Of Animal Husbandry and Food Production—A First Step towards a Modular Agent-Based Modelling Platform for Socio-Ecological Dynamics
Agent-based models provide detailed, bottom-up approaches to investigate complex socio-ecological systems. This study presents a first step towards a modular agent-based simulation that is based upon empirical data, as well as environmental suitability maps and an assessment of livestock units. To illustrate the capabilities of our simulation, we use a geographically explicit approach to simulate a component of the production of animal products of a rural settlement in the lower Bakırçay catchment, western Turkey. The model structurally couples various agent types representing several elements and processes of the animal husbandry and food production value chain, such as sedentary herders—practising daily, short-distance pastoralism—and their flocks of goats and sheep, as well as milking and slaughtering. The modelling tool captures the fundamental socio-ecological dynamics of animal husbandry and food production in rural settlements. Therefore, the tool is valuable as a basis to discuss hypotheses regarding the number of animals that are needed to cover the requirements of different growing populations.