Title Page
 Natural history of Lesotho
 Basotho origins and history
 Sesotho culture and land tenur...
 Small farm livelihood system
 Economic simulation
 Literature cited

Title: Farm livelihood systems of the Lesotho foothills
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Title: Farm livelihood systems of the Lesotho foothills
Physical Description: 23 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Mee, Donald
Publication Date: 1995
Subject: Agricultural systems -- Research -- Lesotho   ( lcsh )
Agricultural extension work -- Lesotho   ( lcsh )
Genre: federal government publication   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: Lesotho
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (leaves 14-15).
General Note: Typescript.
General Note: "December 1995."
General Note: At head of title: "Final class project."
General Note: "AEB 5167, Economic Analysis in Small Farm Livelihood Systems, Fall Semester, 1995, Dr. Peter E. Hildebrand."
Funding: Electronic resources created as part of a prototype UF Institutional Repository and Faculty Papers project by the University of Florida.
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Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Title Page
    Natural history of Lesotho
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Basotho origins and history
        Page 3
    Sesotho culture and land tenure
        Page 4
        Page 5
    Small farm livelihood system
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
    Economic simulation
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
    Literature cited
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
Full Text
/.2 OJ5-

Final Class Report

Farm Livelihood System of the Lesotho Foothills


Donald Mee

December 1995

AEB 5167

Economic Analysis in Small Farm Livelihood Systems

Fall Semester, 1995

Dr. Peter E. Hildebrand

The Kingdom of Lesotho is a small mountainous country in Southern Africa. Some ninety

percent of the approximately two million inhabitants live in rural areas (BOS 1984). Subsistence

farming is the primary activity on these farms (CIA 1994, Guillarmod 1971). An adverse climate,

decreasing fertility of the land, restrictive land tenure, and a shortage of labor and other resources

severely limit the productivity of these farming systems. This paper examines the small farm

livelihood system of the Lesotho foothills, and how family lifecycle stage affects the decision

making process.

Natural History of Lesotho

With a land area of 30,350 km2, lying between 28.35 to 30.400 south latitude, and 27.00

to 29.300 east longitude, Lesotho is entirely surrounded by the Republic of South Africa (PC

Globe 1992). Altitudes range from 1,500 m in the lowlands of the north and west, to 3,500 m in

the higher mountains of the south and east. Various geographical classifications have been used

to describe the country's regions based on altitude, topography, geology, and climate (Smit 1967,

Bawden and Carroll 1968, Schmitz 1984), which vary in number and type of divisions. For

simplicity's sake, the description of Guillarmod (1971) will be used here, where the foothills, the

area of interest, is a transitional region in the west central part of the country, with altitudes from

1,800 to 2,300 m. Due to climatic differences, this area will be exclusive of Smit's (1967) Orange

River valley to the south. Though planting seasons and specific crop mixes differ somewhat

between geographical regions, farming systems are similar throughout the country.

Generalizations made herewith may very well apply to other regions.

The terrain in the foothills is comprised of broad valleys, often intersected by small

streams and rivers, and surrounded by steeply sloping mountains. The geology of the region is

mainly Jurassic basalts overlying older shales, mudstones and sandstones of the Permian and

Triassic Periods (Schmitz and Rooyani 1987). The presence of volcanic bedrock with a high

incident of dikes and sills explains the presence of many springs. A red loam and a black clay are

the two most prominent soil types (Smit 1967). Illite and montmorillonite are probably the

dominate mineral clays in the darker soil, where the red loam would have more kaolinite and

sesquioxides (Schmitz and Rooyani 1987). Therefore, the more weathered red soils should be

moderately acid, where the dark soils would have a pH closer to neutral. Organic matter is

reported to be low in all but some higher mountain soils where lower temperatures and higher

moisture reduce the oxidation rate (Schmitz and Rooyani 1987). This phenomenon is particularly

true in agricultural fields, where organic matter content is further decreased through harvests and

grazing. Erosion is often sever, however, because of the aggregating nature of these clays,

erosion usually takes the form of less noticeable sheet erosion, than the gully erosion of the

lowlands, for which Lesotho is notorious.

