Adaptive and Dynamic Decision-making Processes: A Conceptual Model of Production Systems on Indian Farms.
Farming systems are complex structures with several dimensions interacting in a dynamic and continuous manner around farmers' management strategies. This complexity peaks in semi-arid regions of India, where small farms encounter a highly competitive environment for markets and resources, especially unreliable access to water from rainfall and irrigation. To represent such strategies, we propose the conceptual model NAMASTE, which was conceived and based on data collected in the Berambadi watershed in southern India. The most relevant and novel aspects of NAMASTE are i) the system-based representation of farm production systems, ii) the description of dynamic processes through management flexibility and adaptation, and iii) the representation of steps in farmers' decision-making processes at various temporal and spatial scales. Since NAMASTE was designed in an extreme case of highly vulnerable agriculture, its generic framework and formalisms can be used to conceptually represent many other farm production systems.