Abstract for: Assessing the Linkages Between Agriculture and Food Security with Household- and Regional-Level Models

The objective of this paper is to illustrate the process and usefulness of incorporating less- commonly-used indicators of food security into quantitative SD models linking these indicators to agricultural production. We focus on indicators for food access and stability because many previous quantitative analyses of food security focus instead on indicators of food availability. We represent three indicators (food consumption expenditures, a food insecurity experience scale and dietary diversity) in two previously-developed quantitative SD models, one for an individual household in a maize-based production system in the Kenya highlands and the other in multiple-region sheep production and marketing system in Mexico. Use of SD modeling with multiple food access indicators provides relevant insights about the dynamic impacts of food production shocks for a household and demand growth and production subsidies at a regional level. Formalized assessment of the stability of food security outcomes is uncommon in quantitative analyses linking agriculture and food security, so we employ metrics of hardness (ability to withstand shocks) and elasticity (ability to return to previous conditions) to illustrate their application. SD modeling provides a way forward for improved assessment of the complex dynamics linking agricultural production and food security outcomes.