Strategic Planning in Citriculture: An Optimization Approach

The worldwide citrus market has been impacted by various factors in recent years, including population growth, phytosanitary diseases, high costs of agricultural inputs, and diminishing planting areas. As a consequence, producers in this sector have attempted to find tools to support strategic planting decisions, and thus meet international contract demands. This paper proposes an optimization tool for supporting the strategic planning of planting decisions in citriculture, based on mathematical models and algorithms that address real-world requirements. The motivation for this study stems from our collaboration with one of the world's largest orange juice producers. We consider specific characteristics of the citrus business, estimates for productivity and eradication, and desired balance levels for orange varieties and plant age groups. To the best of our knowledge, there are no previous studies proposing optimization approaches that explore these unique characteristics of citrus strategic planting. We validate the effectiveness of the proposed approach through computational experiments using realistic instances based on the company's data. The results show that our approach provides an effective support to decision making and can significantly increase fruit box production over a 30-year planning horizon while, most importantly, satisfying all the company's requirements on varietal and age balance as well as planting and eradication control.



View Strategic Planning in Citriculture: An Optimization Approach