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Experimental analysis of adoption of domestic mopane worm farming technology in Zimbabwe


  • Robert Hope
  • Peter Frost
  • Alan Gardiner
  • Jaboury Ghazoul


Seasonal outbreaks of mopane worms, caterpillars of the moth Imbrasia belina, provide an important source of income and food for rural people in the semi-arid woodlands of southern Africa. Outbreaks are erratic and periodically fail to produce caterpillars of harvestable size, which has generated interest in a new technology for domestic farming of mopane worms at the household level. Using a choice experiment, the authors explore the preferences of harvesters across alternative farm management scenarios in four villages located in the mopane woodlands of rural Zimbabwe. The results highlight preference heterogeneity across investment cost, labour effort, harvest price and harvest yield attributes depending on age, location and latent class decomposition. They conclude that design specifications need to respond to socio-ecological variability and significant household investment constraints in order for the technology to be adopted by rural households living under extreme economic hardship.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Hope & Peter Frost & Alan Gardiner & Jaboury Ghazoul, 2009. "Experimental analysis of adoption of domestic mopane worm farming technology in Zimbabwe," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(1), pages 29-46.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:deveza:v:26:y:2009:i:1:p:29-46
    DOI: 10.1080/03768350802640065

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    Cited by:

    1. Baiyegunhi, L.J.S. & Oppong, B.B., 2016. "Commercialisation of mopane worm (Imbrasia belina) in rural households in Limpopo Province, South Africa," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 141-148.
    2. L. J. S. Baiyegunhi & B. B. Oppong & G. M. Senyolo, 2016. "Mopane worm (Imbrasia belina) and rural household food security in Limpopo province, South Africa," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 8(1), pages 153-165, February.

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