Productivity benchmarking of free-range sheep operations

Conradie, B and Piesse, J (2014), Productivity benchmarking of free-range sheep operations: Technical efficiency, correlates of productivity and dominant technology variants for Laingsburg, South Africa. Sustainable Science Unit, Centre for Social Science Research, University of Cape Town. CSSR Working Paper no. 344.   Abstract Data envelopment analysis (DEA) was used to benchmark extensive sheep operations […]

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Review of Municipal Commonage programme of the Department of Land Affairs

The term municipal commonage is traditionally applied to land owned by a municipality or local authority. The land was usually acquired through state grants or from the church. The land was granted to serve the needs and interests of the poorer residents of the specific town.  Commonage lost its traditional character when previously disadvantaged residents […]

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Shale Gas Development in the Central Karoo – Agriculture

Agriculture is an important contributor to the regional economy. The total Gross Farm Income (GFI) of the region is just over five billion rand (R 5006 million). The agricultural sector in the study area provides a direct source of income for about 38 000 people. Considering the average size of families in the study area […]

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Smart Agriculture for Climate Resilience (SmartAgri)

Smart Agriculture for Climate Resilience (SmartAgri) was a two-year project by the Western Cape Department of Agriculture, and the Western Cape Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning. The project ran from 2014 to 2016, and worked with the University of Cape Town’s African Climate and Development Initiative (ACDI). This project produced several research briefs: […]


Spatial, temporal and attitudinal dimensions of conflict between predators and small-livestock farmers in the Central Karoo

Conflict between predators and small-livestock farmers is a global phenomenon adversely impacting the preservation of wildlife, the well-being of livestock and human livelihoods. Such conflict is pervasive in the Karoo region of South Africa but its contemporary history and various causes remain poorly understood. In this study, we interviewed 77 small-livestock farmers in the Central […]

Also posted in People, environment and biodiversity | |

Taking stock of land reform in Namibia from 1990 to 2005

Ingle, M (2011), Taking stock of land reform in Namibia from 1990 to 2005, New Contree, 62 pp. 55 – 70.   Abstract The land reform debate in Namibia has been predicated on a number of questionable assumptions and is atypical of the scenarios presented by other SADC countries. The one point of similarity is that the […]

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Technology and Ecology in the Karoo

Windmills and wire fencing entered the farming practices of the north-eastern Karoo in the final decades of the nineteenth century. A new grazing system came into being comprising artificial water sources and camps in which sheep and other livestock ranged freely. By the late 1920s this had displaced the old shepherding-plus-kraaling arrangements. At the time, […]

Also posted in Heritage and Fossils of the Karoo | |

The economics of geographical indications

Bramley, C, Bienabe, E and Kirsten, JF (2009), The economics of geographical indications: Towards a conceptual framework for geographical indication research in developing countries. In: WIPO (ed). The economics of intellectual property: Suggestions for further research in developing countries and countries with economies in transition. WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organisation), Geneva.     INTRODUCTION Over […]

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The food “quality turn” in South Africa: An initial exploration of its implications for small-scale farmers’

This article analyses the way the general turn from mass consumption to the increased qualitative differentiation of products – the “quality turn” – manifests in the South African agro-food system and explores its implications in terms of market access conditions for small-scale farmers in particular. While most retailers’ food quality positioning is in line with […]

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The Governance and Management of Commonages in three Small Towns in the Eastern Cape

Martens, C (2009), The Governance and Management of Commonages in three Small Towns in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, Masters thesis, Environmental Science, Rhodes University, Grahamstown.   Abstract Commonage is land that is usually found adjacent to a town, which is owned by the local municipality and acquired through state grants or, historically, through the church. Since […]

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