You are here: ILREconomic and Agricultural PolicyResearch African focus

Research on Climate Change Impacts and other long term drivers on agriculture in Africa



Our research line on Africa focuses on the interaction between economic development and resources, with a long-term perspective. It characterized by an inter-disciplinary character and applies a wide range of different methodological approaches, including economic modelling and institutional analysis.


One focus is on water use and institutions governing access to water, where we develop and apply hydro-economic river basin models. Furthermore, we apply equilibrium models and have recently added Agent Based Modelling to our research portfolio.

Ongoing research projects

  1. RCR (Resilience, Collapse and Reorganisation in Social-Ecological Systems of East- and South Africa's Savannahs, DFG Research Unit [Forschergruppe] FOR 1501, 2010-2016, PIs Thomas Heckelei and Karin Holm-Müller)
  2. Globe Wetlands in East Africa (Wetlands in East Africa: Reconciling future food production with environmental protection, 1st project phase 2013-2016, BMFT, PI Thomas Heckelei)
  3. BiomassWeb (1st project phase 2013-2016, BMFT, PIs Thomas Heckelei and Karin Holm-Müller).

Past research

Selected publications

Journal articles

Rasch, S., Heckelei, T., Oomen, R., Naumann, C. (2016): Cooperation and collapse in a communal livestock production SES model – A case from South Africa , Environmental Modelling & Software 75:402-413 , Link.

Kuhn, A., Britz, W., Willy, D. K., van Oel, P. (2016): Simulating the viability of water institutions under volatile rainfall conditions – The case of the Lake Naivasha Basin , Environmental Modelling & Software 75:373-387 , Link.

Britz, W., Ferris, M., Kuhn, A. (2013): Modeling water allocating institutions based on Multiple Optimization Problems with Equilibrium Constraints , Environmental Modelling & Software 46: 196–207 , Link.

Kuhn, A., Britz, W. (2012): Can hydro-economic river basin models simulate water shadow prices under asymmetric access? , Water Science & Technology 66(4): 879–886 , Link.

Storm, H., Heckelei, T., Heidecke, C. (2011): Estimating Irrigation Water Demand in the Moroccan Drâa Valley using Contingent Valuation , Journal of Environmental Management 92(10): 2803-2809 , Link.

Gaiser, T., Judex, M., Hiepe, C., Kuhn, A. (2010): Regional simulation of maize production in tropical savanna fallow systems as affected by fallow availability, Agricultural Systems 103(9): 656-665 , Link.

Kuhn, A., Gaiser, T., Gandonou, E. (2010): Simulating the effects of tax exemptions on fertiliser use in Benin by linking biophysical and economic models, Agricultural Systems 103(8): 509-520 , Link.

Heidecke, C., Heckelei, T. (2010): Impacts of changing water inflow distributions on irrigation and farm income along the Drâa River in Morocco, Agricultural Economics 41(2): 135 - 149 , Link.

Gruber, I., Kloos, J., Schopp, M. (2009): Seasonal water demand in Benin’s agriculture , Journal of Environmental Management 90(1): 196-205 , Link.

Heidecke, C., Kuhn, A., Klose, S. (2008): Water Pricing Options in the Middle Drâa valley. In: African Journal of Agricultural and sources Economics, African Journal of Agricultural and Resources Economics 2(2): 170-180 , Link.

Heidecke, C., Kuhn, A. (2006): Simulating groundwater charges for the Moroccan Drâa River Basin , Agricultural and Marine Science 11(1): 47-54.

M`barek, R., Behle, C., Mulindabigwi, V., Schopp, M., Singer, U. (2005): Sustainable resource management in Benin embedded in the process of decentralisation. , Physics and Chemistry of the Earth 30(6/7).

Last updated: Thursday, November 07, 2019