Original Research

Empirical analysis of drought-induced cattle destocking in South Africa

Prince Nketiah, Herbert Ntuli
Jàmbá: Journal of Disaster Risk Studies | Vol 16, No 1 | a1557 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jamba.v16i1.1557 | © 2024 Prince Nketiah, Herbert Ntuli | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 29 June 2023 | Published: 30 March 2024

About the author(s)

Prince Nketiah, Department of Agricultural Economics, Extension and Rural Development, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Herbert Ntuli, Department of Agricultural Economics, Extension and Rural Development, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa

Abstract

Destocking as a drought mitigation strategy exposes smallholder cattle farmers to adverse effects, including the distortion of farm planning and income loss, as cattle are sold off regardless of the market price. Factors influencing destocking as a drought mitigation strategy for smallholder cattle farmers have received less attention in the literature. The study assessed the relationship between drought and cattle destocking as well as factors that affect farmers’ destocking decision. The relationship between drought and cattle destocking was assessed using correlation analysis, while determinants of destocking were identified through the zero-inflated Poisson (ZIP) regression model, which controlled for structural zeros. The research covered the period 2008–2017 using secondary data from the National Income Dynamics Study (NIDS), the South Africa Weather Service and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). The study found that drought has direct correlation with the quantity of beef produced in South Africa at −0.67, with a 1% significance level. Farmers’ socioeconomic characteristics such as cattle herd size, income, secondary occupation, fodder purchase and ownership of land positively influenced cattle destocking decision while household size and cattle loss during drought influenced destocking decision negatively.

Contribution: The study estimated the determinants of smallholder cattle farmers’ decision to destock during drought, using a count model and accounted for socioeconomic and farmer-specific factors.


Keywords

drought; cattle destocking; smallholder cattle farmers; standardised precipitation index (SPI); South Africa.

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 13: Climate action

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