A Hunting and Game Farm is normally run as a joint enterprise, the one supporting the other. Game animals are farmed for the purposes of meat, skin and horn off-take (culling) and tourist viewing. The culling is usually combined with sport- hunting. Game farming may also yield benefits in term of photographic safaris, fishing and many others.
The Game Farm business concept is critical to the future of the hunting industry because game farmers supply the animals that populate the nation’s preserves. In some cases, game farm entrepreneurs also engage in the process and sale of game meat or the delivery of bred game stock to individuals and commercial growers.
Requirements for the efficient management of a game farm include:
- A facility for slaughtering, processing and packing of meat;
- Trophy processing;
- Vehicles for hunting;
- A likely minimum of 1000 ha of land;
- Wildlife Management;
- Marketing of carcasses and live game; and
- Research on the needs of the species of game that will survive in the area, water sources, soil type and the like.
In terms of economics, the value of game ranching can be summarized as follows:-
1. Game ranching works essentially on four levels. The first level is the “sale of hunting trips and venison”, the second level is the “sale of live game at auctions”; the third level is the “processing of animal products”; and the fourth level is the “provision of game lodges, conferences, facilities and related services”. Job opportunities open at all 4 levels.
2. The Eco- tourism industry accounts for at least R2.5 billion. There is a huge potential for future growth in Eco-tourism on game ranches, mainly because its market share of the total tourism industry is relatively small in South Africa.
3. The percentage income derived from auctions, hunting and Eco-tourism differs widely between the different regions and depends on the distance from the big cities and the availability of the Big Five.
One of the biggest mistakes aspiring farmers make is that they forget that while a farm is a lifestyle, it is also a business. Making a farm profitable requires planning and business savvy. Luckily there are professional consultants that can help writing a sound and professional business plan for you.
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