Aiinual rainfall averages around 800 mm, the majority occurring from October to April

(Guillarmod 1971). Light, steady rains generally occur in November and March. Short, intense

thunder storms often accompanied by hail are common in the summer. Frosts can be expected

during winter nights, and infrequently throughout the rest of the year. Temperatures range from -

10 to 30C. Winter daytime temperature usually rise above freezing. Dry southeasterly winds are

persistent at that time of year.

Basotho Origins and History

The people of Lesotho, known as Basotho (Mosotho singular), originate from a collection

of Sotho-Tswana tribes living as pastoralists and hunters in what is now the Orange Free State of

South Africa (Knappert 1985). During the mid-eighteenth century, the Bakuena chief Mohlomi

entered Sesotho lore through his renown interest in and friendship with other tribes (Coates

1966). Moshoeshoe, who is considered the founder of the Basotho nation, succeeded Mohlomi

as chief, and continued in his tradition of building ties with neighboring tribes. During the Zulu

wars of the 1820's, Moshoeshoe lead his people into the mountains of Lesotho. From their

mountain strong hold, the Basotho were able to successfully defend themselves for marauding

Zulus, while also applying more tactful methods with their foes. As the Zulu threat decreased,

other bands arrived from the west, and probably introduced the Basotho to horses and firearms

(Guillarmod 1971).

By the 1830's, Dutch hunters began to make contact with the Basotho, also giving

Moshoeshoe horses and guns. French missionaries arrived shortly afterwards. King Moshoeshoe

immediately granted the missionaries land for a station and encouraged his people to learn from

them, however, he never became a Christian himself. With the migration of Europeans into the

Orange Free State, disputes with the Basotho arose over lands the immigrants were settling,

which led to the treaty of 1842 between King Moshoeshoe and the British government. This

treaty and other concessions that followed were ill defined and resulted in many armed conflicts

between the British government and the Basotho.

A British governorship was established in Lesotho around 1870, better defining the

country's borders. Since neither side was able to physically dominate the other, trade, more than

aggression, brought peace between Europeans and Basotho. The Basotho were very interested in

improved livestock breeds and agricultural implements such as the plow; settlers needed meat,

grain, and to some extent, labor from the Basotho. The opening of the Kimberly diamond fields

in the 1870's greatly expanded the Basotho's market for agricultural produce, and added another

aspect to their culture, migrant labor for the mines.

In 1966 Lesotho became an officially independent country, though it has always been

fairly autonomous from its more powerful neighbors for some two hundred years. This brief

history brings out the following important points when considering Lesotho and its culture:

1) the Baeotho's ability to trade and negotiate with other peoples has enabled them to remain their


2) Basotho are interested in learning from other cultures;

3) there is a long tradition of cultivating crops in Lesotho, however, the Basotho were first and

foremost pastoralists;

4) the tribal system is an integral part of the Sesotho culture;

5) migrant labor is not a new phenomenon;

6) Basotho are mistrustful for Europeans.

Sesotho Culture and Land Tenure

Basotho live in a tribal based, paternal society, with a mixture of European style

democracy and military oligarchy is superimposed on this basic structure. The nuclear family is

the most fundamental unit, where the paternal male is the head. The household head, or his

representative, is socially and legally responsible for the entire family.

Marriage is the institution which creates a household. Mokhethi (1988) notes three types

of marriages: traditional, civil and church. All three forms are considered legally binding, but only

after there is agreement between the marrying parties and their parents, and there is partial or full

payment ofbohali (bride price), usually in the form of cattle (Poulter 1976). Negotiation and

payment of bohali is made by the groom's father to the bride's father.

A married couple thus forms an atonomous nuclear family. However, a married woman is

still treated as a minor, but now her guardian is her husband. She is not legally allowed to enter

into any contract without his consent, nor may she appear in court without her husband's

representation (Mamashela 1991).

A newly formed family needs land to build a home, sustain its members and become a

household. Though land is communally owned, the use of particular fields is the right of an

individual. Traditionally, every adult male was entitled to a plot of land for his house, and three

fields to feed his family, along with two extra fields for each additional wife. In contemporary

times, increasing population has made such a land distribution the exception instead of the rule.

Often young couples must wait before fields can be given to them.

