Links between the local trade in natural products, livelihoods and poverty alleviation in a semi-arid region of South Africa

Shackleton, S.E. and Campbell, Bruce M. and Lotz-Sisitka, H. and Shackleton, C.M. (2008) Links between the local trade in natural products, livelihoods and poverty alleviation in a semi-arid region of South Africa. World Development, 36 (3). pp. 505-526. ISSN 0305-750X

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2007.03.003

Abstract

Can the local commercialization of natural products contribute to reduced poverty and vulnerability? Commentary on this issue is mixed, with some observers being quite optimistic, while others hold a counterview. This paper explores the poverty alleviation potential of four products traded in Bushbuckridge, South Africa—traditional brooms, reed mats, woodcraft, and “marula” beer. While key in enhancing the livelihood security of the poorest households, these products were unlikely to provide a route out of poverty for most, although there were exceptions. Incomes often surpassed local wage rates, and some producers obtained returns equivalent to the minimum wage. Non-financial benefits such as the opportunity to work from home were highly rated, and the trade was found to represent a range of livelihood strategies both within and across products.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:sub-Saharan Africa; South Africa; natural products; local trade; livelihoods; poverty; commercialization; micro-enterprises
Subjects:Y Unknown > Subjects to be assigned
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Education > Education
Faculty > Faculty of Science > Environmental Science
ID Code:1010
Deposited By: Mrs Eileen Shepherd
Deposited On:10 Jun 2008
Last Modified:01 Aug 2012 07:42
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