Department of Agribusiness and Markets

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Recent Submissions

  • PublicationOpen Access
    Corporate sustainability reporting and stakeholders’ interests: Evidence from China
    (Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI), 2024-04) Xu, L; Xie, L; Mei, S; Hao, J; Zhang, Yuqian; Song, Y
    This paper examines whether the adoption of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) by listed firms could enhance the alignment between corporate sustainability reporting and stakeholders’ interests in China. Drawing on content analysis of the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) reports of 48 selected listed firms and a questionnaire survey of 409 respondents, this study shows that most of the sampled firms with GRI adoption have more sustainability activities identified in the content analysis than their peers that do not follow the GRI guidelines in the same industries; both groups of firms have a similar pattern of disclosure frequency in light of the six dimensions developed in this study; and there is a disconnect between the stakeholders’ needs and the sustainability reporting practice of the sampled listed firms. The findings reflect that the current corporate social responsibility reporting practice could be interpreted as a strategic response to the government’s policy priorities, rather than a direct attempt to address stakeholders’ concerns.
  • PublicationOpen Access
    Comments of the AFAANZ Auditing and Assurance Standards Committee on the Proposed Standard on Assurance Engagements over GHG Emissions Disclosure
    (John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd on behalf of Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand, 2023-12) Hay, D; Harding, N; Gan, Christopher; Ge, I; Ho, Linh; Ranasinghe, D; Singh, H; Sultana, N; Zhou, S
    The New Zealand External Reporting Board (XRB) issued for public comment a standard on Assurance Engagements over GHG Emissions Disclosure. The Auditing and Assurance Standards Committee of AFAANZ prepared a submission, based on the findings reported in published research, responding to a number of the questions asked by the XRB. This technical note presents the formal submission made to the XRB.
  • PublicationOpen Access
    Comments on Exposure Draft for Proposed ISSA 5000, sustainability assurance engagements by the Auditing and Assurance Standards Committee of AFAANZ
    (John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd on behalf of Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand, 2024-03) Hay, D; Harding, N; Biswas, P; Gan, Christopher; Ge, IQ; Ho, Linh; Ranasinghe, D; Singh, H; Sultana, N; Zhou, S
    The Exposure Draft for Proposed International Standard on Sustainability Assurance (ISSA) 5000 has been issued by the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) because there is increasing demand by stakeholders for assurance of sustainability information. Our recommendations include: (i) a more flexible approach to ethics and quality management instead of the requirements for standards that are at least as demanding as the accounting profession's standards; (ii) more differentiation between the requirements for limited as opposed to reasonable assurance and (iii) more cautious use of the term materiality and clearer definitions of the different materiality concepts to avoid potential confusion.
  • PublicationEmbargo
    New Zealand wine exports to China: Barriers and potential mitigation strategies : A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the Degree of Master of Commerce and Management at Lincoln University
    (Lincoln University, 2024) Yu, Hao
    With the gradual expansion of Asian wine consumption in the past decade, China has become Asia’s largest and most significant wine consumption market. As a result, China has become one of the most significant target markets for New Zealand wine exports to Asia. In terms of purchasing power, China is a large potential market. However, Chinese wine consumption has declined recently, and New Zealand's wine market share in China has stagnated. Because of a different drinking culture, government policies, and COVID-19, exports of New Zealand wine to China have encountered various barriers, especially during the pandemic, that eventually prevented New Zealand wine exporters from exploring the Chinese market. This study reviews the global wine industry, the New Zealand wine industry, and the Chinese wine market recently. The literature review focuses on Chinese wine consumers’ preferences, export strategies, and a framework for export barriers. The study uses in-depth interviews with New Zealand wine exporters and Chinese wine importers to investigate New Zealand wine exporters’ backgrounds, export processes, entering the Chinese market mode, export strategies, and various barriers encountered in exporting to China. According to the findings, potential strategies are proposed to mitigate the barriers encountered by New Zealand wine exporters. The primary data were obtained from semi-structured interviews of 12 wine exporters in New Zealand between June and August 2023. These exporters are also local wine producers and export their products. The interviewees are leaders directly engaged in wine exporting or understand the relevant export business currently working as New Zealand wine exporters. Secondary data come from literature studies and published reports by research institutions. Three Chinese wine importers in Shanghai were also interviewed to understand the barriers to New Zealand exporters from a different perspective. The results show that indirect exports are more suitable for entering the Chinese market. Successful exporting is related to rich exporting experience and adequate financial and human resources. The recent barriers New Zealand wine exporters face include exogenous, procedural, resource, and knowledge and experience barriers. Exporters can actively enhance export knowledge and accumulate experience to mitigate the impact of export barriers on enterprises. The results provide new evidence of the success of New Zealand wine exporters in exploring the Chinese market. The results also give policymakers insights on exporting to China, increasing their export experience, and mitigating and eliminating the main export barriers to speed up internationalisation.
