Agricultural policies like the EU CAP are widening the scope to contribute to the Paris climate agreement and the Sustainability Development Goals.
From the Commission’s legislative proposals (June 2018) it is expected that the European Union (EU) Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) will be redesigned in line with this. Consequences are among others a move of the CAP to farm specific measures and an improved link to environment, climate change and ecosystem services. It is proposed that Member States and regions develop their own CAP strategic plan with more attention to the regional implementation of the CAP. This wider scope and measures with a focus on individual farmers ask for a new generation of impact assessment tools. Current state-of-the-art agricultural models are not able to deliver individual farm and local effects as they are specified at higher levels of aggregation. Making use of improved possibilities opened up by progress in the ICT area, our project MIND STEP will improve exploitation of available agricultural and biophysical data and will include the individual decision making (IDM) unit in policy models. Based on a common data framework MIND STEP will develop IDM models, including agent-based models, focussing on different topics in an integrated manner in different regional case studies. The IDM models will be estimated and calibrated using agricultural statistics and big datasets, drawing on established econometric and evolving machine learning techniques and using both traditional models of optimising behaviour and theories from behavioural economics. MIND STEP will closely cooperate with a range of stakeholders to co-create and apply the MIND STEP model toolbox to selected regional, national and EU wide policy cases. MIND STEP cooperates with other consortia under the topic to share ideas and innovations. Finally, MIND STEP develops an Exploitation Strategy and Plan to guarantee the sustainability of the project results upon its completion.