Multi-Agent Simulation Approach on the Impact of Agricultural

This research adapted the Land-Use Dynamic Simulator (LUDAS) framework to develop a multi-agent simulation model (Vea-LUDAS) that captured the impact of agricultural land-use change adaptation options in Vea catchment, Ghana. Sub-models on the maize credit acceptance and soil loss were developed as adaptations to the LUDAS framework.

The Vea-LUDAS model simulated the impact of maize credit scenario – MCS (an agricultural land-use change adaptation strategy) on: (i) Agricultural land-use, (ii) Farm household livelihood and (iii) Soil loss potential, and the impact of MCS was compared with the baseline scenario (BS) i.e. business-as-usual for a 20 year simulation period (2012 – 2032). This research also determined the association between heterogeneous farm households and their climate change perception. Further, the underlying factors for agricultural land-use change (ALUC) options in the study area were identified. Mixed method was used for data collection and this included a household survey, farmer and key informant interviews, field measurements, focus group discussion, scenario exploration exercise and role playing games..

The perception of heterogeneous household shows similarities and differences. The endowments of households have influence on their perception about climate change. Identified factors influencing ALUC options in the study
area includes water (rainfall) availability, tradition and land suitability. From the simulation result, the number of maize adopters increased from about 20 % to about 50 % and the area put under maize cultivation increased by iv about 266 %. MCS influenced the conversion of some agricultural lands into maize cropland. Average annual aggregated crop yield was 6.3 % higher under MCS compared to BS. Soil loss under BS and MCS showed no statistical difference, but the simulation result shows that cultivation on cropland with high erosion risk has implication for soil loss.

In conclusion, this study shows that MCS can improve farm household livelihood in the face of changing climate. However, an encompassing policy strategy will boost crop production and household resilience towards the impact of climate change and variability. Some farmer adaptation strategies should include improved fertiliser subsidy scheme, better access to irrigated farming, accessibility to improved land preparation equipment and improved seed varieties.