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24, chemin de Borde Rouge –Auzeville – CS52627
31326 Castanet Tolosan CEDEX - France

Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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ReMIX H2020 - Intercrops

Interplay: developing tools to support decisions about introducing intercrops

Development of "Interplay" serious game

WP6 in ReMIX is all about developing tools to support decisions about introducing intercrops to farms or improving the management of intercrops on farms. We are working on several different types of tool and we are also interested in the whole lifecycle of the crops from variety selection and crop establishment through to harvesting. In this edition of the newsletter we focus on the development of a Serious Game called Interplay. It aims to support “out of the box” thinking on cereal/legumes intercrops and can be used by facilitated groups of farmers, advisors or students.

In the framework of participatory workshops, the game is expected to stimulate horizontal knowledge and experience exchange between players and encourage them to experiment with new species mixtures and management options. The game is made up of a material part with a game board, cards, etc. which allow players to design scenarios for the introduction of mixed cereal/legume crops in cropping systems, and a computer model to assess performance of the intercrops and the services they deliver.

The development of the game has several different stages but until now we have focused on the design of the materials and on using participatory approaches to develop and refine the game for use in different agroclimatic zones.

The game board is shown in below (INTERPLAY BOARD). Through 4 successive steps, it allows participants to design a scenario based to achieve their objectives for the cropping system, for example, improved yields or better weed control. To do this they utilise their location, their current crop rotation, their choice of new crops and management options.

The next stage of Interplay is to develop a computer-based model which will assess the scenarios that the players design. The decisions made on the game board will provide the inputs to the model. The model will then assess the success of the scenario in delivering the desired outcomes. The Interplay model will combine three different modelling approaches (process-based crop modelling, statistical modelling and multi-attribute modelling) and tools (STICS, R and DEXi respectively) as well as expert knowledge. This model is currently being calibrated for Southwestern France. It will probably need to be recalibrated for use in other parts of Europe.  

Before the Corona virus hit Europe, we trialled the game board with groups of researchers, advisors, farmers and students, in France and in Scotland (Fig.3). Everyone who played the game was very enthusiastic about it and keen to try the next version which will include the model for testing scenarios. Only very minor adjustments had to be made between the French and the Scottish versions of our game board, which shows the potential for using it in many different regions.

WP6 3

Fig 3. Game tested by stakeholders in France and Scotland