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CONSUS

A GIS tool for agricultural planning

At a glance

Description

The Institute for Environment and Natural Resources (IUNR) has developed a tool for the efficiently and strategically planning of production and procurement in the agricultural market. It assesses the suitability of sites worldwide for specific agricultural products on the basis of geographic information on climate and soil as well as socio-economic and political criteria.


The CONSUS project focuses on the development of a model that takes into account the needs of (agricultural) companies, producers and rural development. CONSUS acts as (a) decision support system for agricultural enterprises and rural development; (b) it assess the sustainability, suitability and profitability of procurement and (plant) production facilities; and (c) assess the overall feasibility and added value of such facilities.


The results achieved during the project were as follows:

  • Development and validation of the CONSUS model as an instrument for spatial suitability analysis for the production and procurement of agricultural raw materials.
  • Toolbox for data processing in GIS
  • Four databases for data processing
  • Application of CONSUS in 3 case studies (soybeans in Rwanda, hate avocado in Guatemala and hazelnuts in Europe)




CONSUS (Connecting for Sustainable Sourcing) was developed as a modular GIS-based decision support system for the production and procurement of agricultural raw materials. The system extends the classical FAO land assessment approaches by three specific dimensions: (i) the sustainability dimension: The extended suitability analysis goes beyond the purely biophysical suitability and integrates ecological, economic and social suitability; (ii) the spatial-temporal dimension: The inclusion of an adaptive global cultural cycle model enables a hierarchical, multi-scale feasibility assessment; (iii) the value-added chain: In the focus of the suitability assessment, the The system was implemented as a flexible workbench with knowledge databases, GIS toolboxes and supporting data processing modules.

In the next few years (2016-2018) CONSUS is to be successively developed, expanded and supplemented. Further projects and case studies will facilitate processes and help to optimize the system and its performance. As a first extension, we are developing a web tool with interactive maps for selected crops to support the marketing process of CONSUS. Customer-specific extensions, mobile apps or related services could also open up further opportunities for the development of the CONSUS.

Further information

Publications