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CONSUS

CONSUS is a spatial decision support tool to assess the suitability of production locations for agricultural crops. We use it for strategically planning production and procurement processes or to answer research questions.

Collage of different pictures related to the CONSUS project

Applications

CONSUS answers the following questions

picture showing a satelite photo
  • Where are potential production locations for a specific crop (such as coffee, quinoa or hazelnuts) on a local, regional or global scale?
  • What are the major limitations of new production intentions?
  • How does climate change impact future crop suitability?
  • What high value crops are suitable for agricultural diversification in a specific location?

What we offer

the logo of the CONSUS project
  • Suitability modelling of any crop in any region of interest
  • Screening of suitable crops for agricultural diversification in a specific location
  • Data mining activities (crop, biophysical and socio-economic requirements) and integration into our existing databases for comprehensive feasibility studies
  • Spatial analysis of data (e.g. soil, climate) provided to us by a partner institution
  • Collaborations in transdisciplinary research projects dealing with land evaluation and the socio-cultural aspects related to it

Examples

Webtool

Screenshot of the CONSUS webtool

Explore the global suitability of five plantation crops (avocado, cashew, cocoa, coffee, mango) modelled with CONSUS visiting the CONSUS Webtool.

About CONSUS

CONSUS (CONnecting for SUstainable Sourcing) is a tool based on Geographic Information Systems (GIS) used for spatially-explicit multi-criteria analysis. The tool allows us to compares crop requirements with biophysical and socio-economic criteria of the production locations (matching). In CONSUS, biophysical information include current and future climate, soil and landscape characteristics, while socio-economic information may include infrastructure, farm characteristics or economic indicators. The results show the overall suitability, including associated limiting factors and potential effects on future suitability caused by climatic change.

CONSUS is a flexible tool that can be used for any crop or variety on different scales, by applying appropriate crop specific criteria and parameters. In addition to their general suitability, agricultural projects can be assessed for their social and economic sustainability.

The CONSUS model structure including two case studies is described in detail in our recent publication:

Jaisli, I., Laube, P., Trachsel, S., Ochsner, P., & Schuhmacher, S. (2019). Suitability evaluation system for the production and sourcing of agricultural commodities. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture, 161, 170–184. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compag.2018.02.002

Project Team

CONSUS is implemented by a multidisciplinary team of scientists from the fields of agriculture, environment, socio-economic rural development and geoinformatics:

The project is funded by the Syngenta Foundation of Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA), which also acts as a consulting partner and contributes ongoing case studies to the project.