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Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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Presentation of DEXiPM

Frédérique Angevin, Elise Pelzer, Antoine Messéan

DEXiPM, to design and assess innovative cropping strategies.

DEXiPM is a multicriteria assessment model of the sustainability of cropping systems, based on DEXi technology (Bohanec, 2009). Originally, the model considered only field-crop systems. It was designed for researchers and aims to assess performances of cropping systems based on principles of IPM.

This appears in the structure of the model through the addition of specific criteria for crop protection to strengthen assessment of this point and to allow for detailed comparisons of different protection strategies. Since the model is used to facilitate design groups, it is completely qualitative and has a deep branching structure (75 basic criteria and 86 aggregated criteria). This methodological choice was made to ease data entry using expert opinion when few data are available for the systems being assessed. Finally, socio-economic criteria related to the context outside crop fields were added to DEXiPM to assess system performances in their assessment context. These criteria can thus be used to identify obstacles to innovation and define public policies or better suited sector strategies by simulating changes in the context.

DEXiPM has been used in several European research projects (ECOGEN, SIGMEA, Endure, PURE) and combines several pre-existing tools and models (e.g. MASC, Indigo, SALCA). DEXiPM is a contraction of DEXi, software that manages qualitative decision-aid trees, and IPM (Integrated Pest Management).

DEXiPM is an integrated design and dynamic assessment tool for crops that is multicriteria, multiscale and multiactor. Its advantages are based on the inventiveness that it allows during system design, as well as its assessment approach that can be adjusted according to the priorities of multiple stakeholders.

DEXiPM is filed at the APP (French Agency for the Protection of Programs) (Paris) under IDDN no. FR.001.490014.000.R.P.2009.000.30100.

An inventive model

DEXiPM was designed to help design cropping systems that truly break with existing systems, without stopping at criteria of economic feasibility. Even if it is not currently realistic, a system can become realistic in the near or far future if certain conditions (economic, social and technical) evolve.

Such design freedom is necessary because the pressures exerted on agriculture, at both national and European levels, require profound changes in cropping systems. For example, one cannot reach the objectives for decreasing inputs of the French Ecophyto plan without modifying crop rotations or even introducing new crops, and thus new production sectors.

Assessment possible from different viewpoints

DEXiPM allows the sustainability of systems to be assessed as completely as possible according to economic, social and environmental criteria. The originality of the model is to make the assessment modular according to the criteria of different stakeholders. Thus everyone - farmer, distributer, NGO, and researcher - can make assumptions based on their choices and estimate consequences of these choices completely transparently. Consequently, the model can serve as a basis of discussion among stakeholders.

Finally, since it is a qualitative assessment, the model can accept knowledge gaps, which sometimes must be filled by expert opinion.

A decision tree allowing for consideration of the three pillars of sustainability

The model is organised as a hierarchical tree in which, as input, 75 basic criteria describe the system

DEXiPM, arbre des paramètres d'entrée
DEXiPM, tree of input parameters. © Inrae

The criteria are aggregated, node by node, until arriving at the output of a qualitative estimate of the overall sustainability of the system assessed.

DEXiPM, arbre de paramètres de sorties
DEXiPM, tree of output parameters. © Inrae

Weighting the criteria

The model can weight criteria according to users’ priorities. Stakeholders can thus test many choices and debate them transparently, since the hierarchy of the criteria is plainly visible.

DEXiPM, pondération des critères

In this example, weighting (green squares) occurs at two levels in the tree: at the level of resource use (in which one chooses the weight given to water, energy, soil and mineral fertilisation), and to the level of assessment of overall sustainability of the system studied (here, environmental, economic and social sustainability are given equal weights, but users can choose other weights).

Initially developed for field-crop systems, DEXiPM was later adapted for field vegetables and perennial crops (grapevines and apple orchards).

Download the IZIEval interface

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