  • PublicationEmbargo
    Livelihood goals, livelihood strategy selection and household welfare in rural China: A utility maximization perspective : A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy at Lincoln University
    (Lincoln University, 2023) Chen, Chen
    China has the world’s second largest rural population and dramatic development in the rural economy. Rural households’ livelihoods have changed with economic transformation and face challenges from income equality, relative poverty, climate change and the continuing influence of COVID-19. In this situation, how to realize inclusive, sustainable and resilient livelihoods for rural residents is an urgent problem. Rural households’ livelihood decision largely results from unobserved heterogeneous goals and intentions and directly observable, different rural household characteristics. Previous studies explored the factors influencing rural households’ choice of a livelihood strategy and livelihood outcome but mainly focused on the impacts of external macro factors. However, livelihood goals are emphasized as the main base for rural households to allocate livelihood assets and are the critical orientations of livelihood strategy selection. To date, it is still poorly understood how rural households’ livelihood goals influence their livelihood strategy selection and whether different livelihood goals and their potential interaction effect with livelihood strategy selection influence rural household welfare. Using the panel data from the 2010-2018 China Family Panel Studies, this study explores the relationship between livelihood goals, livelihood strategy selection and rural household welfare. After deleting cases with missing values in the main and control variables, 23,967 rural cases are used for analysis in the study. To explore the linkages between livelihood goals and livelihood strategy selection, this study constructs measurements of three livelihood goals (the survival, security and self-respect goals) and then calculates an index for each goal. Livelihood strategies are divided into three groups (agricultural, non-agricultural, and diversification) based on rural households’ income sources. The multinomial logit model with fixed effects empirically estimates the relationship between livelihood goal indices and livelihood strategy selection. The random effects and the correlated random effects models are used to check the robustness. The two-step instrumental probit regression model is used to address the endogeneity problem. The results show that rural households with a survival goal are more likely to choose the diversification and agricultural strategies but less likely to select the non-agricultural strategy. In contrast, the non-agricultural strategy is the priority when rural households pursue security or self-respect maximization. To address potential endogeneity in the dynamic panel model, the generalized method of moments model is used to investigate the impact of livelihood goals and strategy selection on rural household welfare. The unconditional quantile regression with fixed effects model is employed to analyse the heterogeneous effects on household welfare. The results show that rural households with a higher livelihood goal do not obtain higher welfare. Rural households adopting the non-agricultural and diversification strategies have higher welfare than other strategies. The interaction effects show that rural households can get higher welfare if their livelihood goals and livelihood strategy selection match. The unconditional quantile regression result shows that households’ livelihood goals and livelihood strategy selection affect household welfare across different quantiles.
