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Food Production and Climate Resilience in Peru

Funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering

Joy Singarayer and Nick Branch, University of Reading


Despite steady economic growth nationally over the last 15 years a high percentage of the rural population in Peru (44% in 2017) continue to live in chronic poverty. The agricultural system in these rural areas has its foundations in pre-Colonial social and cultural development, and the transformation of the landscape and environment through sophisticated, highly organised engineering. Future water-use availability and agricultural productivity will result from a complex interplay between climate/environmental change and the collective behaviour of farming communities in response to various environmental and socioeconomic factors. 

As part of this 3-year project, in order to find sustainable management practices that enhance climate resilience in conjunction with positive economic outcomes for farmers, we will be developing an agent-based model (ABM) to aid decision-makers to better understand and debate future adaptive management strategies. High-resolution future climate projections will be used to drive a model that will couple ecohydrology to an ABM of the farming community for each study region. Dynamic agent behaviour will be informed by outputs from the agro-economic research with Campesino farmers and NGOs. Interactions between agent farmers will influence the knowledge and uptake of agricultural techniques, crop-type, and expansion/abandonment of farms. With this framework users of the model will be able to investigate strategies for optimal outcomes of the complex human-environmental system.


Terrace farming in the Peruvian Andes (Photo by J. Singarayer, 2018)

Ongoing work

We are currently gathering information from the farming communities and on the hydrology flows, as well as projected climate change, all of which will inform the modelling component. Much of the fieldwork related to the social science and hydrological aspects has been delayed due to CovidCovid travel restrictions. 


We are developing an accessible ESRI Story Map for the CROPP project: 

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