To minimize negative environmental impact of livestock production, policy-makers face a challenge to design and implement more effective policy instruments for livestock farmers at different scales. This research builds an assessment framework on the basis of an agent-based model, named ANEM, to explore nutrient mitigation potentials of five policy instruments, using pig production in Zhongjiang county, southwest China, as the empirical filling. The effects of different policy scenarios are simulated and compared using four indicators and differentiating between small, medium and large scale pig farms. Technology standards, biogas subsidies and information provisioning prove to be the most effective policies, while pollution fees and manure markets fail to environmentally improve manure management in pig livestock farming. Medium-scale farms are the more relevant scale category for a more environmentally sound development of Chinese livestock production. A number of policy recommendations are formulated as conclusion, as well as some limitations and prospects of the simulations are discussed.
- spatial models