During the past decades, major changes have taken place with regard to the available policy instruments for food security and rural development. These changes are reviewed against the background of the structural adjustment programmes carried out in the agricultural sector. The linkages between agricultural policy and farmers' supply response are discussed, emphasizing the influence of macro-policy for decision-making at the micro-level of a farm household. An integrated bio-economic modelling framework is presented that allows a better understanding of the effects of macro and sectoral policy interventions for food security and sustainable land use at the farm and (sub)regional level. Critical areas where the understanding of macro–micro linkages is still weak are identified. Major conclusions regarding a suitable analytical framework for policy analysis and support are presented.