The Integration of a Systematic Thinking Science and Cross-Impact Analysis for a Holistic View of Sustainable Agriculture Development: A Case Study in Phraek Nam Daeng Sub-District, Amphawa District, Samut Songkhram Province

Main Article Content

Penmas Nanan
Harin Sachdev


Under the dynamics socio-economic and complex environment system, including the risk of climate change, that have affected natural resources security necessary for agriculture system. The Upper Gulf of Thailand is a coastal lowland with the complexity of the diverse ecosystem and human activities, which brings several challenges to local agriculture. Particularly on smallholder farmers that facing the risk of change and pressure toward local sustainable nature-based resources. This study proposes the integration methodology of system thinking, in the form of Causal Loop Diagrams (CLDs) development and the application of cross-impact analysis for a deeper understanding of a holistic view on the inter-linkage variables that lead to foster sustainable agriculture. The study was conducted in Phraek Nam Daeng Sub-district, located at the Upper Gulf of Thailand, with 6 villages as the basic unit of study because it represents a useful scale for the analysis of social-ecological systems. The purpose of study is to conceptualize participatory CLDs to reveal root causes and their interconnected variables, with influencing environmental drivers that affect local agricultural activities in a holistic manner. Further, the cross-impact analysis is adopted to identify the key influencing factors that contribute to prospective agriculture production. The result indicates that: (1) the causal relationships of local agriculture system in long-term perspective; (2) key influencing factors are nature-based capital and social capital to create the necessary condition to enhance sustainable agriculture production. The processes of this study would be applied as learning tools for local farmers and key related agencies to have a deeper understanding toward the system of the inter-linkage variable and key drivers to propose the direction of local agriculture practices. The CLDs developed in this study can be applied to other studies in remote areas that hold more or less similarities in geographical features with the area under this investigation. 

Article Details

How to Cite
Nanan, P., & Sachdev, H. (2021). The Integration of a Systematic Thinking Science and Cross-Impact Analysis for a Holistic View of Sustainable Agriculture Development: A Case Study in Phraek Nam Daeng Sub-District, Amphawa District, Samut Songkhram Province. Journal of Multidisciplinary in Humanities and Social Sciences, 4(3), 1238–1253. Retrieved from
Research Articles


Adger, W.N., Huq, S., Brown, K., Conway, D., & Hulme, M. (2003). Adaptation to climate change in the 12 Developing world. Progress in Development Studies, 3(3), 179-195.

Banson, K. E., Nguyen, N. C., & Bosch, O. J. (2014). Using system archetypes to identify drivers and barriers for sustainable agriculture in Africa: A case study in Ghana. Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 33(1), 79-99.

Banson, K. E., Nguyen, N. C., & Bosch, O. J. (2015). Systemic management to address the challenges facing the performance of agriculture in Africa: Case study in Ghana. Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 33(4), 544-574.

Beck, M., Schoenenberger, L. K., & Schenker-Wicki, A. (2012). How managers can deal with complex issues: A semi-quantitative analysis method of causal loop diagrams based on matrices. SSRN Electronic Journal, 323.

Chan, K. M., Balvanera, P., Benessaiah, K., Chapman, M., Díaz, S., Gómez-Baggethun, E., Gould, R., Hannahs, N., Jax, K., Klain, S., Luck, G. W., Martín-López, B., Muraca, B., Norton, B., Ott, K., Pascual, U., Satterfield, T., Tadaki, M., Taggart, J., … Turner, N. (2016). Opinion: Why protect nature? Rethinking values and the environment. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113(6), 1462-1465.

Coletta, V. R., Pagano, A., Pluchinotta, I., Fratino, U., Scrieciu, A., Nanu, F., & Giordano, R. (2021). Causal loop diagrams for supporting nature-based solutions participatory design and performance assessment. Journal of Environmental Management, 280, 111668.

FAO. (2018). World food and agriculture statistical pocketbook 2018. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Folke, C. (2006). Resilience: The emergence of a perspective for social-ecological systems analyses. Global Environmental Change, 16(3), 253-267.

Godfray, H. C., Beddington, J. R., Crute, I. R., Haddad, L., Lawrence, D., Muir, J. F., Pretty, J., Robinson, S., Thomas, S. M., & Toulmin, C. (2010). Food security: the challenge of feeding 9 billion people. Science, 327(5967), 812–818.

Grimble, R., & Wellard, K. (1997). Stakeholder methodologies in natural resource management: A review of principles, contexts, experiences and opportunities. Agricultural Systems, 55(2), 173-193.

Howden, S. M., Soussana, J.-F., Tubiello, F. N., Chhetri, N., Dunlop, M., & Meinke, H. (2007). Adapting Agriculture to Climate Change. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 104(50), 19691-19696.