  • PublicationOpen Access
    The effects of purchase and consumption on beef quality attribute beliefs: A study of tourists visiting Vanuatu
    (Taylor & Francis, 2024-04-18) Lees, Nicholas; Greenhalgh, J
    Tourists’ gastronomic experiences are integral to their overall travel satisfaction. Understanding the factors influencing tourists’ perceptions of local cuisine quality is crucial. This study explores the development of quality attribute beliefs among tourists unfamiliar with Vanuatu beef. It focuses on credence and experience quality attributes and their evolution through the purchasing and consumption of Vanuatu beef, considering the influence of personal factors on attribute beliefs. Data from 200 tourists in Vanuatu was analysed using factor analysis, means comparison, and multiple linear regression. The results highlight the influence of tourists’ pre-existing beliefs on credence quality attributes, impacting their post-purchase and consumption beliefs. Additionally, personal factors, especially the importance of credence attributes, significantly affect pre- and post-purchase beliefs about experience quality attributes. However, the importance of experience attributes only affects post-purchase beliefs regarding credence attributes. This research provides valuable insights into the formation of tourists’ beliefs about the quality attributes of local cuisine. The findings are particularly significant as tourists’ gastronomic experiences are closely tied to their overall travel satisfaction. Understanding these dynamics is crucial for enhancing tourists’ experiences in Vanuatu and similar destinations.
  • PublicationEmbargo
    The role of information in land-use decision-making : The perspective of farmers in New Zealand :
    (Lincoln University, 2023) Blake, Aimee
    Agri-food systems are facing increasing pressure to transition toward more sustainable alternatives, which are information-intensive and may require different forms of knowledge. Therefore, optimal and sustainable land-use decision-making requires effective information provision. However, digital technologies and the information age have changed the ways in which farmers interact with information. This necessitates different approaches and raises questions regarding how and why farmers gather information and whom they trust. Thus, the purpose of this study was to explore the role of information in land-use decision-making from the perspective of farmers in New Zealand. Twenty-two semi-structured interviews with commercial pastoral farmers and a focus group with emerging young farmers were conducted. The results evidence that information is important for decision-making and that gathering processes are personal and contextual. The farmer participants sourced information from a variety of sources across digital and physical formats. Traditional institutions (i.e., industry groups) were recognised; however, digital and informal sources (i.e., the internet and interpersonal networks) were the most utilised. The farmer participants engaged as researchers and information curators online and within networks, to share learnings in communities of practice. The young farmer participants particularly interacted digitally, following farmer influencers and utilising artificial intelligence (AI). Audio formats were acknowledged as useful, and information about consumers was important, signalling market orientation. Combining formal and informal elements, the farmer participants valued how catchment groups are community-led and outcomes-focused. Additionally, knowledge brokering through intermediaries at the catchment level assisted with information exchanges. The most trusted sources of information were other high-achieving farmers and interpersonal networks; however, there were mixed experiences with peers. Validation of information occurred through a triangulation and cross-referencing process. Attempts to determine what is trustworthy were challenging due to misinformation and information overload, which hindered effective decision-making. Farmers largely felt that strategic land-use information was challenging to source, especially in relation to regional contexts. Overall, the results signal the need to combine the best of informal and formal sources and that farmers should be recognised as co-creators of information. This research contributes to the literature on information and farmer decision-making in the information age. Potential actions that emerge from the findings include improving digital literacy, hybrid approaches to information provision, adopting listening rather than telling approaches, and supporting intermediaries. These insights could be of interest to inform effective approaches to information provision. Future research into digital literacy, the perspectives of information providers, and the influence of evolving sources (i.e., AI) would be useful. Additionally, the implications of misinformation and information disorders on trust and decision-making should be considered. It is concluded that as technologies evolve, an ongoing conceptualisation of information and farmer habits will be required.
