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pdf Version 2022 January


CAPRI development and applications

CAPRI – ‘Common Agricultural Policy Regionalised Impact analysis’ is both the acronym for an EU-wide quantitative agricultural sector modelling system and of the first project centred around it1). The scope of the project has widened over time: the first phase (FAIR3-CT96-1849: CAPRI 1997-1999) provided the concept of the data base and the regional supply models, but linked these to a simple market model distinguishing the EU and rest-of-the-world. In parallel, a team at the FAL (now Thünen Institute, TI) in Braunschweig applied CAPRI to assess the consequences of an increased share of biological farming system (FAIR3-CT96-1794: Effects of the CAP-reform and possible further developments on organic farming in the EU). A further, relatively small project (ENV.B.2/ETU/2000/073: Development of models and tools for assessing the environmental impact of agricultural policies, 2001-2002, financed by DG-REGIO) added a dis-aggregation below administrative regions in form of farm type models, refined the existing environmental indicators and added new ones. A new EU research framework project with the original network (QLTR-2000-00394: CAP-STRAT 2001-2004) refined many of the approaches of the first phase, and linked a complex spatial global multi-commodity model into the system. The application of CAPRI for sugar market reform options in the context of another project improved the way the complex ABC sugar quota system is handled in the model.

Later, a larger project (EU research FP VI, Nr. 501981: CAPRI-Dynaspat) was conducted under the co-ordination of the team in Bonn to render the system recursive-dynamic, dis-aggregate results in space, include the new Member States and add a labour module and an indicator for energy use.

A PhD study (Pérez-Dominguez 2005) initiated (non-CO2) GHG accounting and modelling with CAPRI to analyse tradable permits for GHG emissions from agriculture. Subsequently several projects served to improve the representation of trade policies (FP VI, Nr. 502457: “EU MedAgPol”, also FP VI: “EU-MercoPol”) and extended the coverage the supply models to the New Member states including Bulgaria and Romania).

In 2006-2008 a first biofuel coverage in CAPRI has been achieved during an interim stay of Wolfgang Britz at JRC-Ispra which has been expanded in later years leading to follow up studies on bioenergy policies (Blanco et al. 2010, Britz and Delzeit 2013). In 2006-2007 CAPRI made contributions to study “Integrated measures in Agriculture to reduce Ammonia emission” together with MITERRA-Europe (Alterra, Wageningen) and GAINS (IASSA, Laxenburg) which led to an update of the N-cycle description in CAPRI.

From 2006-2012 CAPRI participated in the LIFE funded EC4MACS2), the “European Consortium for Modelling of Air Pollution and Climate Strategies” which basically triggered a series of projects focussing on and improving long run projections in a modeling cluster with the PRIMES, GAINS and GLOBIOM models3).

In line with the shift of the CAP focus towards sustainability, CAPRI contributed to CCAT – EU Cross compliance tool4), an FP6 project coordinated by Wageningen University, for an integrated assessment of cross compliance impacts, and entered (also in 2007) CAPRI FARM5) aiming at an analysis of farming sustainability.

GHG abatement options have also been investigated in two studies by the JRC (IES, Ispra6), and IPTS, Seville7)) that may be considered the initialisation of mitigation modelling with CAPRI, a research focus that has gained in importance up from 2009 to the present8). Recent applications cover the challenges of including agriculture in climate change mitigation strategies (Fellmann et al. 2018) and trade liberalisation impacts on GHG emissions abatement in the agricultural sector (Himics et al. 2018).

The current two level version of land supply derives from a study on agricultural and trade policy reform impacts on land-use across the EU, with a particular focus on land abandonment (Renwick et al. 2012).

Until summer 2013, again a EU framework project co-ordinated by the team in Bonn called “CAPRI-RD” ensured various updates, and added a layer of regional CGEs, while working on the integration of CAP pillar 2 measures into the system. While the latter have become an essential element of CAP representation in the system, the regional CGEs have not been applied since that time (Schroeder et al. 2015, but this might be also considered the starting point of Wolfgang Britz, the main developper of CAPRI up to 2013, to move more into CGE modelling9)).

Sustainability in its various facets has been the topic driving model developments and extensions that are likely to be pursued in the next years.

  • Beginning with a small explorative study in 2011 several studies led to the development and improvement of a “CAPRI water version” used in various projects10) and studies on water-food linkages (Blanco et al. 2018).
  • GHG accounting and modelling beyond non-CO2 required to address LULUCF effects in projects aiming at a complete coverage of the country area in the UNFCCC classification as well as transitions between those land categories and a closed carbon balance for agricultural areas11)).
  • Several efforts have been undetaken by JRC-Ispra, partly in house, partly in specific projects to achieve a more accurate representation of various environmental indicators. The detailed nutrient flow in CAPRI has been exploited to measure nitrogen footprint of food products in the EU (Leip et al. 2014) and to assess the impacts of European livestock production (Leip et al. 2015). The representation of environmental constraints, involving restrictions for fertiliser applications, for ammonia emissions, lifestock density, is currently being improved and also led to a representation of manure trade between regions.
  • Diet shifts of food consumers offer a great potential to achieve environmental relief (as well as health benefits), such that their representation in CAPRI has been improved in the context of various partly ongoing projects12) and studies.

