History of the Tradeoff Analysis Project

The Tradeoff Analysis (TOA) project’s origins date back to 1987 when Bob Herdt, at that time Director of Agriculture at the Rockefeller Foundation, commissioned John Antle and Susan Capalbo to prepare a report exploring how programs at CGIAR centers could incorporate sustainability issues into the economic assessments of their technologies. The resulting report, “Pollution Externalities and the Economic Evaluation of Agricultural Technologies,” completed in 1988, provided a conceptual framework for coupling bio-physical data and models with economic models to model agricultural systems and assess the impacts of alternative technology and policy scenarios (for related publications see Antle and Capalbo 1991, 1995, and Antle 1994). In that report, Antle and Capalbo also identified the need for further development of appropriate spatially-referenced data and models, and recommended that a suite of case studies be undertaken of major technologies in regions where there was evidence of substantial externalities. Subsequently, the Rockefeller Foundation funded studies of pesticide impacts in major production systems, including the rice system study, led by Prabhu Pingali at the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines, and the Carchi, Ecuador potato study led by John Antle in collaboration with Charles Crissman at the International Potato Center.

The Rockefeller Foundation-funded study of economic, environmental and health tradeoffs in the potato-pasture system in Carchi Province in northern Ecuador (see Crissman, Antle and Capalbo 1998) was the first of a series of projects that grew into what has become known as the TOA Project. The following are some milestones in the life of the TOA Project:

1989-1990: Carchi Project begins in Ecuador with Antle (PI and economic modeling), Crissman (economic modeling and field data) and Wagenet (environmental modeling). Cole (health) joins the project team in 1990.

1995: Proposal to USAID Soil Management CRSP for 5 year funding is approved. Project begins in 1996.

1996: Stoorvogel and Valdivia join TOA Project team, secures complementary funding from the Dutch-Swiss Ecoregional Research Program.

1997: TOA Project begins study of the terraced, potato-based system in La Encanada watershed, Cajamarca region of northern Peru.

1998: Book on Carchi project published by Kluwer, edited by Crissman, Antle and Capalbo.

1998: Cole, Crissman and CIP collaborators initiate IDRC-funded Eco-health project for implementation of health training and farmer field schools in Carchi.

2000: TOA training workshop in Cajamarca

2000: Phase 2 of SM-CRSP funding approved for 2001-2007. New collaborations initiated in Senegal and Kenya.

2003: TOA training workshop held in Dakar, Senegal.

2004: TOA training workshop held in Nairobi, Kenya.

2006: TOA minimum-data training workshop held in Accra, Ghana.

2007: National policy workshop held in Dakar, Senegal, presenting results of TOA analysis by ISRA TOA team.

2008: GTZ-funded project begins on adaptation to climate change in East Africa.

2010:Tradeoffs Project home moves from Montana State University to Oregon State University.

2010: AquaFish project on impact assessment begins.

2011: TOA-MD5.0 released.

2011: Collaboration with WorldFish Center begins with projects funded by IFAD and the CGIAR.

2011: TOA-MD5.0 used by the AgMIP project for regional climate impact assessment.

2011- Currently: Multiple training workshops conducted in different regions in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America.

2022: TOA-MD v. 7.0 Launched and TOA-MD Book published

Related Publications

Antle, J.M. (1994). “Health, Environment, and Agricultural Research.” In J.R. Anderson, ed., Agricultural Technology: Policy Issues for the International Community. Wallington, UK: CAB International in association with the World Bank, pp. 517-531.

Antle, J.M. and S.M. Capalbo. (1991). “Physical and Economic Model Integration for Measurement of the Environmental Impacts of Agricultural Chemical Use.” Northeastern Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics 20(1):68-82.

Antle, J.M. and S.M. Capalbo. (1995). “Measurement and Evaluation of the Impacts of Agricultural Chemical Use: A Framework for Analysis.” In P.L. Pingali and P.A. Roger, eds., Impacts of Pesticides on Farmer Health and the Rice Ecosystem. Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers, pp. 23-57.

Crissman, C.C., J.M. Antle, and S.M. Capalbo, eds. (1998). Economic, Environmental and Health Tradeoffs in Agriculture: Pesticides and the Sustainability of Andean Potato Production. Dordrecht/Boston/London: Kluwer Academic Publishers. 281 pp.