Land is allocated by the village chief and his advisors. In return for the land, a man

pledges his support to the chief. In the past, this commitment to the chief and the village began

early in a boy's life and was reaffirmed in an initiation ceremony during a his adolescence

(Laydevant 1978). Rights of land use are often passed down from father to a son, if he

continues to live in the same village.

Women and unmarried men have no legal grounds to claim land. A widowed, divorced or

abandoned woman, who does not go to live with her parents or adult son, will often be allowed to

retained use of her fields. The understanding is that this arrangement is temporary, and she will

soon remarry and relinquish the land. If she is elderly, without an adult son or other family

member willing to take her into his home, she may be allowed to keep a field to feed herself,

returning the remaining fields to the village chief for redistribution.

Most people live in small villages located in the valleys, which may be aggregated into

larger centers near major roads. A general store, hammer mill, and mohair collection depot are

commonly found at such population centers. A family usually has a small area for a compound

with an adjacent homegarden, and two or three fields further away. Total land controlled by a

household rarely exceeds two hectares. Certain areas, usually on the hillsides, are designated for

specific uses such as summer grazing, winter grazing, and thatch grass and fuelwood production.

Fields farmed in the summer are open to grazing in the winter. The village chief decides when

fields are opened to winter grazing, and when they are closed so planting may begin in the spring

(May and McLellan 1971).

Small Farm Livelihood System

Many younger and middle-aged men work in the mines of South Africa for most of the

year. The remittance from such migrant work makes up the majority of most family incomes.

Men and boys plow and plant the fields, tend the livestock, and do home construction. If

manpower, draft animals and equipment are available, the first weeding of the fields may be done

with a cultivator. Additional hand-hoeing will be needed between crop rows. Any work using

draft animals is strictly done by men, where work with hand tools, such as hoeing, is primarily

done by women, though any family may participate. Boys may be gone during the summer in

order to take the livestock to better grazing areas in the highlands. Even if they are at home,

much of their time is spent herding livestock in nearby pastures.

Women and children weed fields and cultivate homegardens. Women and girls are also

responsible for collecting water and fuelwood, plastering the house, cooking, and caring for

children. Harvesting is done by family members who are available at the time, which is normally

the women, girls and any boys not herding. Community work such as road or water system repair

is done by both men and women, though again women are the main labor source available.

There are very strong ties between a man's sisters' families, and between a woman's

brothers' families. For instance, when a woman has her first or second child, often her younger

sister or her older brother's daughter will come to stay with the family to help with housekeeping.

It is also common for a man's sister's son or his wife's brother's son to stay with the family to help

with herding.

Livestock are an important component of the Basotho culture. Mohair goats are raised in

great numbers. Sheep are also kept for wool, as well as meat. Horses and donkeys are used to

carry loads and for transportation. Cattle, a symbol of prosperity, are used for traction, milk,

meat, skins, and to pay bohadi. Cow dung is used for fertilizer, fuel, and as construction material.

Chickens are kept by most families. Dogs and cats are common pets.

Most of the crops grown are produced for home consumption, with surpluses sold, traded

or given to neighbors and family. Maize and sorghum are the principle crops. These are grown in

the fields further from the compound, and often intercropped with pumpkins. Beans, lintels and

peas may be grown in these fields in the spring, and wheat, occasionally in the summer and early

winter. Wild amaranth is an important vegetable collected from the fields during weeding.

Vegetables such as cabbage, leeks and Swiss chard are grown in homegardens. If the garden is

large, potatoes or cabbage may be grown as a cash crop.

Fuel for cooking and heating is in short supply. Wood, especially the native tree cheche

(Leucosidea sericea), is preferred, however, maize stover and cow dung are more commonly

used. Native woody shrubs called sehalahala (primarily Chrysocoma tenuifolia and Aster

filifolirs) are also used. Coal imported from South Africa is sometimes used for heating.

Trees are planted or retained on agricultural lands only in limited numbers. Peaches are

grown on the grass contour strips separating fields. Poplars (Populus deltoides and P. nigra)

and willows (Salix babylonica) may also be found on these strips or around the compound.