Inam, A., Adamowski, J., Halbe, J., & Prasher, S. (2015). Using causal loop diagrams for the initialization of stakeholder engagement in soil salinity management in agricultural watersheds in developing countries: A case study in the Rechna doab watershed, Pakistan. Journal of Environmental Management, 152, 251-267.

Jones, J. W., Antle, J. M., Basso, B., Boote, K. J., Conant, R. T., Foster, I., Godfray, H. C., Herrero, M., Howitt, R. E., Janssen, S., Keating, B. A., Munoz-Carpena, R., Porter, C. H., Rosenzweig, C., & Wheeler, T. R. (2017). A brief history of agricultural systems modeling. Agricultural Systems, 155, 240-254.

Lane, D. C. (2008). The emergence and use of diagramming in system dynamics: A critical account. Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 25(1), 3-23.

Liu, J. G., T. Dietz, S. R. Carpenter, M. Alberti, C. Folke, E. Moran, A. N. Pell, P. Deadman, T. Kratz, J. Lubchenco, E. Ostrom, Z. Ouyang, W. Provencher, C. L. Redman, S. H. Schneider, & Taylor, W. W. (2007). Complexity of coupled human and natural systems. Science, 317(5844), 1513-1516.

Lopes, R., & Videira, N. (2016). A Collaborative Approach for Scoping Ecosystem Services with Stakeholders: The Case of Arrábida Natural Park. Environmental Management, 58(2), 323-342.

Lopes, R., & Videira, N. (2017). Modeling feedback processes underpinning the management of ecosystem services: The role of participatory systems mapping. Ecosystem Services, 28, 28-42.

Martín-López, B., Gómez-Baggethun, E., García-Llorente, M., & Montes, C. (2014). Trade-offs across value-domains in ecosystem services assessment. Ecological Indicators, 37, 220-228.

Meadows, D. H. (1999). Leverage points: Places to intervene in a system. Sustainability Institute.

Mitchell, R. K., Agle, B. R., & Wood, D. J. (1997). Toward a theory of stakeholder identification and salience: Defining the principle of who and what really counts. Academy of Management Review, 22(4), 853-886.

Morton, J. F. (2007). The impact of climate change on smallholder and subsistence agriculture. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 104(50), 19680-19685.

Nguyen, N. C., & Bosch, O. J. (2013). Systems thinking approach to identify leverage points for sustainability: A case study in the cat BA biosphere reserve, Vietnam. Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 30(2), 104-115.

Nguyen, Q. V., & Nguyen, N. C. (2013). Systems thinking methodology in researching the impacts of climate change on the livestock industry. Journal of Vietnamese Environment, 4(1), 20-27.

Ridder, D., Mostert, E., & Cernesson, F. (2005). Learning together to manage together. Institute of Environmental Systems Research.

Sedlacko, M., Martinuzzi, A., Røpke, I., Videira, N., & Antunes, P. (2014). Participatory systems mapping for sustainable consumption: Discussion of a method promoting systemic insights. Ecological Economics, 106, 33-43.

Stave, K. (2010). Participatory system dynamics modeling for sustainable environmental management: Observations from four cases. Sustainability, 2(9), 2762-2784.

Tait, J., & Morris, D. (2000). Sustainable development of agricultural systems: Competing objectives and critical limits. Futures, 32(3-4), 247-260.

Thapa, G., & Gaiha, R. (2014). Smallholder farming in Asia and the Pacific: Challenges and opportunities. New Directions for Smallholder Agriculture, 69-114.

Vennix, J. (1996). Group model building: Facilitating team learning using system dynamics. John Wiley & Sons.

Videira, N., Schneider, F., Sekulova, F., & Kallis, G. (2013). Improving understanding on degrowth pathways: An exploratory study using collaborative causal models. Futures, 55, 58-77.

Wheeler, T., & Von, B. H. (2013). Climate change impacts global food security. Science, 341(6145), 508-513.

Yamane, T. (1973). Statistic: An Introductory Analysis. (3rd ed.). New York: Harper and Row.

Zhang, W., Gowdy, J., Bassi, A. M., Santamaria, M., DeClerck, & Fabrice, A. J. (2019). Systems thinking: an approach for understanding ‘eco-agri-food systems’. TEEB for Agriculture & Food: Scientific and Economic Foundations.

Zingraff-Hamed, A., Hüesker, F., Lupp, G., Begg, C., Huang, J., Oen, A., Vojinovic, Z., Kuhlicke, C., & Pauleit, S. (2020). Stakeholder mapping to Co-create nature-based solutions: Who is on board?. Sustainability, 12(20), 8625.