Using System Archetypes to Identify Drivers and Barriers for Sustainable Agriculture in Africa: A Case Study in Ghana

Banson, K.E. and Nguyen, N.C. and Bosch, O.J.H. (2014) Using System Archetypes to Identify Drivers and Barriers for Sustainable Agriculture in Africa: A Case Study in Ghana. Systems Research and Behavioral Science. pp. 1-21.

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The African agricultural system is characterized by complex challenges such as famine, food insecurity, poor soil and quality standards, political instability, and inappropriate agricultural practices. The behavior over time graph revealed that as the African population increases, people explore new agricultural land that is in direct conflict with the conservation of forested areas, hence degrading the environment. These challenges in addition to the depletion of natural resources have worsened the plights of African farmers. The increasingly complex nature of the agricultural industry in Africa has necessitated an urgent need for the use of a systemic rather than a traditional approach in solving problems in agriculture. System archetypes were applied as diagnostic tools to anticipate potential problems and problem symptoms. Eleven system archetypes serve as the means for gaining insights into the underlying system structures from which the archetypal behaviors emerge. As part of a suite of tools, they are extremely valuable in developing broad understandings about agriculture and their environments and contribute to more effectively understanding the cause of a fix ‘now’ that gives rise to a much bigger problem to fix ‘later’. The study revealed that opportunity and risk matrix as a policy tool does not solve the problems, but systemic approach would lead to the provision of the right management strategies. This approach facilitates adaptation and mitigation strategies towards the sustainable development for the agriculture in Africa

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: System dynamics; Sustainable agriculture; Africa; Complexity; Decision-making
Author Affiliation: Systems Design and Complexity Management, University of Adelaide Business School, Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia
Subjects: Social Sciences
Divisions: General
Depositing User: Ms Ishrath Durafsha
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2015 06:10
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2015 06:10
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