Apart from the wide area of sustainability aspects of trade modelling have also been repeatedly at the heart of targeted model improvements, mostly commissioned by JRC-IPTS13) and thereby pursuing the CAPRI tradition of bilateral trade modelling.

Two areas of technical developments are also likely to be continued in the future. The first one is the improvement of linkages to the in house JRC model IFM CAP that permits to represent the diversity of CAP restrictions only amenable to modelling at the farm level. As IFM-CAP operates with exogenous prices, it requires prices as model inputs that may be provided by CAPRI. The ongoing SUPREMA project (mentioned in the context of LULUCF modelling already) pursues these linkages while trying to also watch for computational feasibility, given that IFM-CAP covers each FADM farm individually. The second strand of technical improvements is the initialisation of a “stable release cycle” for CAPRI, based on two JRC-IPTS projects that are currently pursued under SUPREMA.

The historical review has so far focussed on those studies and projects, that left clear marks in the current system as a heritage. In addition, the system was applied to a wide range of numerous different scenarios that often left smaller “traces” in the system but illustrate its capabilities and contributed to improvement in many details that are critical for serious impact assessments. The very first application in 1999 analysed the so called ‘Agenda 2000’ reform package of the CAP. Shortly afterwards, a team at SLI, Lund, Sweden applied CAPRI to analyse CAP reform option for milk and dairy. FAL, Braunschweig looked into the effects of an increase of organic production systems. WTO scenarios as well as scenarios on specific trade agreements were frequnetly untertaken. Moreover, CAPRI was applied to analyse sugar market reform options at regional level, linked to results of the WATSIM and CAPSIM models. In 2003, scenarios dealing with the CAP reform package titled ‘Mid Term Review’ were performed by the team in Bonn (Britz et al. 2003). In the wake of the sugar market reforms various reform options have been investigated (Adenaeuer et al. 2004).

In 2004 CAPRI was used to generate a baseline in close co-operation with DG Agri match DG Agri’s outlook projections which has become a regular activity. Several studies have been launched in 2007 on particular aspects of the ongoing CAP reform (decoupling project for DEFRA, UK, modulation study by LEI for DG Agri and a milk quota expiry for JRC, IPTS, Seville). The Farm Type version of CAPRI has been used frequently to look at intrasectoral distribution of CAP reform impacts14), direct payment harmonisation (Gocht et al. 2013), CAP greening (Gocht et al. 2017), and an EU-wide policy to extend grassland areas in order to increase carbon sink capacity (Gocht et al. 2016). A recent important application, also involving the Farm Type layer, was the impact assessment of the proposals on the post-2020 CAP, involving CAPRI in a multi-model approach to determine effects on production, prices, trade, GHG emissions and the nitrogen balance (European Commission 2018).

Several analyses have investigated potential impact of climate change in EU agriculture by introducing changes in crop yields from biophysical models as exogenous shifts. This enables to analyse regional changes in production within the EU while considering market feedback, as well as the role of trade to counterbalance uneven effects of climate change across the world (Delincé et al 2015, Blanco et al. 2017, Pérez Dominguez and Fellmann, 2018).

As will be clear from this review the CAPRI system strongly benefitted from EU Commission support in various forms. Most of the initial developments were co financed by DG RSRCH through the series of past FP and H2020 projects and. Furthermore the DG-JRC (IPTS, Seville and IES Ispra) has actively contributed to improvements and extensions in various components of the system and also stimulated system development with a continuous flow of new research questions and matching projects. Since a number of years recurring demand for up-to-date and long run projections on the part of DG CLIMA is contributing to some regularity in the updating process for data base and projections. Nonetheless the CAPRI network faces the common problem of the commons such that the update process for documentation is in risk to lag behind the moving target of the current code. Readers identifying missing or obsolete sections are therefore invited to contact any of the authors.

This group of projects combines, for example, the FP7 project CC-TAME (Climate Change - Terrestrial Adaptation and Mitigation in Europe) and several projects commissioned by DG CLIMA (just starting is “EUCLIMIT 5”).
The Ecampa studies (EcAMPA2 (EcAMPA3 report is still under preparation): ) are prominent examples of this tradition with a focus on EU mitigation, while a more global long run orientation is pursued in the AGCLIM50 studies (e.g.
This started with an ERA NET project TRUSTEE in 2013 (, was picked up in EcAMPA3 (beginning in 2017, technical report under preparation) and is pursued under SUPREMA as off 2018 (
See e.g. Diet shifts were already explored in CAPRI in earlier years (e.g. under the JRC –IPTS project AgCLIM50-2) but the effort devoted to demand modelling, data and analysis has increased.
We may mention the Engage specific contract on “Detailed trade policy modelling with the CAPRI model” (2014, No 154208.X1), the running Engage2 specific contract on “Update of CAPRI tariff and trade database and split of Australia-New Zealand regional block” (2019, No 935680.X7), and pending H2020 proposals.
capri_development_and_applications.txt · Last modified: 2019/12/06 10:55 (external edit)