Cypresses (Cupressus spp.) and pines (Pinus halepensis, P. pinaster and P. radiata) are planted

around the compound for shade and a roost for chickens. All these trees may be used for

supplemental fuelwood.

Specific goals and farming objectives vary among the stakeholders. Generally, men are

involved with livestock and cash, where women may be more concerned with providing for their

children, extended family, and the community. Though husband and wife usually discuss

decisions concerning their family and livelihood, the ultimate decision making power lies with the

man. The man makes decisions such as what crops to plant, which fields to use, when to buy and

sell animals, what will be done about the children's education, and how major purchases for the

home are to be made. Day to day decisions like when to weed or harvest is the responsibility of

the woman. This often puts the woman in a bind when a major decision has to be made and her

husband is away in the mines. In such cases she often consults with her husband's father and/or

brothers if they are available. Otherwise, the decision can often be indecision. This phenomenon

is often blamed for the inherent resistance to change within the Basotho society, and with farming

practices in particular.

Care for aging parents and extended family is a major concern of the family. Though the

primary responsibility lies with the eldest son, there are no hard and fast rules, and contributions

to both the husband's and wife's families are not uncommon. Funerals can be a large burden on

the family also. Cash, livestock and food are donated to the bereaved. These scarce resources

are also expended in celebrations, such as those honoring their ancestors.

Family life cycle also plays a role in the decision making process. Spiegel (1980) describes

the typical family lifecycle in terms of major income sources and access to land. A young family is

usually wage-dependent and landless. As the couple becomes established in a community, fields

will be allocated to them, though wage labor remains their main income source. It is likely the

family will also be accumulating livestock, but often these animals are put in someone else's care

because of a shortage of male labor. The caretaker receives draft power and milk, while the

family retains ownership of the prodigy.

As the family matures, more land may be allocated to them, though Basotho law and

custom dictate that a family shall have only as much land as they need for subsistence. Land not

cultivated for two consecutive years may be taken away and allocated to someone else.

The family reaches its zenith in income and security as unmarried sons become wage

earners. At this time, the head of the household is usually preparing to retire. Cattle and

agricultural equipment are amassed, and land is usually used to its fullest extent.

The final phase is what Spiegel calls "cultivating households. These families have access

to arable land, but no longer have direct access to remittances from wage earners. This is the

declining phase of the household. If they still have cattle and cultivating equipment, and the man

is able-bodied, they can contract to work others' fields on a hired or sharecropped basis. Local

crafts, brewing, and day labor are also common activities for these households.

As the couple becomes less able to preform physical labor, they rely more on outside help

to work their fields. It is often a struggle to find basic subsistence, and they must move to one of

their child's homes to live.

Economic Simulation

The first three linear program matrixes examine a number of crop and labor arrangement

possibilities. Total land is set to 0.25 ha to represent a "landless" young family, with only their

homegarden are for cultivation. Only sharecropping arrangements are available for maize, as it is

the preferred crop. The family has no draft animals, so draft animal days are set to zero. The

adult male (the household head in this case) has the option of 8, 11 or 12 month migrant work, or

remaining at home. M100 per month remittance is assumed from such work. Crop yields are

averages based on Monyake (1974), Morojele (1964) and the Buerau of Statistics (1984).

When no consumption constraints are set, as in matrix 1, the entire garden is planted with

peas with hired draft and tended by the woman. In the second matrix a minimum of 300 kg of

maize is needed, which causes the garden to be planted in maize under the same arrangements as

the previous matrix. Supplemental maize must be purchased. Matrix 3 represents a family with

young children, therefore, maize consumption is increased to 500 kg and 100 kg of sorghum is

added. Enough sorghum is planted to meet the consumption requirement, with the remainder of

the ground planted in maize. Again, maize must be bought to make the requirements. In all three

cases, the male household is working a 12 months away from the family to maximize income. A

slight, but steady decrease in family income occurs as more pressure is put on the farming system

to produce nutritional needs.

As the family grows, and demonstrates the need for agricultural land and the ability to use

the lands, it is expected that fields will be allocated to them. Matrixes 4 and 5 show that as the

family acquires and additional 0.5 ha, this land is sufficient to produce their subsistence needs. In

matrix 4, the small amount of land remaining is put into peas, which is the most profitable crop.

