Deputy Director


Kerstin Martens
Institute of Farm Economics

Bundesallee 63
38116 Braunschweig
Phone: +49 531 596 5102
Fax: +49 531 596 5199

Can sustainable production of beef, palm oil and soy bean be profitable?


Rind, Palmöl und Sojabohnen (c) Thünen-Institut
(© Thünen-Institut)

Cost-benefit analysis of best management practices of beef, palm oil and soybean production in Colombia and Paraguay

The production of beef, palmoil and soybean competes on land which has been covered by rainforest and other natural vegetation.

Background and Objective

Land us for the production of beef, plamoil and soybeans is often considered as a source of deforestation in South America. Further, the use of deforestated land by these activities is often considered to be un-sustainable and not resource-efficient. Detailed quantified information and data on a) the current situation and b) possible alternative and more sustainable land use options are usually not available.

This is a subproject of a bigger project on making agricultural production more sustainable. The main objective is to quantify the impact of various land use alternatives (practice change) on production systems, productivity, performance and economics.

The analysis encompasses beef production as well as palm oil and soybean production in ecologically sensitive areas in Colombia and Paraguay.

Target Group

Decision makers in politics, agriculture, non-government organisations, research and science


  • Definition and quantification of a reference situation (baseline)
  • Definitions and quantification of alternative land use scenarios
  • Analysis of performance, productivity, revenues, costs and profitability for the baseline and the scenarios
  • Before/ after and with/ without analysis of the baseline and the scenarios
  • Conclusions and recommendations

Data and Methods

For the data collection and analysis the methods developed and applied in the agri benchmark Network are made available. For the data collection, detailed information on regionally typical farms is collected jointly withfocus groups of local experts (WWF, advisory, producers, researchers) applying the standard operating procedure of agri benchmark. The calculation of the results is done with the model TIPI-CAL. The survey and the calculation results are cross-checked with the participating experts. The focus groups are further activated for the specification and validation of the scenarios.

Preliminary Results

First results are expected for the first quarter 2019.


Involved Thünen-Partners

Funding Body

  • World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
    (international, privat)


12.2016 - 12.2019

More Information

Projekt type:
Project funding number: 21042112
Funding program: BMUB - IKI (Internationale Klimaschutzinitiative)
Project status: ongoing