  • PublicationOpen Access
    Impact of mobile payment adoption on household expenditures and subjective well-being : A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Commerce and Management at Lincoln University
    (Lincoln University, 2023) He, Quan
    In recent years, mobile payment has gradually become increasingly popular worldwide. Especially in China, mobile payments are ubiquitous and gradually replacing traditional cash payments. This thesis estimates the effects of mobile payment adoption on household expenditures and subjective well-being. It considersfour categories of household expenditures (clothes, durable goods, consumer goods, and cultural and leisure activities) and four indicators (life satisfaction, contentment, income satisfaction, and depression) of subjective well-being. This thesis uses the Augmented Inverse Probability Weighting estimator to analyse the 2017 Chinese General Social Survey data while accounting for the selection bias inherent in mobile payment adoption. The empirical results show that people’s decisions to adopt mobile payments are positively associated with their educational level, car ownership, social interaction, Internet penetration rate, and residential location. Mobile payment adoption significantly increases household expenditures on consumer goods and cultural and leisure activities but not on clothes and durable goods. Moreover, mobile payment adoption significantly decreases contentment while increasing depression. This thesis also finds that mobile payment adoption significantly decreases urban people’s contentment but significantly increases urban people’s depression. Disaggregated analyses show that mobile payment adoption increases spending on consumer goods but decreases contentment for urban households; increases spending on consumer goods and depression for rural households; increases spending on consumer goods; decreases contentment and income satisfaction for male respondents; and increases spending on clothing, cultural, and leisure activities, and depression for female respondents. Therefore, the government should create products and services to extend the benefits of mobile payments to all segments of Chinese society. At the same time, it should help consumers avoid the debt incurredthrough educational programs and advertising.
  • PublicationEmbargo
    Updating Aaker’s model of brand equity to incorporate modern social media strategies and consumer interactions : A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy at Lincoln University
    (Lincoln University, 2023) Robertson, Lynne
    Brand equity provides businesses with a solid foundation for understanding the success of their strategic marketing, which contributes to their financial profitability and success. It is a critical factor in business and marketing strategies, as brands are assets that drive business performance over time. A brand's equity is a tactical aid to generate short-term sales and strategic support to create long-term value for an organisation. In 1991, David Aaker pioneered this space, constructing a brand equity model that is still used today. The model was constructed with five dimensions, brand loyalty, brand awareness, brand associations, perceived quality, and other proprietary brand assets. Although brand equity is an essential measure for companies, research has not reconsidered traditional methods, reexamining accounting for social media. Social media has been a massive shift in the global markets, offering consumers a new way to communicate and engage with people and brands online. Social media is one of the most popular online activities. Content published on social media platforms containing information created which is highly accessible and intended to facilitate communication, influence and interaction with others, even on a global scale. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, are among the largest in the world, with billions of users. The emergence of social media has changed how consumers interact and absorb content. As a result, companies must reconsider their marketing efforts and where marketing investments are made, ensuring they continue to reach their target consumers. This study determined how Aaker’s brand equity model could be updated by accounting for social media marketing. Four additional social media marketing-based dimensions were considered and used within the study; online brand information/usefulness, online brand interaction/ engagement, online brand detection and online brand affiliation. One model closely followed Aaker’s structure and integrated the social media concepts within its original structure; the second added the social media dimensions as separate drivers. A robust design method was developed to assess the alternative approaches to updating the model, testing the suitability of the two proposed expanded models. An online survey was developed, and the data was collected from 509 respondents through Qualtrics. Before this, pre-testing was undertaken with a small group of 20 individuals to check the validity and detail of the instrument. Exploratory Factor Analysis, Confirmatory Factor Analysis, and Structural Equation Modeling were used to analyse the data. Smart-PLS and AMOS were the selected software to test the models. The results clearly show that the separated updated model is superior, supporting the notion that social media drivers work alongside the original model drivers. Nevertheless, there is scope for further research to be carried out in this space, helping companies to build brand equity both through traditional marketing strategies and emerging social media strategies.
