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Modelling biomass and nutrient flows in agro-food systems at the local scale : scenario simulation and assessment in a French case-study

Abstract : Feeding the growing global population in a context of global change raises new challenges for agriculture regarding its production efficiency and impacts on natural resources. Solutions for towards farming sustainability require to improve nutrient and biomass recycling in agro-food systems, i.e. to move from linear to more circular flows of fertilizers, crop products, feedstuff, by-products and organic wastes. Innovative tools exploring material exchanges between farms and their upstream and downstream partners in agro-food systems at the local scale are needed. In the present work, the state of the art about analysis methods, models and environmental tools addressing nutrient and biomass flows at different scales is reviewed. The FAN (“Flows in Agricultural Network”) model, an agent-based model that simulates a range of material flows among farms and their partners within agricultural districts is developed. FAN processes are explained in details and a sensitivity analysis to some key variables is performed. In addition, the FAN model is applied to a French case-study to assess the performances of contrasted scenarios aiming to enhance nutrient use efficiency, recycling strategies, biogas production and system redesign. The outcomes from the scenario simulation are analyzed are assessed in terms of food provisioning, nutrient cycling and greenhouse gas emissions. This work shows the usefulness of prospective, agent-based tools for greater farming and food-chain sustainability, to design and evaluate collective solutions for circular economy and to account for interactions among economic actors within complex agro-food systems.
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Hugo Fernandez Mena. Modelling biomass and nutrient flows in agro-food systems at the local scale : scenario simulation and assessment in a French case-study. Business administration. Université de Bordeaux, 2017. English. ⟨NNT : 2017BORD0960⟩. ⟨tel-01866072⟩

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