Burning Questions
Fellowship Award Winners

Melanie Sommerville, Shirley Brooks, Tariro Kamuti, Lindokuhle Khumalo

Location: Norway (Sommerville); South Africa (Brooks, Kamuti); Norway (Khumalo)
Academic field: Human geography (Sommerville); Geography (Brooks, Kamuti); Social anthropology (Khumalo)
Award category: PhD Team

Guidance Memo

  • Title: “Game On! Understanding the Emerging Game Meat Value Chain in South Africa.”
  • Keywords: South Africa. Game industry. Large-scale farming of wild animals for human consumption.
  • DOI: 10.15868/socialsector.38715
  • What We Learned From It:
    • Expansion and intensification of game meat production in South Africa is gathering momentum. This is primarily due to efforts by the South African game industry which views expansion and formalization of the game meat value chain to be a good way forward as it faces many challenges and is at a crossroad in 2020. Among the most significant challenges are the collapse in game prices and the economic shut-downs associated with COVID-19.
    • Reasons for the changes that have led to the challenges experienced by the game sector and to an increase in game populations that needs to be dealt with are related to the following issues: Game breeding practices, farm conversions and new investment patterns, hunting norms, ecotourism, biodiversity loss, processed game products, and the emergence of community game farms through land reform.
    • An expanded game meat value chain raises serious concerns for socio-economic development and racial transformation, environmental sustainability, human health and animal welfare. And there are key gaps in the regulatory framework for game meat production. The Guidance Memo highlights these concerns and gaps. It provides six recommendations for front-line persons and policy makers who want to ensure that expansions in game meat production occur in an inclusive, sustainable, safe, and ethical manner.


Some of the Things We Really Liked when We Read the Application

  • It brings an emerging, little-known issue to the radar screen of those tackling large-scale animal agriculture.
  • This application gives one a rare opportunity to see up-close and to understand the complexities of how the process of farming animal species on a large scale gets started, how it moves along from one phase to the next, what the enabling factors are. It illustrates the fact that even though certain developments are not “Breaking News”, but more “Watch This Space”, they deserve one’s attention nevertheless.
  • The applicant aims to provide practical advice and recommendations. And disseminating the Guidance Memo to communities interested in this issue is actually written into the applicant’s planned timeline.
  • It is a collaboration of academics from different countries / continents, and various levels on the academic career ladder (from PhD student, post-doc researcher, to senior scholar).
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