  • PublicationOpen Access
    Māori cultural values and soil fertility management – An exploratory study
    (New Zealand Grassland Association, 2023) Lucock, Xiaomeng; Moir, James; Ruwhiu, D
    Highlights • There have been limited studies to date specifically relating Māori cultural values to soil fertility management practices on farms. • The deep-rooted connection between Māori people and the land is a critical feature of their land management decisions. • Farms are food baskets for whānau and the wider community, as well as sources of income to provide other services and desired outcomes (e.g., social, cultural, environmental). • Soil fertility maintenance is a high priority for Māori land managers, but there is a fine balance to strike between this, farm cashflow and other responsibilities (e.g., whānau, community, kaitiakitanga). • Current environmental regulations present many complex challenges to Māori farms. • Potential exists in unlocking Māori provenance through seeking business partners who share the same cultural values.
  • PublicationOpen Access
    Factors influencing pastoral farmers' land-use change decisions in response to environmental regulations in the Selwyn District, Canterbury
    (New Zealand Grassland Association, 2023) van Uffelen, AT; Lucock, Xiaomeng; Bailey, Alison
    Highlights • Pastoral farmers in Selwyn often feel misunderstood by regulatory authorities regarding the effects of increasing environmental regulations on their farm systems, and subsequent land-use change decisions. • Financial factors and certainty around policy and practice were the most important factors to farmers when making land-use change decisions. • Farmers were hesitant to make a sustainable land-use change decision without the confidence that it will remain a financially and strategically viable choice for the longer term. • To encourage sustainable land-use change, regulatory authorities must give increased thought to understanding farmers’ response to regulations and how this affects creation and implementation of future regulation.
  • PublicationOpen Access
    Clean energy use and subjective and objective health outcomes in rural China : A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Commerce and Management at Lincoln University
    (Lincoln University, 2023) Zhu, Huanyu
    One of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals is to ensure access to affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy for all. This thesis analyses the impact of clean energy use on rural residents' subjective health outcomes (self-reported health status, health change, and discomfort) and objective health outcomes (the incidence of bronchitis, asthma, and medical expenditure and fitness expenditure). Using an Inverse Probability Weighted Regression Adjustment (IPWRA) estimator and the 2018 China Family Panel Studies data, this thesis addresses the selection bias associated with clean energy use and estimates unbiased treatment effects. The empirical results show that farmers using clean energy (liquid gas, natural gas, methane, solar energy, or electricity) as the primary cooking fuel report improved health, a lower probability of physical discomfort, and higher fitness expenditures than non-users. Clean energy use does not significantly affect self-reported health, the likelihood of having bronchitis and asthma, or medical spending. The estimates of the propensity score matching model verify the robustness of the results estimated by the IPWRA estimator. The disaggregated analyses reveal that male clean energy users were more likely to report improved health conditions, whereas female clean energy users were less likely to report discomfort during the reference year. Besides, households in income tertile 1 were more likely to report improved health, whereas their counterparts in income tertile 2 were less likely to feel uncomfortable. Households in income Tertile 3 were associated with a high level of fitness expenditure. The results of the theses also show that farmers’ decisions to use clean energy are positively associated with their educational level, household income, whether they rent farmland, and their happiness levels but are negatively related to their age, family size, whether they own real estate, and the ratio of elders in their household. The findings of this thesis emphasise the importance of promoting rural energy transition to improve social health outcomes.
  • PublicationEmbargo
    Using drone technology for environmental compliance
    (New Zealand Institute of Primary Industry Management, 2023-09) Lucock, Xiaomeng; Westbrooke, Victoria
    This article looks at the views of farmers, rural professionals and regulators on drone use for environmental compliance purposes. It also discusses the benefits they see in this type of technology and their concerns.
  • PublicationOpen Access
    Understanding New Zealand's environmental compliance through the 'eye in the sky'
    (2023-02-28) Lucock, Xiaomeng; Westbrooke, Victoria; Greenhalgh, I
    Freshwater resources in New Zealand are under increasing pressure. Regulatory frameworks around on-farm environmental compliance have become more complex. Farm plans that are used to identify risks and develop mitigation strategies for freshwater quality can be time consuming and costly to develop and monitor. Can the ‘eye in the sky’, drones, help improve the efficiency of these processes?
