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Modeling Farmers’ Adoption Potential to New Bioenergy Crops: An Agent-Based Approach

by Kazi M Ullah, Andrew Crooks
Publication Type
Conference Paper
Book Title
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of The Computational Social Science Society of the Americas. CSSSA 2022
Publication Date
Page Numbers
63 to 75
Publisher Location
Cham, Switzerland
Conference Name
CSSSA: Conference of the Computational Social Science Society of the Americas
Conference Location
Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States of America
Conference Sponsor
Conference Date

The use of fossil fuels is the primary source of greenhouse gas emissions but there are alternatives to these especially in the form of biofuels, fuels derived from bioenergy crops. This paper aims to determine farmers’ potential adoption rates of newly introduced bioenergy crops with a specific example of carinata in the state of Georgia. The determination is done using an agent-based modeling technique with two principal assumptions—farmers are profit maximizer and they are influenced by neighboring farmers. Two diffusion parameters (traditional and expansion) are followed along with two willingness (high and low) scenarios to switch at varying production economics to carinata and other prominent traditional field crops (cotton, peanuts, corn) in the study region. We find that a contract prices around $9, $8 and $7 can be a viable option for encouraging farmers to adopt carinata in low, average, and high profit conditions, respectively. Expansion diffusion (that diffuses all over the geographical area), rather than centered to the few places like traditional diffusion at the early stage of adoption in conjunction with higher willingness conditions influences higher adoption rates in the short-term. As such, the model can be used to understand the behavioral economics of carinata in Georgia and beyond, as well as offering a potential tool to study similar bioenergy crops.