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Optimal long-term stocking rates for livestock grazing in a Sahelian rangeland


  • Hein, Lars
  • Weikard, Hans-Peter


Economic modelling of semi-arid rangelands has received much attention in recent literature. A major outstanding issue is how stochastic rainfall and the feedback effect of heavy grazing pressures on vegetation productivity can be accounted for in these models. This paper presents a model for calculating the optimal livestock stocking rate in a semi-arid rangeland that accounts for stochastic rainfall, the ecological feedback effect and variable prices. The model is developed for rangelands dominated by annual rather than perennial grasses, such as the African Sahel. The feedback effect is modeled on the basis of an ecological study, conducted in northern Senegal, that analyzes the impact of different grazing pressures on vegetation productivity. The paper presents both a general model and an application of the model to the Ferlo, a semi-arid rangeland in northern Senegal.

Suggested Citation

  • Hein, Lars & Weikard, Hans-Peter, 2008. "Optimal long-term stocking rates for livestock grazing in a Sahelian rangeland," African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, African Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 2(2), September.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:afjare:56959

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    Cited by:

    1. Müller, Birgit & Quaas, Martin F. & Frank, Karin & Baumgärtner, Stefan, 2011. "Pitfalls and potential of institutional change: Rain-index insurance and the sustainability of rangeland management," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(11), pages 2137-2144, September.
    2. Boaitey, Albert & Ellen, Goddard, 2016. "Optimal Livestock Management For Improved Environmental Outcomes: How Effective Are Carbon Offset Markets?," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 236010, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

    More about this item


    Semi-arid rangelands; optimal stocking rate; modeling rangeland ecology; Sahel; Livestock Production/Industries; Q24; D24;

    JEL classification:

    • Q24 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Land
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity


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