Matrix 5 represents the family acquiring a team for draft animals. Now the man begins to shift

from a 12 month contract to an 11 month contract so that he may return home to do

sharecropping with his animals. The woman's labor has doubled as more land is farmed. Maize

and sorghum are no longer bought. Sorghum is produced on the family's farm, while most of the

maize is acquired through a sharecropping arrangement. Family income is increasing.

When wheat and the pulse crops are removed from the matrix, sorghum becomes the most

profitable crop. In matrix 6, sorghum is grown on the farm and maize comes from sharecropping.

Surplus from both crops is sold. Matrix 7 shows how doubling available family draft shifts the

man completely into an 11 month migrant labor contract. Income is again on the increase.

Income is greatly increased as an "adult" unmarried son becomes of age to begin migrant

labor. Matrix 8 shows that even though the son's remittance is substantial, he is needed to assist

in sharecropping. When more land is added to the family's holdings as in matrix 9, the woman's

labor becomes binding so that not all land can be cultivated. Sorghum remains the crop grown on

the farm with hired draft used. Further increasing the family's draft resources in matrix 10 does

nothing to change the woman's sorghum enterprise. Now, both men are working 11 month

contract and sharecropping 3 ha of maize. This situation appears to represent Spiegel's (1980)

zenith in the family lifecycle.

When the household head retires, income is drastically reduced, with remittances coming

from only one migrant laborer. In matrix 11 the son is able to work a full 12 month contract,

because the family animal holdings are modest. When there are more animals, such as in matrix

12, the son is needed to return home to help with the sharecropping. If there is a younger son at

home, or another male relative is able to live with the family, as in matrix 13, the adult son can do

more migrant labor, and thus increase family income. With the man at home to help with other

farming chores, all land is put in sorghum and the woman's weeding labor is reduced. Though it is

doubtful that the man will do all the weeding, so that his wife can rest, it is very likely that he will

help. Also, either the man, woman or both may be engaging in some other income generating


The next phase in the family lifecycle is when the children begin to marry, and the family

only has the farm to make income from. Family income falls drastically. In matrix 14 the only

change is the reduction of the migrant labor remittance, a 70% decrease from the previous

situation. Matrix 15 demonstrates how a reduction in animals, such as for the boy's bohali

payment, will further reduce the family's ability to maintain themselves. A difficult situation

becomes worse the hired draft arrangement for the family's sorghum field falls through, as in

matrix 16. Though the family is able to meet its subsistence needs and use all its 1.25 ha of land,

they will be in need of financial assistance from their children. Otherwise, they may be forced to

begin selling off livestock, which would further decrease their ability to maintain themselves.

The death for the man forces the woman to reduce her subsistence need. In Matrix 17 she

is living as she was at the beginning of the family's lifecycle, but with sufficient land to grow what

she needs. She is unable to use all the land, and the sale of sorghum provides a very meager

income. Just about all of her available labor is taken up, and in this case harvest labor is the

limiting resource. Another probable activity for her is brewing beer. As she becomes less able to

tend the fields, as demonstrated in matrix 18, the area planted is reduced, and her income takes

another fall. At this stage she will probably go to live with her son or other relative.


The linear program simulations presented here have shown that as male labor is increased

on the farm, cattle herds are increased and more land is put under cultivation. With the

expected reduction of migrant job offerings in South Africa (EIU 1995), Lesotho will be faced

with a surplus of such adult male labor. This will put tremendous pressure on the land base as

these men will most likely attempt to intensify crop production, and increase the stocking of

already overgrazed pastures. The poor market structure for agricultural produce may further

worsen the situation by failing to absorb such commodities.

A possible solution to this scenario would be the creation of industry within Lesotho. The

Lesotho Highlands Water Project, the first phase of which is about to be completed (Fanelli

1995), may be coming just in the nick of time to save the country by providing cheap

hydroelectric power. Also, revenue from water sales to South Africa can be used to finance local

industry. Otherwise the prospects for the future of Lesotho appear bleak.

Literature Cited

Bawden, M.G. and Caroll, D.M. 1968. The Land Resources of Lesotho. Tech. Bull. No. 3.
LRD, Tolworth.

