence private investment.
Thus, as seen in the figure above, ensuring food and nutrition security and fighting rural poverty requires the concerted interplay of numerous factors involved, coming from very different spheres and sectors. This entails a network of cause-and-effect interrelationships that embody hundreds of feedback loops.