STUDY OF ACTIVE FARMLAND USE TO SUPPORT AGENT-BASED MODELING OF FOOD DESERTS
Keywords: Food Desert, Agent-Based Modeling, Land-Use, Spatial Analysis, Temporal Analysis
Abstract. Food desert (FD) is the area that has limited access to affordable and nutritious foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables, and other healthful whole foods. FDs are important socio-economic problems in North Carolina (NC), potentially contributing to obesity in low-income areas. If farmland is available, local vegetable production could potentially help alleviate FDs. However, little is known about land use and land-use transitions (LUTs) in the vicinity of FDs. To fill this knowledge gap, we study the farmland use in three NC counties, Bladen, Guilford and, Rutherford, located in Coastal, Piedmont, and, Mountain regions of the state, respectively. The analysis combines the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) 2015 FD/NFD delineation of census tracts, and geospatial soil productivity and 2008–2019 land cover data. The understanding of farmland use is expected to contribute to the development of LUT components of FD Agent-Based Models (ABM).