Links between the Local Trade in Natural Products, Livelihoods and Poverty Alleviation in a Semi-arid Region of South Africa

S SHACKLETON, Bruce Campbell, H Lotz-Sisitka, C SHACKLETON

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    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. � 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)505-526
    Number of pages22
    JournalWorld Development
    Volume36
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2008

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