Bureau of Statistics and Agricultural Planning. 1984. Lesotho Agricultural Situation Report
1973/74 1981/82. Bureau Stat., Ministry of Planning and Statistics and Agricultural Plannning,
Ministry of Agriculture. Maseru, Lesotho. 80p.

CIA. 1994. The World Factbook 1994. Central Inteligence Agency (CIA). Washington, DC

Coates, A. 1966. Basutoland. Her Majesty's Stationary Office. London, U.K. 135p.

EIU. 1995. Country Report: Botswana Lesotho. The Economist Inteligence Unit (EIU).
London, UK. 28p.

Eldredge, E. 1993. Women, in production: the economic role of women in nineteenth centre
Lesotho. ISAS WPN-5 pp.16-43 In: ISAS Working Papers Series Nos. 4-6. Institute of
Souther African Studies, National University of Lesotho. Roma, Lesotho. 89p.

Fanelli, G. (ed). 1995. Friends of Lesotho Newsletter. Friends of Lesotho. Chevy Chase, MD.

Guillarmod, A.J. 1971. Flora of Lesotho. Verlag Von J. Cramer. Lehre, S.A. 474p.

Hall, D. and Green, T. 1989. Community Forestry in Lesotho: The People's Perspective. A
Report on the Community Forestry Programme for the Kingdom of Lesotho. Overseas
Development Adminstration. London, U.K. 233p.

Huss-Ashmore, R. and Goodman, J.L. 1988. Seasonality of work, weight, and body composition
for women in highland Lesotho. pp.28-44. In: Huss-Ashmore, R., Curry, J.J., and Hitchcock,
R.K. (eds). Coping with Seasonal Constraints: MASCA Research Papers in Science and
Archaeology Volume 5. The Museum Applied Science Center for Archaeology, University of
Pennsylvania. Philadelphia, PA.

Knappert, J. 1985. Myths and Ledgens of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland. E.J. Brill. Leiden,
The Netherlands. 254p.

Laydevant, F. 1978. The Rites of Initiation in Basutoland. The Social Centre. Roma, Lesotho.

Makhanya, E.M. (ed). 1979. The Use of Land Resources for Agriculture in Lesotho.
Department of Geography, University of Lesotho. Roma, Lesotho. 208p.

Mamashela, M. 1991. Family Law Through Cases in Lesotho. National University of Lesotho.
Roma, Lesotho. 374p.

May, J.M. and McLellan, D.L. 1971. The Ecology of Malnutrition in Seven Countries of
Southern Africa and in Portuguese Guinea. Studies in Medical Geography, Vol 10. Hafner Pub.
Co. Ney York, NY. 432p.

Mokhethi, P. 1988. Lesotho's Challenge: The Irregular Marital Unions. Mazenod Institute.
Maseru, Lesotho. 55p.

Monyake, A.M. (ed). 1974. Report on the National Population Symposium Held at the Stadium
Hotel Hall Masery, 11-13 June, 1974. National Population Commission. Maseru, Lesotho.

Morojele, C.M.H. 1963. 1960 Agricultural Census: Basutoland. Part 4: Crop Acreages, Yield
and Production. Agricultural Department. Maseru, Lesotho. 103p.

PC Globe. 1994. Broderbund Software Inc.

Poulter, S. 1976. Family Law and Litigation in Basotho Society. Oxford University Press.
London, U.K. 361p.

Schmitz, G. (ed) 1984. Lesotho: Environment and Management, Vol. 1. National University of
Lesotho. Roma, Lesotho. 125p.

Schmitz, G. and Rooyani, F. 1987. Lesotho Geology, Geomorphology, Soils. National
University of Lesotho. Roma, Lesotho.

Smit, P. 1967. Lesotho: A Geographical Study. Communications of the Africa Institute: No. 6.
Africa Institute. Pretoria, S.A. 44p.

Spiegel, A.D. 1980. Rural differentiation and the deffusion of migrant labour remittances in
Lesotho. pp. 109-168. In: Mayer, P. (ed). 1980. Black Villagers in an Industrial Society.
Oxford University Press. Cape Town, S.A.