  • PublicationOpen Access
    Can women’s empowerment in livestock farming improve household food security? Empirical evidence from rural households in Malawi
    (BMC part of Springer Nature, 2023) Mataka, T; Kaitibie, Simeon; Ratna, Nazmun
    Background: Over the years the Government of Malawi has launched several initiatives to improve food security in the country. Despite these efforts there have been limited improvements in food security, raising the spectre of persistently elevated levels of food insecurity. Efforts to reduce food insecurity may involve women who play a central role in the production, processing, preparation and control of vital livestock products for food security. However, women’s ability to achieve food security is limited by their lack of access to productive resources and limited ability to participate in decision-making. The main objective of this study is to estimate the impact of women’s empowerment in household livestock production and marketing decisions on household food security. Methods: This study uses data from a proportionate random sample of 400 households in two major livestock producing Extension Planning Areas in the Nsanje district to estimate the relationship between women’s empowerment and household food security in rural households in Malawi. Results: Tobit regression results show that the empowerment of women in the livestock sector, especially in decisions pertaining to agricultural production, nutrition, and income control, improves household food security. In addition, factors such as household income, household size, and the main occupation of the household head play a significant role in ensuring household food security. Conclusion: The results suggest that nutrition-sensitive programmes should target women’s agency in livestock production and nutrition decisions for improved food security among rural households in Malawi. As part of their food security strategy, Government of Malawi could develop programs to sensitize households on the importance of enhancing women’s agency in agriculture and nutrition decision-making, while also providing targeted income-support for women.
  • PublicationOpen Access
    The emergence of plastic-free grocery shopping: Understanding opportunities for practice transformation
    (Elsevier Ltd., 2024-01-01) Kemper, JA; Spotswood, F; White, Samantha
    Despite consumer concern for sustainability, avoiding plastic packaging, particularly in food shopping, is difficult due to its pervasiveness and usefulness. Yet achieving changes in consumer behaviour is an important part of environmental management approaches towards a circular economy and plastic reduction. This research explores how everyday food shopping practices might adapt and evolve to become more sustainable through consumers avoiding, reducing, or replacing plastic packaging in their grocery shopping. This qualitative research, based on eighteen semi-structured interviews with sustainably-oriented consumers, finds that plastic-free shopping practices are challenging for even committed practitioners. However, we illuminate four mechanisms representing ‘bright spots’ (i.e., points of optimism) that offer specific opportunities for environmental management. We define these as destabilisation, envisioning, emotional connection and adaptation. Destabilisation and envisioning help with recruitment of practitioners to plastic-free shopping, and emotional connection and adaptation help support practitioner loyalty and commitment. Further, consumer reflexivity and habituated sustainable-orientation supports practice recruitment, stabilisation and transition. We discuss the implications of our findings for environmental management approaches to ‘behaviour change’, focusing on the role of policy-makers, social marketers, retailers, and manufacturers in fostering competitive, stable plastic-free grocery shopping.
