The agistment market in the northern Australian rangelands: failings and opportunities

Reeson, A.F., McAllister, R.J.J., Whitten, S.M., Gordon, I.J., Nicholas, M., and McDouall, S.S. (2008) The agistment market in the northern Australian rangelands: failings and opportunities. The Rangeland Journal, 30 (3). pp. 283-289.

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Agistment is the practice of temporarily moving stock between properties, and is used by pastoralists both to strategically develop their enterprises and as a response to environmental heterogeneities such as variation in rainfall. This paper considers the agistment market in the northern Australian rangelands using the 'market failure framework'. This form of economic analysis identifies failings in a market, thus, provides a rigorous basis for designing interventions intended to improve market performance. Drawing on interviews with pastoralists from the Dalrymple Shire in Queensland we conclude that, although agistment is widely used, there are several failings in the existing market which are likely to result in overall agistment activity being far less than optimal. The market failure analysis indicates that key issues relate to the lack of a common marketplace, asymmetric information on the characteristics of the other party in an agreement, and a lack of mutual expectations at the outset. Innovations with the potential to overcome these failings, while minimising the transaction costs involved in entering an agistment agreement, are discussed.

Item ID: 42541
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1834-7541
Keywords: arid zones, economics, market failure analysis, pastoral society, semiarid zones
Date Deposited: 10 Feb 2016 07:43
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070106 Farm Management, Rural Management and Agribusiness @ 50%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0702 Animal Production > 070203 Animal Management @ 50%
SEO Codes: 83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8303 Livestock Raising > 830301 Beef Cattle @ 100%
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