Abstract for: Understanding the Boom and Bust Cycles of Ostrich Production in South Africa using System Dynamics

Since the deregulation of the ostrich production industry in South Africa, primary production and value-adding activities have increased substantially. The industry has experienced dramatic production crashes without the environment or infrastructure reaching its carrying capacity. From a systems perspective, the boom and bust pattern of ostrich production is economically driven. This paper presents a dynamic commodity system built to explain the large fluctuation of ostrich production in South Africa. The model suggests that there are two major feedback loops competing for dominance in the pursuit of equilibrium. The major feedback loops are driven by ostrich leather and meat income respectively.