Is game farming and hunting in Africa's sustainable future?
"There is now also a growing appreciation of the benefits of game farming as opposed to traditional livestock farming. Indigenous game farming promises to be more sustainable, having multiple benefits such as (this is by no means exhaustive):
-requiring less infrastructure;
-consuming less water;
-animals are easier to breed and maintain;
-animals are more resilient to environmental factors so production costs are lower;
-impacts on the land are smaller;
-less fatty meat means better health prospects for consumers; and
-commercial hunting on game farms offers economic opportunities whilst protecting wild resources from over exploitation.
"Some countries have had success with hunting. Namibia, for instance, has increased the absolute numbers of its game animals by allowing oryx, hartebeest, kudu and springbok to be hunted and harvested as high-protein low-fat meat for regional supermarkets. Peter Lindsey of the University of Pretoria argues that animal-rights groups are denying Africa the wise use of its elephants—whose ivory is a resource, in his view, because elephants’ fertility suggests it could be harvested sustainably. He reckons trophy-hunting in Africa is worth $200m a year: a potential bonanza for local communities." (Economist Sept. 2nd)
Besides creating a potentially viable business idea and conservation practice, a lot of time and effort will have to go into changing the stigma attached to killing and eating big game.
"There is a substantial balancing act that has to be played in Africa. Biodiversity conservation, economic development, the rights of local communities and intergenerational equity are just a few of the matters that need consideration.
Sources:South Africa Node, Sept. 2010: