"No Land" and "No Trade"

Options for the future food supply in Germany

Photo: shutterstock

The international trade integration has been shaping the global food and agricultural sectors over the last decades. However, further integration is stagnating without no significant progress. While the process of trade integration slows down, the costs of opening markets are discussed, both for „developing“ and „developed countries“. The latter are mainly concerned by the limited regulatory options on environmental and animal welfare issues. Regional food production in European and German metropolitan areas are an issue as well. Such thought experiments stand in contradiction to the strong integration of Germany in the global food and agricultural markets: Germany is a net importer of agricultural and food products and is especially dependent on large quantities of animal fodder.

As one of two extreme scenarios this sub-project will analyse a situation with very little trade or “No Trade”. The study of both the allocation and distributional effects of a significantly reduced trade in the agricultural and food sector and, in the extreme case, of a situation without any trade in the agricultural and food sector are aimed. The second extreme scenario is the “No Land” scenario. A shift from land-based towards aquatic or other types of food production would bring significant changes in the German production and trade structures. Also in this scenario, allocation and distributional effects of a situation with significantly less agricultural land or in the extreme case of a “No Land” situation on the agricultural and food sector in Germany will be analysed. The third objective is to understand interaction effects of these two scenarios described above, as well as to understand the dependency of the results on the assumptions on how agriculture and the food sector will develop outside of Germany.

The reduction of trade, up until the complete abolition of trade in food and agricultural products, is a scenario which comes with a variety of simultaneously occurring changes within the agricultural and food sector, with strong interactions in the supply and demand systems. This is why a model with a very detailed depiction of the agricultural sector in Germany and the other EU member states, whereas with less detail on the rest of the world has been chosen for the study of the “No Trade” scenario: The CAPRI (Common Agricultural Policy Regional Impact Analysis) modelling system.

The „No Land“ scenario involves many technological leaps forward. A table-based analysis of the options and the potential for Germany will be conducted. This includes a sensitivity analysis for data robustness checks to examine whether autarky would be possible in a scenario with significantly less or in the extreme case none agricultural land.

Text: F. Thom, HUB

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Unter den Linden 6
10099 Berlin

www.agrar.hu-berlin.de - Department International Agricultural Trade and Development

Project duration
June 2019 - May 2022

Interaction with f4f and other partners

Johann Heinrich von Thünen Institute (Federal Reserach Institute for Rural Areas, Forestry and Fisheries)

Portrait of Prof. Dr. Harald Grethe

Prof. Dr. Harald Grethe


T +49 (0) 30 2093-46810

Prof. Dr. Harald Grethe is the head of the department “International Agricultural Trade and Development” at Albrecht Daniel Thaer-Institute of Agricultural and Horticultural Sciences at Humboldt University of Berlin. He works on the topics of the European Common Agricultural Policy, German agricultural policy and animal welfare, as well as on international trade relations and global agricultural markets.

Portrait of Ferike Thom

Ferike Thom

PhD Student

T +49 (0) 30 2093-46328

Ferike Thom is a PhD student and research assistant at the same department. She works on modelling problems in trade policy and their effects on both developed and developing countries with the help of general and partial equilibrium models, both static and recursive dynamic.


Gocht A., Consmüller N., Thom, F., Grethe H. (2020).“Economic and environmental consequences of the ECJ genome editing judgement in agriculture.”, No 150, Thünen Working Papers from Johann Heinrich von Thünen Institute, Federal Research Institute for Rural Areas, Forestry and Fisheries.
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Gocht, A., Consmüller, N., Thom, F. and Grethe, H. (2021) Economic and Environmental Consequences of the ECJ Genome Editing Judgment in Agriculture. Agronomy.