Rural farm households typically integrate a variety of economic activities, both on and off-farm, which
may be complementary, but which also compete for family labour, land and other resources.
Household decisions on resource allocation therefore are complex.
In order to provide improved decision support at household
level, the Pro-Poor Livestock Policy Initiative (PPLPI), in close collaboration with the International
Farm Comparison Network (IFCN), is adapting the latter’s
dairy household model, TIPI-CAL, to small-holder enterprises.
TIPI-CAL is the abbreviation of “Technology Impact
and Policy Impact Calculation Model”. The model has
been extensively used by IFCN as tool for the economic analysis
of diverse farming household types world wide. It is a deterministic,
dynamic farm-level production and accounting model covering
a time horizon of up to ten years. The model accounts for
all economic activities within the household, at farm (e.g.
dairy, crop, and other farm enterprises such as goat and sheep
rearing or fish farming) and off-farm levels. Income and cash flows from off-farm activities
are included to provide the full picture of the household’s
Version 4.0 is a significant step forward to better represent
the complexity of small-scale farms as it can take into account
non-cash transactions and a wide range of non-agricultural
activities. The model can represent five different categories
of family labour, various types of farm assets, up to ten
off-farm activities, and six types of living expenses. The
user can further specify the share of returns used for home
consumption. The model is particularly detailed for the dairy
enterprise, options for which include ten different animal
types, three different milk marketing channels, fourteen variable
cost positions per cow, etc.
The household model offers great flexibility in the conduct
of ten-year household strategy analyses with regard to changes
in non-farm / farm activity parameters, household asset management,
living expenses, capital inflow and outflow as each input
variable can be changed in any year of simulation. IFCN’s
experience in farm strategy analysis has shown that nearly
all plausible farm strategies (e.g. farm growth, alternative
production system) can be evaluated.