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A decision support approach for cane supply management within a sugar mill area

Lejars C., Le Gal P.Y., Auzoux S.. 2008. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture, 60 (2) : p. 239-249.

DOI: 10.1016/j.compag.2007.08.008

Increased competition between agri-food supply chains has strained relationships between farmers and processing factories while reducing individual profit margins. Decisions at different levels of the supply chain can no longer be considered independently, since they may influence profitability throughout the supply chain. This paper presents a decision support approach based on the MAGI® simulation tool, which aims to facilitate discussion and negotiation between stakeholders while collectively exploring satisfactory solutions. The simulation tool helps sugarcane growers and millers in designing and assessing new ways of organizing cane supply management within a mill area. It addresses key issues such as restructuring mill areas or changing cane delivery allocation rules in order to increase total sugar production and total net revenue at the mill area level. This approach has been implemented for two mills in Réunion and one mill in South Africa. Simulations showed that sugar gains may be obtained by rearranging supply scheduling according to quality-based zoning within a mill area. Discussions led to further studies regarding the practicality of the best scenarios. MAGI® is now available as freeware for testing in different settings.

Mots-clés : canne à sucre; industrie du sucre; organisation du travail; modèle de simulation; planification; système d'aide à la décision; participation; qualité; technique de prévision; approches participatives; afrique du sud; réunion; france; approvisionnement; recherche participative

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