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Economic Issues in Biosecurity


<OL> <LI> Determine, through emphatic modeling of terrorist objectives and techniques, the areas of crop production that could result in the most severe economic disruptions by the willful introduction of exotic species. <LI> Identify the most likely terrorist objectives and avenues that could be used to introduce the species identified in 1. <LI> Draw out the economic implications of 1 and 2 for conclusions about recommended ways of hardening the crop production system to these threats. <LI> Evaluate policies for stimulating farm-level participation in biosecurity initiatives.

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NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: The efforts to create a secure food system in reaction to the terrorist attacks of the past and potential attacks of the future.


APPROACH: Initial game theoretic modeling to investigate strategic interaction among terrorists, government, and farmers. Development of an information base on crop vulnerabilities and farmer methods of protection. Modeling farm-level decisions to examine the relationships between individually rational decisions and decisions that are optimal with respect to agriculture as a whole. Generally applicable incentive mechanisms for farm-level citizen participation in agro-crime prevention will be evaluated for their effectiveness in closing the gap between private and public optimal decisions with respect to crop protection.

PROGRESS: 2002/10 TO 2008/09 <BR>
OUTPUTS: Several workshop presentations on surveillance for biosecurity purposes were given during this project. Presentations were given at the University of Massachusetts, at a workshop at Wageningen University in the Netherlands, at the Rochester Institute of Technology, and at a workshop in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. Three separate presentations were given at workshops attended by USDA personnel in Washington, DC. <BR> <BR>
IMPACT: 2002/10 TO 2008/09 <BR>
Project participants have developed new research methods for decision making under severe uncertainty and have applied these methods to study the character of efficient surveillance techniques. The techniques have garnered interest from research sponsors resulting in support for further research in the direction indicated by this project. The original publication associated with this project has experienced (to this date) 367 full-text downloads. Downloads have occurred in every month since the publication appeared. Publications and workshop presentations associated with this project have made the surveillance techniques used known to many researchers in this field.

Field, Barry
University of Massachusetts
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