  • PublicationEmbargo
    The sources of total factor productivity growth, changes in technical efficiency and the threshold effects of herd size on the productivity of New Zealand dairy farms : A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy at Lincoln University
    (Lincoln University, 2023) Azmi, Zainul
    Many studies have been carried out to analyse dairy farms’ production performance but, for New Zealand, only a limited number have gone beyond the technical efficiency (TE) component of farm productivity. The current study aims to: (1) analyse the regional total factor productivity (TFP) growth and the role of different components, i.e. technological progress, technical efficiency change, and scale effect change in increasing TFP; (2) assess the regional differences in technical efficiency (TE) and the technological gap; and (3) investigate the threshold effects of herd size on the productivity of New Zealand dairy farms. The data for the TFP and TE analysis are unbalanced farm-level panel data from the 2004-05 to 2019-20 seasons, for 2,001 farms and 9,943 observations from the DairyNZ surveys. Farms are grouped into three regions: Region 1 (Northland and West Coast-Tasman); Region 2 (Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Taranaki and Lower North Island); and Region 3 (Marlborough-Canterbury, Otago-Southland). Stochastic frontier models are used to estimate the production functions for three different regions and to calculate the TFP growth. The results indicate heterogeneity in the different areas so a state-of-the-art stochastic meta-frontier approach is used to estimate TEs and technological gap ratios (TGRs). For the threshold analysis, the study uses balanced panel data from the 2015-16 season to the 2019-20 season (1,770 observations). The results suggest that there are different effects of herd size on productivity, and the significance of other inputs and farm-specific variables are evaluated. This study provides empirical evidence of the relative importance of the various components of TFP growth and distinct TE scores in different regions, and provides empirical evidence of the threshold effects of herd size on dairy farms’ productivity.
  • PublicationRestricted
    The commodification of Tibetan dance: The experience of ‘Ecological Migrants’ in the Three-River Headwater region of the Qinghai-Tibet plateau : A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy at Lincoln University
    (Lincoln University, 2023) Ye, Xiaozhen
    Cultural tourism is increasing in China, partly because of the government’s vigorous promotion of this tourism form, and the emergence of a prosperous middle class with time, money and the inclination to travel. In the Three-River Headwater Region of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau cultural tourism products have emerged strongly since 2000, when the Chinese government implemented an Ecological Resettlement Programme involving the relocation of over 55,000 mainly Tibetan people from their original residence – an area of high ecological value – to newly created villages. In this process of rural change and transition, cultural tourism has been viewed as an industry that can provide the region’s ‘ecological migrants’ with business and employment opportunities, particularly through their ethnic dances, which provide an attractive spectacle for the growing numbers of visiting tourists. This study explores the experiences of a group of ‘ecological migrants’ who are participating in dance performances to identify their perceptions of the impact of the commodification of their dance culture for touristic purposes, both on themselves and their community. Special attention has been given to the process of authenticating dance performance from the perspective of the ‘ecological migrants’. Given the exploratory nature of this study, qualitative social research methods and inductive analytical techniques have been applied. This qualitative study used a combination of in depth interviews (n=34) and field observations to interpret the cultural tourism/Tibetan dance phenomenon in the Three-River Headwater Region of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in China, an area known as the Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. The study identified three groups of ‘ecological migrants’: village performers from ‘ecological migrant’ villages, profession dancers from two public dance troupes, and community leaders from villages and the dance troupes. The results indicate that the commodification of Tibetan dance in this setting is perceived to generate beneficial outcomes for locals, including employment opportunities and, by extension, a much-needed source of household income, although few had full-time work as dancers. Many rested their hopes on future opportunities in cultural tourism, and specifically dance, supported by local government. Secondly, many participants perceived that cultural tourism, by way of dance performance, was helping to galvanise the community through social interaction and the active creation of new friendships, and a shared sense of identity and belonging. Thirdly, participants were aware that through the process of cultural commodification, a new ‘version’ of Yushu Tibetan dance performance has emerged that meets tourists’ expectations. While this was not viewed negatively, participants differed in their assessment of the authenticity of the dances. Drawing on the theories of “hot” and “cool” authentication (Cohen & Cohen, 2012a), a model of dance commodification has been proposed on the basis of the study’s key findings, with the intention to depict the empirical relationship between two theoretical constructs: authentication and (dis)empowerment. The process of authenticating dance performance is presented in the model from the perspective of the three groups of ‘ecological migrants’. The findings reveal that under the strong political domination (i.e., political disempowerment) in the study region, the authenticity of the ‘ecological migrant’ perfomers’ experience of cultural commodification can be expressed in how they are involved with the dance performance psychologically, socially and economically. Commodification as a process-based concept offers a useful approach to examining the interrelation of authentication and (dis)empowerment, as well as the interaction between “hot” and “cool” authentication within a unique political context. With the identification of the empirical relationship between (dis)empowerment and authentication, this study enables a better understanding of the dynamics of various community groups’ support for tourism, and how various interpretations of authenticity reflect perfomers’ differing levels of empowerment and disempowerment. In short, this study has added to a growing body of literature on cultural commodification, authentication and (dis)empowerment. It contributes new knowledge on dance commodification, and its impact on the ‘ecological migrant’ perfomers in the Three-River Headwater Region of the Qinghai-Tibet plateau.
