Research Articles (Buro for Economic Research)

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    Measuring the fragility of agribusiness value chains : a case study of the South African lamb chain
    (Wageningen Academic Publishers, 2019) Jordaan, Daniel Du P. S.; Kirsten, Johann
    The ability to determine the fragility of agribusiness value chains is valuable to agribusines management practitioners and scholars in a context where risk and uncertainty are increasingly pervasive, consequential and unpredictable. The paper argues for determining the fragility of a chain to adverse events rather than trying to predict the probability and impact of such events. The paper specifically proposes a framework to detect and quantify non-linear consequences in response to progressively deteriorating chain fragility factors. The paper’s approach is a novel alternative to the traditional value chain ‘risk assessment’. Application of the framework to the South African lamb chain reveals that a number of specific factors, like quality and safety performance and cash flow position, have consistently high fragility scores throughout the chain while some factors are uniquely localized to a specific role-player or activity, which highlights the techno-economic uniqueness of individual activities in a chain.
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    The effects of plant breeders’ rights on wheat productivity and varietal improvement in South African agriculture
    (MDPI, 2019) Nhemachena, Charity Ruramai; Kirsten, Johann F.; Muchara, Binganidzo
    The strengthening of the intellectual property rights (IPRs) for plant varieties provide incentives for breeding companies to invest more resources in plant breeding. The main objective of this paper was to analyze the effects of strengthening the wheat variety intellectual protection on wheat productivity and the release of new varieties. The strength of IPR systems was measured using an intellectual property (IP) protection index, and plant breeders’ rights (PBRs) granted for wheat varieties. The empirical analyses were based on correlation and multiple regression analyses. The results showed that strengthening IPR systems in South Africa contribute to improving wheat productivity and increasing the number of wheat varieties released. Furthermore, although the robust coeficients of the other IPR variables are positive, they are statistically insignificant for all scenarios. There is a need for more incentives beyond granting PBRs and strengthening of IPR systems to be provided in the whole wheat sector to stimulate increased investments and the release of new varieties.
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    The Karoo Meat of Origin certification scheme : a silver bullet?
    (Wageningen Academic Publishers, 2018) Van der Merwe, Melissa; Kirsten, Johann F.; Trienekens, Jacques H.
    The Karoo Meat of Origin certification scheme is the first certification scheme established to differentiate and protect a region of origin meat product in South Africa. Although this scheme has come a long way in protecting the value embedded in the name ‘Karoo’, many challenges and loopholes for non-compliance still exist. These challenges include opportunistic behaviour on the farmers’ side regarding the vulnerable free range claim as well as inconsistent supply and mismatched objectives of supply chain stakeholders. Because of these challenges the niche product has not yet come to its own. The purpose of this case study is threefold. Firstly, to understand the notion of Karoo Lamb as a geographical indication, and the subsequent establishment of the Karoo Meat of Origin certification scheme. Secondly, to identify and understand both the institutional and supply chain challenges that Karoo Lamb is faced with. Thirdly, to guide the certification scheme to evaluate their modus operandi for better regulation. Ultimately, the managerial decisions are expected to come full circle; if the certification scheme is better-managed consumers may be willing to pay higher premiums which might, in turn, convince farmers to become part of this prestigious certification scheme.