African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6638

Full Length Research Paper

Combining multi-agent simulations and cost-benefit analysis to evaluate policy options for the management of livestock effluents in Réunion Island

Stefano Farolfi1* Louise Erasmus2 Christophe Le Page3 and Pierre Bommel3
1CIRAD, UMR G-EAU and CEEPA, University of Pretoria, South Africa. 2CEEPA, University of Pretoria, South Africa. 3CIRAD, UPR GREEN, Montpellier, France.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 19 September 2008
  •  Published: 31 October 2008


This study uses a multi-agent system to simulate the behaviour of economic players in a context of rapidly evolving environmental policy. The area under study is represented by a sector of a French overseas Department, Réunion Island, with a high concentration of pig farms in the upland region and extensive sugarcane plantations in the coastal zone. We first simulate local pig farmers’ reactions to several policy options aimed at reducing the pollution coming from pig rearing. Multi-agent simulations are then coupled with cost-benefit analysis in order to calculate the net present value of different policy options. Advantages and limits of the use of the proposed methods to support decision-making are finally discussed.


Key words: Environmental policy, decision-making, livestock effluents, Réunion Island, multi-agent system, cost-benefit analysis