Journal of
Development and Agricultural Economics

  • Abbreviation: J. Dev. Agric. Econ.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-9774
  • DOI: 10.5897/JDAE
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 551

Full Length Research Paper

Python farming in Zimbabwe: Assessing local appetite for a novel agricultural system

Patrick W. Aust
  • Patrick W. Aust
  • Department of Zoology, Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, Oxford University, Woodstock Road, Oxford, OX2 6GG, UK.
  • Google Scholar
James MacGregor
  • James MacGregor
  • Ramboll Group A/S, Hannemanns Alle 53, DK-2300, Copenhagen S. Denmark and Department of Social Sciences, Technology and Arts, LuleÃ¥ University of Technology, 971 87 LuleÃ¥, Sweden.
  • Google Scholar
Graham J. Alexander
  • Graham J. Alexander
  • School of Animal, Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 2050 South Africa.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 02 February 2021
  •  Accepted: 25 February 2021
  •  Published: 31 March 2021


Python meat is a traditional but small source of protein throughout much of sub-Saharan Africa, but supply is exclusively from wild harvest. We build on recent evidence that supports snake farming as a viable and sustainable small-scale livestock system in Asia. We explore python farming as a strategy for enhanced food security in Zimbabwe. Our survey results highlight challenges, including drought and human-wildlife conflicts that face both traditional free-range livestock systems and food security, and reveal production prerequisites for complementary python farming. Preliminary findings suggest small-scale python farming could present a viable and sustainable complement to increasingly vulnerable traditional livestock systems.

Key words: Adaptation, sustainable agriculture, python farming.