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International Journal of Sustainable Agricultural Research

December 2020, Volume 7, 4, pp 275-286

The Effect of Land-Use on Herbaceous Production and Grazing Capacity in the Molopo District of the North West Province, South Africa

Franci Jordaan


Jaco Van Rooyen

Franci Jordaan 1 ,

Jaco Van Rooyen 1 
  1. Pasture Science Division, North West Dept. of Agriculture & Rural Development, Potchefstroom, South Africa. 1

Pages: 275-286

DOI: 10.18488/journal.70.2020.74.275.286

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Article History:

Received: 18 September, 2020
Revised: 14 October, 2020
Accepted: 26 November, 2020
Published: 11 November, 2020


There are three main types of rangeland management systems in South Africa, namely commercial livestock farming, communal livestock farming and game farming. In commercial farming you normally find one manager/owner with a specific management plan, whilst communal farming is characterized by numerous land users with no specific management plan. The communal areas are also normally overstocked and this overstocking leads to rangeland degradation. In this study the effect of two land-uses (commercial and communal) on herbaceous production and grazing capacity were studied. It was clear from the results that the herbaceous production of the communal rangelands was lower than that of the commercial rangelands. The grazing capacity figures showed that sustainable farming practices were also not possible if the communal rangeland is in a poor condition – this was not even possible in good rainfall years.
Contribution/ Originality
This study is one of very few studies which have investigated herbaceous production and grazing capacity in the Molopo district of the North West Province of South Africa. The paper's primary contribution is finding that broad extrapolations between commercial and communal farming is scientifically incorrect.


Land-use, Communal, Commercial, Biomass production, Grazing, Capacity, Limit of resilience, Domain of attraction.


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This study was funded by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Competing Interests:

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


All authors contributed equally to the conception and design of the study.

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