Percent Mean Annual Income
From Various Sources

Other (6.2)
Cash Crops (1.2)
Live Animals (1.0)
Brewing (5.8)
Transportation (1.5)
Construction (1.6)-
Trade (3.8)
Migrant Women (1.8)

'-Local Wages Men (12.5)

- Local Wages Women (7.0)

-Migrant Men (57.7)

Percent of Households Earning
Income from Various Sources

Other (19.5)
Cash Crops (6.8)
Wool (7.6 )
Live Animals (5.4)

Brewing (34.2)

Local Wages Men (14.7)
-Local Wages Women (9.7)

Migrant Men (50.1)

Transportation (2.4) L- Migrant Women (2.4)
Construction (4.0)1 Trade (2.2)

(source Hall and Green 1989)

Farm Activity Calander

Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug

MigrantLabor M M M M M M M M M M

Maize & Sorghum

plow & plant Mm Mm Mm

harrow Mm Mm Mm

how & weed mFf mFf mFf mFf mFf mFf

harvest mFf mFf mFf

thresh mFf mFf


plow & plant Mm Mm

cut fodder MmFf

cut & shock mFf mFf

thresh mFf

gather straw mFf


plow & plant Mm Mm Mm

hoe & weed mFf mFf mFf

harvest mFf mFf mFf

clean & store mFf mFf

Winter plowing Mm Mm Mm Mm

(sources Eldredge 1993, Huss-Ashmore and Goodman 1989, Makhanya 1979) M = man, m = boy, F = woman, f= girl

Farm Activity Calander

Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug


tend garden mFf mFf mFf mFf mFf mFf

collect wild greens Ff Ff

collect dung & wood mFf mFf mFf mFf mFf

cut dung blocks Ff Ff Ff Ff Ff

take food to fields F F F

thatch F F

weaving F F F

cooking Ff Ff Ff Ff Ff Ff Ff Ff Ff Ff Ff Ff

home maintenance Ff Ff Ff Ff Ff Ff Ff Ff Ff Ff Ff Ff


mountain herding m m m m m

village herding Mm Mm Mm Mm Mm Mm Mm Mm Mm Mm Mm Mm

lambs bom Mm

shearing Mm

spring chickens mFf

sheep & goats Mm Mm

kids bor Mm

Rains X X x x x x X x

profitability of maize production.
hired household 1:1 share 2:1 share
labor labor cropping cropping

production (kg/ha) 670 670 335 290

selling price (M/kg) 0.20 0.20 0.20 0.20

cost (M/ha) 15.00 5.00 5.00 0.00

profit (M/ha) 119.00 129.00 111.00 58.00

cost (M/kg) 0.02 0.01 0.01 0.00

profit (M/kg) 0.18 0.19 0.19 0.20

market (M/kg) 0.40 0.40 0.40 0.40

Profitability of sorghum and wheat production.
Sorghum Wheat

hired household hired household
labor labor labor labor

production (kg/ha) 690 690 730 730

selling price (M/kg) 0.33 0.33 0.30 0.30

cost (M/ha) 12.00 5.00 12.00 5.00

profit (M/ha) 215.70 222.70 204.00 214.00

cost (M/kg) 0.02 0.01 0.02 0.01

profit (M/kg) 0.31 0.32 0.28 0.29

market (M/kg) 0.66 0.66 0.60 0.60

profitability of pea and bean production.
Pea Bean

hired household hired household
labor labor labor labor

production (kg/ha) 530 530 360 360

selling price (M/kg) 0.56 0.56 0.66 0.66

cost (M/ha) 15.00 5.00 15.00 5.00

profit (M/ha) 281.80 291.70 222.60 232.60

cost (M/kg) 0.03 0.01 0.04 0.01

profit (M/kg) 0.53 0.55 0.62 0.65

market(M/kg) 1.12 1.12 1.32 1.32

Linear Program Variables

Maize (ha)
shareout draft 1:1 split
sharecrop draft 1:1 split
sharecrop draft/labor 2:1
hire draft
family draft
Sorghum (ha)
hire draft
family draft
Wheat (ha)
hire draft
family draft
Peas (ha)
hire draft
family draft
Beans (ha)
hire draft
family draft
Migrant Labor (year)
12 month contract
11 month contract
8 month contract
home resident
Surplus Adult Male Labor (day)
plowing & planting
Buy (kg)
Sell (kg)
Stocks/Consumption (kg)

