Synergies and Trade-offs

We use an innovative correlation matrix plot to examine the synergies and trade-offs among SAM indicators. For this analysis, we exclude countries whose data availability cover only three or less indicator pairs. Indicator names are in the diagonal cells and each box of the matrix plot represents an indicator pair. In total, there are four possible colors that can be observed for a given indicator pair, showcasing a range of correlations (e.g., negative, positive, insignificant, no data) exhibited across our dataset of 112 countries. For a given box, or indicator-pair, orange denotes synergies with its size representing the percentage of the countries with significantly positive Spearman’s correlations (p-value < 0.05); blue stands for trade-offs or significantly negative Spearman’s correlations; yellow represents insignificant correlations; and the grey color indicates the proportion of countries with no data for a given indicator pair. Synergies are seen in most countries between indicator pairs such as N surplus and P surplus; N surplus and GHG emissions; Water Consumption and GHG emissions; and even Food Affordability and Labor Productivity (to name a few). And tradeoffs can be observed between indicator pairs such as Crop Diversity and N Surplus; Water Consumption and Labor Productivity; and Crop Diversity and GHG emissions (to name a few).

Figure displaying an overview of synergies and trade-offs between SAM indicators for 112 major agricultural and production countries.

An overview of synergies and trade- offs between SAM indicators for 112 major agricultural production countries. The short indicator names are on the diagonal of the figure, and each box at the lower-left part of the figure summarizes the relationships between a pair of indicators. In each box, the height of each colored bar is determined by the fraction of countries in synergy (orange: a significantly positive correlation between indicators, p < 0.05), trade-off (blue: significantly negative correlation), or insignificant relationship (yellow); the remaining area in the box indicates no data (light gray).