Drivers of profitability in the Namibian cattle farming: A case study of north western Namibia
The continuous changes in the economic, social and physical agricultural environment call for resilient livestock production systems and food chain networks around the world and Namibia in particular. Because of the low profitability, cattle farming in Namibia is heavily dependent on correct decision making for farmers to survive. Access to digital tools and interactive technologies for farming systems has increased rapidly and it is likely to play a significant role in meeting future challenges. This has not been properly propagated in beef cattle production areas of Namibia. The paper employed ordinary least square and dynamic models to investigate farmer’s net worth in livestock production systems as function of herd size per hectare, carcass price per kilogram and the El Niño Southern Oscillation Index. Results show that herd size per hectare significantly impacts net worth without prior knowledge about 1.627 percent, while exhibiting the impact of 1.523 percent on net worth with prior production knowledge. Farmers thus become more carcass price per kilogramme responsive (increases net worth by 1.131 percent) when prior information is incorporated in the decision making process at farm level. The price elasticity of the two models are 0.60 and 0.70, respectively, points out that improved access to knowledge allows for livestock price responsiveness of 0.1 percent. The significance of these variables calls for introducing technologies to mitigate the impact of changes on cattle production and the agribusiness sector by linking production to climate adaptability for resilient food markets.