Linear Program Constraints

Plant & Plow
land (ha)
draft (animal day)
Weeding female (day)
Harvest female (day)
adult male (year)
maize (kg)
sorghum (kg)
wheat (kg)
peas (kg)
beans (kg)
Resident male (year)
Tenure land (ha)
maize (kg)
sorghum (kg)
wheat (kg)
peas (kg)
beans (kg)
Year-end cash (maloti)

Matrices 1 to 3
Phase I. Landless Wage-Dependent Household
0.25 ha, 1 migrant laborer

no consumption 500 kg maize
constraints 300 kg maize 100 kg sorghum

maize hire draft 0.00 ha 0.25 ha 0.14 ha

sorghum hire draft 0.00 ha 0.00 ha 0.11 ha

peas hire draft 0.25 ha 0.00 ha 0.00 ha

buy maize 0.00 kg 82.5 kg 380.25 kg

year-end cash M 1270.45 M 1163.25 M 1044.49

Matrices 4 and 5
Phase II. Landholding Wage-Dependent Household: securing land
0.75 ha, 1 migrant laborer

no draft 8 draft days

maize shareout 0.00 ha 1.00 ha

maize hire draft 0.57 ha 0.08 ha

sorghum hire draft 0.11 ha 0.11 ha

peas hire draft 0.06 ha 0.56 ha

12 month contract 1.00 0.40

11 month contract 0.00 0.60

year-end cash M 1207.78 M 1296.16

Matrices 6 and 7
Phase II. Landholding Wage-Dependent Household: securing land
0.75 ha, 1 migrant laborer, only maize and sorghum

8 draft days 16 draft days

maize shareout 1.00 ha 1.67 ha

maize hire draft 0.07 ha 0.00 ha

sorghum hire draft 0.68 ha 0.68 ha

12 month contract 0.40 0.40

11 month contract 0.60 0.60

year-end cash M 1296.11 M 1323.27

Matrices 8 to 10
Phase II. Landholding Wage-Dependent Household: turning to the land
2 migrant laborers

0.75 ha 1.25 ha 1.25
16 draft days 16 draft days 24 draft days

maize shareout 2.00 ha 2.00 ha 3.00 ha

sorghum hire draft 0.75 ha 1.20 ha 1.20 ha

12 month contract 0.80 0.80 0.20

11 month contract 1.20 1.20 1.80

year-end cash M 2532.27 M 2659.04 M 2686.04

Matrices 11 to 13
Phase II. Landholding Wage-Dependent Household: using the land
1.25 ha, 1 adult male at home, 1 migrant laborer

24 draft days
24 draft days with boy labor 16 draft days

maize shareout 3.00 ha 3.00 ha 2.00 ha

sorghum hire draft 1.25 ha 1.25 ha 1.25 ha

12 month contract 0.70 1.00 1.00

11 month contract 0.30 0.00 0.00

year-end cash M 1650.12 M 1680.13 M 1593.13

Matrices 14 to 16
Phase III. Cultivating the Land: continued involvement in agriculture
1.25 ha, 1 adult male at home, no migrant laborer

24 draft days 16 draft days 16 draft days
sorghum hire sorghum hire sorghum hire
890 kg/ha 890 kg/ha 500 kg/ha

maize share out 3.00 ha 2.00 ha 0.88 ha

maize hire draft 0.00 ha 0.00 ha 0.00 ha

sorghum hire draft 1.25 ha 1.25 ha 0.00 ha

sorghum house 0.00 ha 0.00 ha 1.12 ha

male plowing 36 days 24 days 24 days

year-end cash M 480.13 M 393.12 M 287.44

Matrices 17 and 18
Phase III. Cultivating the Land: declining ability
1.25 ha, no adult male labor

40 female days for 20 female days for
weeding weeding

maize hire draft 0.34 ha 0.34 ha

sorghum hire draft 0.86 ha 0.46 ha

female weeding 30 days 20 days

female harvest 15 days 10 days

year-end cash M 219.23 M 106.55

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