AgMIP6 Global Workshop Summary

AgMIP6-group-photoAgMIP6 Group Photo

AgMIP has been developing this interdisciplinary research, or integrated assessments, of agricultural systems since 2010. Led out of Columbia University, the University of Florida, and Oregon State University, with major funding from UK Aid, AgMIP is comprised of an international community of scientists and stakeholders. The community, motivated by a desire to improve the state of food security research and then translate that into effective policy, periodically comes together at AgMIP Global Workshops to share new protocols, research results and plans for future collaborations.

The sixth of these AgMIP Global Workshops (AgMIP6) was held in Montpellier, France, June 28-30, 2016 where 220 participants from 39 countries and five continents attended. The participants represented not only a wide range of national interests, but also a diversity of fields including climate, crop, and economic modelers, as well as experts in nutrition and stakeholder engagement. Sessions were organized around three guiding themes: Next Generation Knowledge, Data, and Tools; Coordinated Global and Regional Integrated Assessments; and Modeling for Sustainable Farming Systems. Each of these themes represents one aspect of AgMIP research that enables the community as a whole to improve the assessments and bring them to the next level.

Marc Rosegrant, keynote speaker, commented after the opening session, “The AgMIP6 workshop has gotten off to a great start with an excellent introduction to CGRA, the new Coordinated Global and Regional Assessments, that will be one of the really big things going forward in AgMIP. I think these assessments will allow us a better understanding of the links between climate, food security, food policy, and nutrition security than we’ve seen in any other comprehensive assessments.”

Following this plenary, participants attended themed parallel presentations. The parallel sessions were a new addition to AgMIP6 from previous workshops, and were held between plenaries on the first and second day. These sessions consisted of a series of oral presentations of selected abstracts. The range of topics reflected the variety of participants’ interests and included Seasonal Forecasts and Climate Extremes, Crop Model Improvement, Stakeholders and Decision Support, Remote Sensing, Land-Use and Scaling, Nutrition and Food Security, and Information Technologies and Data. See the program for a complete list of topics and access the abstracts and presentations for all the parallel sessions.

Alex Ruane, AgMIP Science Coordinator, said of the new parallel sessions, “For the first time, AgMIP6 included parallel presentation sessions that highlighted innovative research and cutting edge applications in agricultural modeling. These sessions demonstrate the tremendous successes of AgMIP’s 30+ activities and catalyzed the identification of new ideas for future model development and decision support for a spectrum of stakeholders.”

Cynthia Rosenzweig, AgMIP Co-PI summed up her impressions of the workshop; “We thank our French colleagues at AGROPOLIS, CIRAD, and INRA for co-hosting AgMIP6, the annual gathering of agricultural modelers from around the world. It was thrilling to experience the lively interactions among the participants from the wide spectrum of topics, including ozone, data harmonization, calibration, and coordinated global and regional assessments. A special thank you to the nutrition scientists who are teaming with AgMIP to create models and metrics for food and global health.”

Ghassem Asrar, AgMIP Steering Council Co-Chair, commented on the workshop, “I congratulate the entire AgMIP team for another very successful annual meeting. A combination of plenary presentations and breakout discussions convey the breadth and depth of AgMIP scientific contributions and impact, both at regional and global level. It is remarkable that all of this is accomplished through a community of volunteers who benefit greatly from being a part of the AgMIP team.”

As the AgMIP community left the workshop in Montpellier they had plans in hand to forge ahead in their research. The workshop had been successful in its aim to bring this community together and propel the research forward. They understood that the global food system impacts every person on this planet and accurate planning information is urgently needed today to ensure it continues to deliver nutrition to us all now and into the future.

See the full summary here.


AgMIP Regional Research Teams in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia have been using a new tool to help them streamline their workflow and use the power of cloud computing. This new tool named FACE-IT is an open, interactive, online platform that enables users to access data; easily build and run workflows; and analyze, visualize, and share results.

