, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 29-38
Date: 09 Dec 2009

Modeling changes in paddy rice sown areas in Asia

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Paddy rice fields in Asia account for over 90% of global total rice cultivation area, and the major rice-producing countries of Asia account for over one-half of the world’s population. Monitoring and understanding the dynamic changes in paddy rice agriculture in Asia are very important for agricultural sustainability, food and water security, and greenhouse gas emissions. This paper presents a crop choice decision model that dynamically simulates future changes in sown areas of paddy rice in Asia. This model was developed under the framework of Action-in-Context (AiC) with the aim of understanding land users’ decisions on crop choices among a set of available alternatives using a crop utility function. Empirical validation for the model conducted after model construction indicated the reliability of the model for addressing the complexity of current agricultural land-use change and its capacity for investigating long-term scenarios in the future. Finally, the model was applied for future scenario analysis over a time frame of 30 years with 5-year increments, beginning from the year 2005. The simulation results provided insights into rates and trajectories of changes in Asian rice areas over the test period, with the resulting implications for future agricultural sustainability in Asia. These outcomes can improve understanding of projected land-use changes and explain their causes, locations and consequences, as well as providing support for land-use planning and policy making.