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Characterizing commercial cattle farms in Namibia: risk, management and sustainability

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Author Info

  • Roland Olbrich

    ()
    (Department of Sustainability Sciences and Department of Economics, Leuphana University Lueneburg, Germany)

  • Martin F. Quaas

    (Department of Economics, University of Kiel, Germany)

  • Stefan Baumgaertner

    (Department of Sustainability Sciences and Department of Economics, Leuphana University Lueneburg, Germany)

Abstract

Commercial cattle farming in Namibia, a prime example of livestock farming in semi-arid rangelands, is subject to a variety of risks, predominant among which is precipitation risk. At the same time it suffers from rangeland degradation that is at least partly due to inadequate management. We characterize cattle farms through descriptive statistics and cluster analysis using data that we elicited in August 2008 through mail-in questionnaires and in-field experiments. We find that cattle farms are highly heterogeneous in the majority of individual characteristics. Heterogeneity is also observed when analyzing characteristics jointly through the cluster analysis which suggests classification of farms into three distinct clusters. This classification is predominantly driven by environmental condition and financial risk management, and to a lesser extent by organizational structure of farms or ethnicity. Overall, our study is the first to provide a comprehensive characterization of this system in respect to risk, management and sustainability.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics in its series Working Paper Series in Economics with number 248.

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Length: 53 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:lue:wpaper:248

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Web page: http://leuphana.de/institute/ivwl.html

Related research

Keywords: cattle farming; semi-arid rangelands; Namibia; empirical survey; perceived risk; management; risk and time preferences; normative views; sustainability;

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References

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  1. Howarth, Richard B., 2007. "Towards an operational sustainability criterion," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(4), pages 656-663, September.
  2. Roland Olbrich & Martin F. Quaas & Stefan Baumgärtner, 2009. "Sustainable use of ecosystem services under multiple risks – a survey of commercial cattle farmers in semi-arid rangelands in Namibia," Working Paper Series in Economics 137, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  3. Steffen Andersen & Glenn Harrison & Morten Lau & E. Rutström, 2009. "Elicitation using multiple price list formats," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 365-366, September.
  4. Stefan Baumgärtner & Martin F. Quaas, 2007. "Ecological-economic viability as a criterion of strong sustainability under uncertainty," Working Paper Series in Economics 67, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  5. GlennW. Harrison & StevenJ. Humphrey & Arjan Verschoor, 2010. "Choice under Uncertainty: Evidence from Ethiopia, India and Uganda," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(543), pages 80-104, 03.
  6. Roland Olbrich & Martin F. Quaas & Andreas Haensler & Stefan Baumgaertner, 2011. "Risk preferences under heterogeneous environmental risk," Working Paper Series in Economics 208, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  7. Roland Olbrich & Martin F. Quaas & Stefan Baumgaertner, 2011. "Personal norms of sustainability and their impact on management – The case of rangeland management in semi-arid regions," Working Paper Series in Economics 209, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  8. Martin F. Quaas & Stefan Baumgärtner, 2006. "Natural vs. financial insurance in the management of public-good ecosystems," Working Paper Series in Economics 34, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  9. Shogren, Jason F. & Crocker, Thomas D., 1999. "Risk and Its Consequences," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 44-51, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Roland Olbrich & Martin F. Quaas & Stefan Baumgaertner, 2011. "Personal norms of sustainability and their impact on management – The case of rangeland management in semi-arid regions," Working Paper Series in Economics 209, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.

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