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Can the restrictive harvest period policy conserve mopane worms in southern Africa? A bioeconomic modelling approach

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  • AKPALU, WISDOM
  • MUCHAPONDWA, EDWIN
  • ZIKHALI, PRECIOUS

Abstract

The mopane worm, which is the caterpillar form of the Saturnid moth Imbrasia belina Westwood, is – like other edible insects and caterpillars – a vital source of protein in southern African countries. The worms live and graze on mopane trees, which have alternative uses. With increasing commercialization of the worm, its management, which was hitherto organized as a common property resource, has been degraded to almost open access. This paper uses a bioeconomic modelling approach to show that for some optimal allocation of the mopane forest stock, the restrictive harvest period policy advocated by community leaders may not lead to sustainable harvesting of the worm.

Suggested Citation

  • Akpalu, Wisdom & Muchapondwa, Edwin & Zikhali, Precious, 2009. "Can the restrictive harvest period policy conserve mopane worms in southern Africa? A bioeconomic modelling approach," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 14(05), pages 587-600, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:endeec:v:14:y:2009:i:05:p:587-600_00
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    JEL classification:

    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis

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