Policy makers and scientists may be helped by fuzzy logic models when it comes to studying and predicting farmers' decisions. Roel Bosma applied a fuzzy logic model in his study of 144 farming families in the Mekong Delta in Vietnam, to see whether this was a feasible way of simulating farming systems.
According to Bosma, social circumstances and the family situation play an important role, and these conditions can be encapsulated in a fuzzy logic model. For example, if a young woman from a farming household is currently working off farm but becomes pregnant, this may be a reason to make on-farm adjustments so that she can earn an income from on-farm activities.
Fuzzy logic models are a way of making subjective statements (in this case made by farmers) manageable. On the basis of a number of statements, you can predict what decisions farmers are likely to make. Farmers do not generally behave in ways that fit simpler linear models. Fuzzy logic models are better for simulating farmers’ motives, says Bosma. / Jan Braakman
Roel Bosma receives his PhD on 18 December. His promotor is Professor Johan Verreth, chair of Aquaculture and Fisheries.