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Determinants and interactions of sustainability and risk management of commercial cattle farmers in Namibia


  • Jessica Ingenillem

    (Leuphana University Lueneburg, Germany)

  • Joachim Merz

    (Leuphana University Lueneburg, Germany)

  • Stefan Baumgärtner

    () (Leuphana University Lueneburg, Germany)


We study the determinants and interactions of sustainability and risk management with a cross-sectional dataset on commercial cattle farming in semi-arid rangelands in Namibia. Cattle farmers in Namibia act within a coupled ecological-economic system that is subject to extensive degradation and high environmental risk. Based on survey data, we develop variables for sustainability and risk management within this context, identify their determinants and analyse relevant interactions. Our results show that the ecosystem condition is positively influenced when financial risk management strategies are applied. On-farm risk management, like additional feed for cattle or resting part of the rangeland, and collective risk management through interest groups or governmental support, instead, do not impact on the sustainability of the farm. Risk management itself is predominantly influenced by various risks linked to the farming business and the farmers’ educational background. Furthermore, the gathered experience through operation time on farm decreases the application of on-farm risk management and favours the use of financial and collective risk management. Additionally, collective risk management is influenced by risk preferences, indicating that farmers who are more risk friendly apply forms of joint risk management strategies to a lesser extent. Risk friendliness is also negatively related to the economic sustainability, specified as the ability to sustain the livelihood of the farmer. However, the results show no indication whatsoever that time preferences impact on either sustainability or risk management.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:lue:wpaper:304

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    References listed on IDEAS

    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. Natalia Lukomska & Martin F. Quaas & Stefan Baumgärtner, 2010. "Bush encroachment control and risk management in semi-arid rangelands," Working Paper Series in Economics 191, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
    3. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-838, May.
    4. Stefan Baumgärtner & Martin F. Quaas, 2007. "Agro-biodiversity as natural insurance and the development of financial insurance markets," Working Paper Series in Economics 61, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
    5. Roland Olbrich & Martin F. Quaas & Stefan Baumgärtner, 2014. "Personal Norms of Sustainability and Farm Management Behavior," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(8), pages 1-28, August.
    6. Di Falco, Salvatore & Capitanio, Fabian & Adinolfi, Felice, 2011. "Natural Vs Financial Insurance in the Management of Weather Risk Exposure in the Italian Agriculture," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 114325, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    7. Breusch, T S & Pagan, A R, 1979. "A Simple Test for Heteroscedasticity and Random Coefficient Variation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(5), pages 1287-1294, September.
    8. 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.
    9. Quaas, Martin F. & Baumgartner, Stefan & Becker, Christian & Frank, Karin & Muller, Birgit, 2007. "Uncertainty and sustainability in the management of rangelands," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 251-266, April.
    10. 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.
    11. Ekins, Paul & Simon, Sandrine & Deutsch, Lisa & Folke, Carl & De Groot, Rudolf, 2003. "A framework for the practical application of the concepts of critical natural capital and strong sustainability," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2-3), pages 165-185, March.
    12. repec:cii:cepiei:2012-q4-132-4 is not listed on IDEAS
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    cattle farming; ecological-economic system; financial instruments; precipitation; risk management; semi-arid rangelands; sustainability;

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