Robert M'barek:
BenIMPACT -- A Decision Support System for Agricultural Policy and Sustainable Use of Resources in Benin


University of Bonn, Institute for Agricultural Policy, Market Research and Economic Sociology, Germany

Rapidly changing climatic and socioeconomic conditions have major impacts on food security, rural poverty and resource availability in developing countries like Benin in West Africa. Decision support systems for agricultural policy can contribute to design strategies for the mitigation of critical developments.

In this context the poster presents BenIMPACT: Benin Integrated Modelling System for Policy Analysis, Climate and Technology Change. It consists of an Agricultural Sector Model, a tool to calculate water balances and impacts on crop yield (Crop Water Requirements-calculator) and a basic data system, linked to an Internet based interactive mapping tool (BenMap) for result exploitation.

The system is developed in the context of the IMPETUS-Project, which explores interdependencies between resource availability and socioeconomic developments in Benin. Results of various international research activities of natural and social sciences feed into the modelling system, which analyses scenarios regarding resource utilization and food security in Benin until 2020.

The Agricultural Sector Model covers the most important crops on a regional level, integrating aggregate primal-dual programming models maximizing agricultural profits with transport cost minimization and a globally well-behaved demand system. The Crop Water Requirements-calculator serves to calculate water balances per crop and region, defining constraints in the programming models as a result of temporal and spatial rainfall variation and evaluates impacts on yield.

Preliminary results indicate severe problems in the decade ahead, due to the combined impact of increasing population, limited availability of fertile soils, and regional and temporal water scarcity. BenIMPACT will provide concrete information on necessary changes in management systems and policy measures to prevent an impending economic and ecological crisis in Benin.

Keywords: Decision support system, Benin, rural poverty, food insecurity, resource scarcity


Contact Address: Robert M'barek, University of Bonn, Institute for Agricultural Policy, Market Research and Economic Sociology, Nussallee 21, 53115 Bonn, Germany, e-mail:
Andreas Deininger, 2003