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

Author

Listed:
  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Roland Olbrich & Martin F. Quaas & Stefan Baumgaertner, 2012. "Characterizing commercial cattle farms in Namibia: risk, management and sustainability," Working Paper Series in Economics 248, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:lue:wpaper:248
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    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. 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.
    4. Baumgärtner, Stefan & Quaas, Martin F., 2009. "Ecological-economic viability as a criterion of strong sustainability under uncertainty," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(7), pages 2008-2020, May.
    5. Howarth, Richard B., 2007. "Towards an operational sustainability criterion," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(4), pages 656-663, September.
    6. 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.
    7. Quaas, Martin F. & Baumgärtner, Stefan, 2008. "Natural vs. financial insurance in the management of public-good ecosystems," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 397-406, April.
    8. Steffen Andersen & Glenn Harrison & Morten Lau & E. Rutström, 2009. "Elicitation using multiple price list formats," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 12(3), pages 365-366, September.
    9. 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, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jessica Ingenillem & Joachim Merz & Stefan Baumgärtner, 2014. "Determinants and interactions of sustainability and risk management of commercial cattle farmers in Namibia," Working Paper Series in Economics 304, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
    2. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

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

    JEL classification:

    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
    • Q57 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Ecological Economics

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