A sustainable rice supply chain planning from the farm to the table: a case study

Document Type : Article


1 School of Industrial Engineering, Iran University of Science and Technology

2 Iran University of Science and Technology

3 Iran University of Science and technology


Agri-food supply chains include several processes, from cropping and harvesting to distribution. Integrating these processes to reduce costs and environmental impact and providing sufficient supply are the main goals of agri-food supply chain management. Rice, a so-called staple food, makes up a significant portion of the human diet worldwide. Due to the importance of rice, this paper proposes a mixed-integer linear programming model for rice supply chain design and planning that considers economic, environmental, and social dimensions. This model determines the optimal strategic and tactical decisions in the rice supply chain, including cropping pattern, supplier selection, and the location and capacity of new milling centers with parboiling technology. The model considers different rice varieties and irrigation water requirements of crops. Also, it investigates the benefits of renting as well as offering a partnership agreement to independent farmers. A case study of Iran farmlands is employed to show the applicability and advantages of the proposed model for the rice supply chain. To solve the proposed multi-objective model, the ɛ-constraint method is applied. The results indicate that opening milling centers with parboiling technology is profitable for the supply chain. Moreover, entering a partnership agreement is much more profitable than renting farmlands.