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International CGE Modeling Training Program Begins at ICAR-IARI Campus, New Delhi

IFPRI, alongside South Asian partners, started a weeklong training on CGE Modeling for Economic Policy Analysis at ICAR-IARI Campus, New Delhi.

Shivam Dwivedi
International CGE Modeling Training Program Begins at ICAR-IARI Campus, New Delhi
International CGE Modeling Training Program Begins at ICAR-IARI Campus, New Delhi

The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), in collaboration with the South Asian Network on Economic Modeling (SANEM), the Indian Council of Agricultural Research-Indian Agricultural Research Institute (ICAR-IARI) and ICAR-National Institute of Agricultural Economics and Policy Research (ICAR-NIAP), inaugurated the commencement of the weeklong ‘International Capacity Building Program on Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) Modeling for Economic Policy Analysis’ at the Division of Agricultural Economics, ICAR-IARI Campus, Pusa, New Delhi today.​

The importance of economy-wide modeling techniques is rising among policy makers in South Asia as is the need for modeling skills among researchers. Given this demand, an introductory training program on CGE modeling with select participants from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka has been organized from April 29 to May 3, 2024. The program, aimed at researchers and policy analysts with a background in economics, will introduce participants to CGE modeling, providing them with a practical grounding in IFPRI’s Standard CGE model that can be used to investigate a range of policy issues.

Many policy questions need to be addressed within an economywide framework that captures impacts on the overall economy, and at sector and household levels. CGE models are designed to evaluate the direct and indirect impacts of policies and shocks at both macroeconomic and microeconomic scales. In 2022, IFPRI organized a comprehensive training program on CGE modeling with participants from South Asia. It facilitated early career researchers to analyze contemporary policy issues for the agriculture sector which was evident from their recent publications2. IFPRI, in collaboration with its national-level partners, has been offering such training programs since 2001 via in-person and hybrid formats.


Dr Alka Singh welcomed the participants and dignitaries to the event. She provided a broad overview of the training and highlighted ICAR-IARI’s academic links with Dr. Ramesh Chand and Dr. R.C. Agrawal.

Chief Guest, Prof. Ramesh Chand, Member, NITI Aayog, shared that “The last thirty years have brought a technological and analytical explosion accompanied by an increasing gap between agricultural universities and research institutes in the region and the rest of the world, and a growing need to fill these gaps. IFPRI has been bridging the gap between agricultural institutes in South Asia and developed countries; once such instance being this training program.”

Dr. James Thurlow, Director, Foresight and Policy Modeling, IFPRI, focused on the importance of modeling in the present and added, “In agriculture, earlier our aim was to increase production. Today, when we think of agrifood system we imagine agriculture to contribute to more complex challenges such as climate change and global crises”, for which he called for new (and more complex) tools to manage the trade-offs and take policy decisions.”

Dr. Pratap S. Birthal, Director, ICAR-NIAP, expressed that “Modeling is now more complex than ever. We need good collection of data to build a model, which helps produce reliable results to take decisions. In agricultural economics, there is a greater demand for such models to produce results (or evidence) to support policymakers in decision-making. This workshop offers a huge opportunity in terms of impact assessments.” He also touched upon two policy briefs (produced by researchers who participated in the 2022 CGE training program.

Dr. R.C. Agrawal, Deputy Director General (Agricultural Education), ICAR, emphasized the importance of capacity-building initiatives for agriculture as well as those under ICAR and IFPRI. He highlighted the increasing demand for impact analysis as well as the need to adapt modeling to the changing scenario of Artificial Intelligence.

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