Modelling Individual Decisions to Support
the European Policies Related to Agriculture

DG AGRI event: Analytical tools and models to support policies related to agriculture and food

MIND STEP was also introduced at the meeting organised by EC DG Agri on 26 September 2019 in Brussels.

Society assigns an increasing number of objectives to the policies influencing the agricultural sector and rural areas that it expects to see fulfilled. Therefore, justifications for policies extend well beyond mere food production. Evidence-based policymaking implies the development and maintenance of appropriate instruments for use in the design of these policies and for the monitoring of their effects. Given the focus on local effects of global events and EU policies, new approaches should take into account the individual decision making unit (e.g. agent-based or machine learning-based approaches). The models used by the EC need to be improved for future impact assessments to include such aspects as the environmental and climatic impacts of farming, delivery of ecosystem services, structural change and the integration of agriculture in rural society. There are also opportunities to better link models with growing number of geo-referenced datasets, European level surveys (including Integrated Farm Statistics and FADN), and the Copernicus programme. The SC2 RUR-04-2018 Horizon 2020 call funded three projects: AGRICORE, BESTMAP and MIND STEP are to explore these challenges between 2019-2023. 
The three new projects were introduced to EC officers from AGRI, JRC, ENV, CLIMA, GROW, other DGs and REA.  The agricultural and rural policy modelling capacity in the EC was presented and discuss the EC policy questions, modelling needs and potential synergies between the projects and the EC were discussed.