Driving forces behind farm conversions to wildlife-based production
10 / 2007 - 11 / 2011
Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO)
Two researchers (PhD), one in each province, will study the economics of game farming versus conventional forms of farming in South Africa, and KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape in particular. The researchers will use quantitative methodologies to investigate the economics of wildlife production, including the costs for protection of game, marketing, demand for labour, wages paid, services provided to farm dwellers and their families, etc. They will build on earlier studies by Van Niekerk and Kerley (NMMU). Mike Murphree and Pieter Van Niekerk will assist the students in refining the surveys that were developed for these studies and will adapt them to other sub-sectors of wildlife-based production, i.e. hunting operations, venison production, mixed game and cattle farms; and in developing surveys for 'conventional' farmers. The surveys will be sent out through the Eastern Cape Management Association (ECGMA), KwaZulu-Natal Hunting & Conservation Association (KZNHCA) and AgriSA. Results will be analysed using appropriate statistical tools such as SPSS. As already indicated in the main text of the proposal, the researchers will have to be aware that data concerning labourers employed and wages paid is very sensitive, especially since the introduction of a minimum wage and other legislation aimed at protecting the rights of farm dwellers. Therefore researchers will also consult the AFRA and ECARP case reports on disputes over wages, and conditions of living of farm dwellers. Additionally, the researchers will also employ in-depth interviews to probe farmers' reasons for converting to wildlife production and their views on the impacts of the conversion on farm dwellers. The selection of farmers for interviews will be such that they represent the various sub-sectors of wildlife-based production. ECGMA and KZNHCA will provide input for the selection of farmers. Interviews will also be conducted with relevant government departments on policy issues, regulations, and subsidy schemes. Policy documents and reports on wildlife-based production produced by the departments and the organisations representing the farmers will be analysed. Contacts established with the wildlife producers' representative bodies and government departments (see attached letters of support) will facilitate first access.