Farm Defenders Africa - A 3D farm simulation game.

Submitted by marcel.lubbers on
    Farm defenders Africa
    Program type
    3D farm simulation game.
    Available since

    Farm Defenders is a 3D farm simulation game spanning the entire continent of Africa. Create farms in every environment, from the lush tropics to the barren deserts. Grow your crops and become wealthy all while preventing disease, pests, and maximizing yield using real-life African farming techniques. The simulation is realistic to the details of the local soil type, weather, and natural challenges.

    This game was financially supported by INSEAD, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and ICON Group International, Inc. If you would like a simulation developed for your organization or region, please contact Phil.Parker at insead dot edu.



    Scale of application
    Spatial resolution
    Key outputs

    Please feel free to share your farming insights with other players in our forum, or learn more about farming using our databases.

    Time horizon
    Farm development
    Time step of modeling
    multiple years
    Required to run

    On Window Systems



    OS:Windows XP SP 2 / Vista / 7
    Processor:Intel Core2Duo 3 GHz
    Memory:2 GB RAM
    Graphics:Shader Model 3 with 512 MB VRAM


    OS:Windows XP SP 2 / Vista / 7
    Processor:Intel Core2Duo 3 GHz
    Memory:4 GB RAM
    Graphics:Shader Model 3 with 512 MB VRAM


    On a Mac 



    Mac® OS X 10.6.8, or 10.7.X (Latest Version)
    Intel® Processor
    NVIDIA® GeForce® 8600M GT or ATI Radeon® X1600 or better
    12 GB available HD space
    2 GB Ram
    DVD-ROM drive
    Broadband Internet connection
    1024X720 minimum display resolution


    Mac® OS X 10.7.X (Latest Version)
    Intel® Core 2 Duo processor
    4 GB system RAM
    NVIDIA® GeForce® 9600M GT or ATI Radeon® HD 4670 or better

    Required to develop


    We would love to have you involved in this project. You can assist this effort in several ways. 

    First, you can share the URL of this site to any persons, governmental agencies, NGOs, PVOs, field groups, associations or similar entities who might benefit from the information given here. 

    Second, you can share your own local data that you may have collected or published to improve the quality of information provided here. Likewise, we can share or swap data with you in bulk formats that do not lend themselves to web browser formats (e.g. raw data tables). 

    Third, as we expand into more local languages, if you have knowledge of or can write/speak in a language not as yet covered by this project, we can use your help in translating text. Our greatest need is for language specialists in the most underserved languages in Africa, Latin America and Asia (including languages whose populations are less than 100,000 persons).

    If you are interested in helping in any of the areas above, please do not hesitate to contact Professor Philip Parker, INSEAD (phil.parker at or Joelle Fabert, INSEAD (joelle.fabert at; tel: 33-1-60724977) who is coordinating various project activities. 


    Database I/O

    -          Visit  First, read the information on the Home page. Second, watch all the videos on the “Videos” tab (this will take 2 hours to complete). These videos were used, in part, to inform the modeling of the simulation. Please list features that you think should be included in a farming simulation emphasizing farm extension practices in Africa. Items not covered in the video can also be listed.

    -          Optional: for those with good broadband connection, as of Saturday, March 9, 2013, go the “Play Beta” tab of  site. There is a download link that will be available. You can download the Farm Defenders simulation game. Warning, it is currently over 1 gig, so reserve a few hours for the download. Follow the installation instructions on the site. This is an “unlocked” version of the game, so you have access to all the levels of the game without having to play the entire game, and will take about 1 or 2 hours to review.  The game, in its “locked” version takes about 30 hours to complete.  The simulation is in its “balancing” phase, where it is being calibrated to be not too difficult, but also not too easy. Please list any features or areas you think might be improved, given this state of the simulation.

    Applications & Use

    This game was specifically created for people who want to pursue careers in economic development (and people who like challenging strategy simulations). The bottom of the “income pyramid” represents some 1 billion of the world’s poorest persons making a living from subsistence agriculture. If we think of small farms as micro-enterprises, then smallholder farmers are entrepreneurs facing some of the world’s worst business conditions. One key to poverty alleviation is increasing the profitability of small agricultural enterprises. If you want to help the world’s poorest citizens, and you cannot beat this game, you are probably not qualified for the job!

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