DARTS: Evolving Resilience of the Global Food System to Production and Trade Shocks

Hubert Fonteijn, Pepijn van Oort* (Corresponding author), Geerten Hengeveld

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review


This paper presents a new agent-based modelling (ABM) framework to investigate the resilience of food systems against a variety of shocks. We modelled food security as an emergent property from a network of agents that produce, trade and consume food. The network consists of different regions (mimicking the different hemispheres, an equatorial region and a city state with corresponding growing seasons). Each region in turn consists of a rural and urban area. Rural consumers have access to only regionally produced goods, whereas urban consumers can access both intra- and inter-region trade. We studied food security in a hierarchy of 4 archetypical food systems (or ‘Worlds’) evolving from a simple food system in which regions are not urbanised and there is no trade between regions to a globalised World, with a fully connected food system, which is highly urbanised (including a city state with little national food production) and highly interconnected. We investigated the baseline performance of these food systems (no shocks) and the effect of an export ban of one region on food security. We showed first and second-order effects of such a shock in the short- and medium-term, and how these effects differ across food systems. We found that international trade increases food security in the baseline and shock scenario, but also that it can introduce the potential for poor populations to suffer from food system shocks of distant origins. Future work will extend the set of investigated shocks to provide a broader understanding of food systems resilience, possibly in more realistic scenarios.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1
JournalJournal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 2024


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