Developed out of the University of Chicago – The Center for Robust Decisionmaking on Climate and Energy Policy (RDCEP), FACE-IT is an effort to develop a new IT infrastructure to accelerate existing disciplinary research and enable information transfer among traditionally separate fields. At present, finding data and processing it into usable form can dominate research efforts. By providing ready access to not only data but also the software tools used to process it for specific uses (e.g., climate impact and economic model inputs), FACE-IT allows researchers to concentrate their efforts on analysis. Lowering barriers to data access allows researchers to stretch in new directions and allows researchers to learn and respond to the needs of other fields.


New article reviews history of agricultural systems modeling


Jones et al., 2016

“Brief history of agricultural systems modeling,” an article authored by many members of the AgMIP community, was recently released in Agricultural Systems. The article provides a historic analysis of agricultural modeling, and takes note of the lessons learned to better prepare for the next generation of agricultural modeling. The article highlights several key points: Advances in modeling were fastest after events caused economic or environmental concern; technological advances have had major benefits on agricultural system modeling; progress towards robust models has been enabled through open, harmonized data; modularity and interoperability are features needed for next generation models; and more integration among disciplines and data are needed to advance agricultural models.


Video – the benefits of co-developing research

By Gregory Reppucci

Since 2012, The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) Regional Research Teams in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia have been conducting assessments of the impacts of variable and changing climate on regional food security. These integrated assessments feature an interdisciplinary approach that link climate, crop, livestock, and economic models to simulate agricultural productivity, rural income, and poverty rates.

Fundamental to the AgMIP Regional Integrated Assessment approach is the co-development of research that incorporates knowledge from local stakeholders. Stakeholder engagement cannot wait until after the research has been completed. Instead, it is an ongoing discussion that occurs throughout the research process where stakeholder knowledge and input assist scientists in producing outputs that are relevant to decision-makers.


AgMIP Launches Coordinated Global and Regional Assessments

By Alex Ruane, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies
AgMIP Science Coordinator

CGRAcircle3tightAgMIP is pleased to announce the launch of the Coordinated Global and Regional Assessments (CGRA) of climate impacts on agriculture and food security, including the release of a new CGRA webpage, CGRA site survey, and protocols for a +1.5⁰C CGRA Assessment designed to contribute to an upcoming special report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).


AgMIP6 Nutrition Roundtable

Scientists discuss nutrition, health and climate change at roundtable side session of AgMIP6 Global Workshop.

By Dave Gustafson
This press release was originally posted by the ILSI research foundation here

Scientists have recognized for some time that climate change represents a major and growing threat to agricultural production systems. However, a new area of focus has recently emerged involving the complicated linkages between our changing environment, nutrition security, and human health, which are intensified due to our highly interconnected regional and global food systems.


AgMIP Regional Teams host All-India RAPs conference

AllIndiaRaps Participants listen to presentation by Dr. N. Subash, Principal Investigator of AgMIP Indo-Gangetic Basin Team.

By Nataraja Subash

On May 26th, 2016, a one-day National Level Technical Experts consultation meeting was hosted by the AgMIP South Asia Regional Research Teams (RRTs) from the Indo-Gangetic Basin (IGB) and Southern India (SI). The consultation meeting was held to initiate development of national level Representative Agricultural Pathways (RAPs 4 and RAPs 5) that are narratives and indicators used to project long-term agricultural changes in India. (more…)

Livestock Modelers Meet for Workshop


From June 13 to 17, livestock modelers from the regional teams of West Africa, Southern Africa, Pakistan, Indo-Gangetic Basin, and Southern India convened at Wageningen University, in Wageningen, Netherlands, for a training workshop. The participants are being trained in the use of LivSim, a livestock production model. (more…)

AgMIP scientists participate in USDA-GEOGLAM workshop

By Greg Reppucci

Last week, the United States Department of Agriculture’s GEO Global Agricultural Modeling (USDA-GEOGLAM) hosted a workshop for scientists in Iowa. The USDA-GEOGLAM is part of an international Global Agricultural Monitoring effort to improve information regarding crop production and supply at the regional, national, and global scales.


Antle Contributes to Prominent USDA Report

Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 12.07.48 PM

The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) “Climate Change, Global Food Security, and the U.S. Food System” report, co-authored by AgMIP principal investigator, John Antle, has officially been downloaded over a half-million times! Since its release it has averaged over 4700 downloads per day by people and organizations across the globe.