“AgBalance – My Virtual Farm”. A Simulation Game for a Competition of Students and Scientists in Order to gain Insights into the Concept of Tradeoffs in Sustainable Agriculture

Markus Frank


AgBalance comprises a multi-criteria life cycle based approach in combination with a defined aggregation and summary of single results into a single sustainability score (Frank et al. 2012). AgBalanceTM delivers results that enable farmers, the food industry, politicians and society to objectively evaluate processes in terms of their sustainability profile. In doing so, a vast amount of information on individual factors can be ascertained in addition to overall statements on the sustainability of agricultural practices (e. g. ploughing). AgBalance was finalized in mid of 2011. In September 2011, the methodology was given independent assurance by the global expert agencies such as DNV Business Assurance. AgBalanceTM can be used to map an individual farm or the whole agricultural sector in one region, for example. The focus can either be on the agricultural production system alone or on the processes that have established themselves downstream in the value chain, such as logistics or processing. Measuring sustainability can be a central key to steady improvements towards sustainable agriculture. It is therefore an essential requirement that it succeeds in translating results from complicated life-cycle analyses into farmers’ everyday reality and to derive specific recommendations for action from this. Novel IT solutions are required in order to make use of LCA-based knowledge for a more sustainable crop management on-farm. This is the basic idea of the online game “AgBalance – My Virtual Farm”.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.18461/pfsd.2016.1644

ISSN 2194-511X


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