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2009-05-05 | Discussion Paper

Agricultural Risk Management through Community-Based Wildlife Conservation in Rural Zimbabwe

Muchapondwa, Edwin and Thomas Sterner. 2009. “Agricultural Risk Management through Community-Based Wildlife Conservation in Rural Zimbabwe” ERSA working paper 126
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By making use of national historical data and statistical analysis, this paper argues that community-based wildlife conservation is a feasible hedge asset for agricultural production in rural Zimbabwe.

This paper investigates whether the risk faced by rural farmers in Zimbabwe could potentially be managed by using community-based wildlife conservation. Community-based wildlife conservation could be an additional asset in the rural farmers investment portfolio thereby potentially diversifying and consequently reducing the risk they face. Such investment could also help efforts to conserve wildlife. By making use of national historical data and statistical analysis, this paper finds that community-based wildlife conservation is a feasible hedge asset for agricultural production in rural Zimbabwe. The benefits of diversification into community-based wildlife conservation are likely to be high only in those rural areas that can sustain wildlife pop- ulations sufficient to generate adequate returns from wildlife activities such as tourism, trophy hunting, live animal sales and meat cropping.