TechnoGIN, a tool for exploring and evaluating resource use efficiency of cropping systems

Submitted by marcel.lubbers on Wed, 04/06/2011 - 14:45
Program type
TechnoGIN enables the calculation of inputs and outputs of the so-called land-use systems (LUS), which are combinations of different land units (LU), land-use types (LUT) and production techniques.
Available since

Agricultural research is increasingly challenged by the search for land-use options that best match multiple development objectives of rural societies (e.g., increased income, food security, and reduced environmental pollution). In order to support the identification of sustainable land-use options and to support decision making with respect to land use, a tool was developed for quantifying inputs and outputs of cropping systems at the field level. TechnoGIN, the tool described in this paper, integrates systems analytical and expert knowledge and different types of agronomic data enabling the assessment of inputs and outputs of a broad range of cropping systems and the evaluation of their resource use efficiencies. By using methods of spatial aggregation in combination with linear programming, results can also be used to explore trade-offs in resource-use efficiencies at higher levels such as the farm household, municipality and province. New features in TechnoGIN compared with similar tools include the annual rotation of up to three crops, the distinction between aerobic and anaerobic growing conditions of crops, and the procedure for estimating crop nutrient uptake. TechnoGIN is illustrated with results from the Tam Duong district in North Vietnam. The design of TechnoGIN enables easy access to its data, parameters and assumptions, and rapid generation and evaluation of input–output relationships of cropping systems in order to add new information and to improve data. TechnoGIN raises awareness about the assumptions incorporated and thus supports data collection and setting of the research agenda with respect to agro-ecological processes for which knowledge is incomplete, and is relevant for showing trade-offs between production, economic and environmental impacts of different land-use systems.

Keywords: Land-use systems; QUEFTS; Resource-use efficiency; Rice-based systems; Systems analysis; Linear programming

Scale of application
Spatial resolution
The main application domains are (a) resource-use analysis at field level; (b) designing farming systems; (c) exploration of options for future land use at the regional scale.
Key outputs

Calculation of :

  • nutrient balances 
  • crop nutrient uptake
  • water balance
  • labour requirements
  • cost-benefit analysis 
Time horizon
Time step of modeling
Required to run

MS-Excel including Solver Add-In.

Required to develop

MS-Excel including Solver Add-In.

Database I/O

TechnoGIN, a tool for exploring and evaluating resource use efficiency of cropping systems in East and Southeast Asia

Remark: Some versions of TechnoGIN make use of a windows help file(called TechnoGIN.chm), in Windows 7 (by default) access to these files is blocked. To gain access to .chm-files, download the document called "How to display .chm files in wondows7.pdf" shown in the Background information section and follow the instructions. Always create a Restore Point in Windows 7, whenever changing the contents of the registry file!
Applications & Use

TechnoGIN was developed in the framework of the Integrated Resource Management and Land Use Analysis in East and Southeast Asia (IRMLA) project. This project is funded by the European Union under the INCO-DEV program (Contract no. ICA-CT-2001-10055) and DLO-IC, the research program International Co-operation of Wageningen University and Research Centre (Wagenignen UR), The Netherlands. 

Ponsioen, T.C.; Hengsdijk, H.; Wolf, J.; Ittersum, M.K. van; Rötter, R.P.; Son, T.T.; Laborte, A.G.
WUR, PPS P.O. Box 430, 6700 AK Wageningen, The Netherlands