Uni-Bayreuth grafik-uni-bayreuth



Does crop diversity stabilise farmers’ income? Time Series Analysis of agro-economical data from South Korea

Heera Lee1, Christina Bogner2, Thomas Koellner3
1 Global Change Ecology, University of Bayreuth
2 Department of Ecological Modelling, University of Bayreuth
3 Professorship of Ecological Services (PES), University of Bayreuth

P 3.5 in Ecosystems: Function and Services

Temporal fluctuation of crop price and yield can have a strong influence on farmers’ income. Under uncertainty, farmers’ decision - what to cultivate and when to harvest it - is of crucial importance to secure their income as well as related ecosystem services. Diversified farming (i.e. cultivating several crops) constitutes a portfolio of resources and has a potential to protect not only farmers but also the environment. The quantification of fluctuations in agro-economical data is rarely pushed beyond simple statistical analysis. Thus, evaluating the effect of crop diversity on farmers’ income by methods of time series analysis would be an alternative approach to understand the stability of farmers’ income condition in South Korea. We applied Singular Spectrum Analysis (SSA) to quantify the fluctuation of crop price and yield. Additionally, we compared three different crop portfolio scenarios (one crop, three and five crops). Our results showed on the one hand that the crop diversity stabilised price and yield fluctuations through portfolio of stable and risky crops. On the other hand the direct influence of the increasing number of crops on farmer’s income has not been fully identified. One possible explanation is that when farmer cultivated only one crop, they planted rice which is the most stable crop in Korea due to governmental subsidies. However, these subsidies will be reduced gradually, thus the risk of fluctuating income for rice farmers will probably increase. Our results might have practical consequences for farmers’ decision making. Furthermore, we show that SSA can be applied to analyse crop diversity.

last modified 2012-09-21