Can the restrictive harvest period policy conserve mopane worms in Southern Africa? A bio-economic modelling approach

Working Paper 65
Author(s): 
Wisdom Akpalu, Edwin Muchapondwa & Precious Zikhali
Publication date: 
October, 2007
Journal: 
Forthcoming, Environment and Development Economics
Classification-JEL: 

Imbrasia Belina also known as the mopane worm, like other edible insects and caterpillars, is a vital source of protein to Southern African countries. The worms live and graze on mopane trees, which occupy agricultural land. With increasing commercialization of the worm, the management of the worm, which was hitherto organized as a common property resource, has degraded to a near open access. In this paper, a simple bio-economic modeling approach has been taken to show that, for some optimal land allocation, the restrictive period harvest season policy that is advocated by community leaders may not lead to sustainable harvesting of the worm.

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