  • PublicationOpen Access
    Productive efficiency of beef cattle production in Botswana: A latent class stochastic meta-frontier analysis
    (Frontiers Media S.A., 2023-06-13) Bahta, S; Temoso, O; Ng'ombe, JN; Rich, KM; Baker, D; Kaitibie, Simeon; Malope, P
    Introduction: Efficiency in food production is crucial for sustainable agriculture in developing countries. This paper contributes to the existing literature by presenting an innovative approach to modeling productive efficiency in beef cattle production. Treating farm performance across regions as unobserved heterogeneity, we determine technical efficiency of beef cattle production in Botswana. We aim to shed light on the factors influencing efficiency in this sector. Methods: The study utilized block-level data from various annual agricultural surveys (2006–2014) covering 26 agricultural districts and six agro-ecological regions in Botswana. We employed a latent class stochastic frontier model complemented with the stochastic meta-frontier analysis. Results: Results show that the best performing farming systems in terms of efficiency are districts with well-developed infrastructure and better access to output and input markets. In contrast, the farming systems that perform poorly consist of agricultural districts without access to livestock advisory centers, with higher average temperatures and foot and mouth disease, limiting access to export markets. The mean technical efficiency scores for beef production for agricultural districts in class one and two were 62 and 59%, respectively, implying high potential to improve beef production using the same level of agricultural inputs through efficiency-enhancing investments. Discussion: Based on our results, it is crucial for agricultural policies to prioritize regionally specific investments that address the needs of the under-performing districts. By targeting the lagging districts, policymakers can help beef producers improve their input efficiency and bridge the technological gaps to the meta-frontier. This can be achieved through investments in infrastructure, access to livestock advisory services, and disease control measures. Such efforts will not only enhance the efficiency of beef production but also contribute to the overall sustainability of the agricultural sector in Botswana.
  • PublicationOpen Access
    Heterogeneous impacts of GlobalGAP adoption on net income in small-scale pineapple farming in Ghana: Does farm size matter?
    (Wiley, 2023-05-13) Annor, PB; Kaitibie, Simeon; Lyne, Michael
    Adoption of Global Good Agricultural Practices (GlobalGAP) improves food quality and safety along fresh produce value chains. However, adoption rates have been low among small-scale pineapple farmers in Ghana, but with possible heterogeneous responses due to farm size economies. This study estimates the impact of GlobalGAP adoption on net incomes earned by small-scale pineapple farmers in Ghana's main producing region, and examines size-induced heterogeneous effects of adoption on income. Household and farm-level data gathered from 546 small-scale farmers were analyzed using a two-stage regression model to estimate the impact of GlobalGAP adoption on per hectare pineapple net income. Robustness of the results was checked by re-estimating the two-stage model using a maximum likelihood extended regression model. GlobalGAP adoption reduced net income on small farms growing less than 1 ha of pineapples, but increased net income on small farms growing more than 1 ha of pineapples. We conclude that GlobalGAP adoption and farm size are not independent determinants of profitability, and recommend that extension and other interventions intended to promote GlobalGAP adoption among pineapple farmers in Ghana should be targeted at those who are willing and able to grow more than 1 ha of pineapples.