Determinants of Farm Size and Stocking Rate in Namibian Commercial Cattle Farming

42 Pages Posted: 14 Dec 2017

See all articles by John-Oliver Engler

John-Oliver Engler

University of Vechta

Henrik von Wehrden

Leuphana University of Lueneburg

Stefan Baumgärtner

University of Freiburg - Department of Environment and Natural Resources

Date Written: November 13, 2017

Abstract

Utilizing a data set of 399 Namibian commercial cattle farmers, we provide a detailed empirical analysis of farm management under highly variable rainfall. Particularly, we provide an econometric analysis of what personal characteristics of the farmer, environmental characteristics, and characteristics of the farm explain farm size and choice of stocking rate. There is strong support for the hypothesis that environmental variables such as inter-annual rainfall variability play a vital role in explaining stocking rate, but not in explaining farm size in the sense of rangeland area or cattle numbers. Other major explaining factors for the stocking rate are the farmer’s gender and the number of cattle on farm above a certain threshold given by a fit of the Pareto distribution to the data. Traditional farm size variables like cattle number and rangeland area are not well explained by any of the candidate models constructed, which supports the view that the stocking rate is the central farm management parameter.

Keywords: Risk Preferences; Environmental Risk; Semi-Arid Rangelands; Cattle Farming; Stocking Rate; Farm Size; Pareto Distribution; Range Management

JEL Classification: D22; Q12; Q56; R11; R12

Suggested Citation

Engler, John-Oliver and von Wehrden, Henrik and Baumgärtner, Stefan, Determinants of Farm Size and Stocking Rate in Namibian Commercial Cattle Farming (November 13, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3086556 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3086556

John-Oliver Engler (Contact Author)

University of Vechta ( email )

Henrik Von Wehrden

Leuphana University of Lueneburg ( email )

Scharnhorststraße 1
Lüneburg, 21335
Germany

Stefan Baumgärtner

University of Freiburg - Department of Environment and Natural Resources ( email )

Tennebacher Str. 4
Freiburg, 79106
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.ere.uni-freiburg.de

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