THE BEA NICOWPEA COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH SUPPORT PROGRAM (CRSP)
2GO Center for International Programs Michigan State University East Lansing, Michigan 48824-1035 USA Telephone: (517) 355-4693 Telex: 810 251 0737 MSU INT PRO ELSG
Funded through USAIDIRIFAD Grant NO. AIDIDSAN-Xii-G-0261
RESOURCE GUIDE WOMEN IN AGRICULTURE
Prepared by: Nancy Horn Brenda Nkambule-Kanyima October 1, 1984
Series Editor: Anne Ferguson
A number of individuals and organizations at Michigan State University
were helpful in identifying and making available materials on Botswana. These include Ms. Mary Pigozzi and the Non-Formal Education Center; Mrs. Onuma Ezera and Mr. Learthen Dorsey of the Sahel Documentation Center; the librarians and assistance personnel in the Agricultural Economics Reading Room, the Main Library, and the Educational Resource Center of the African Studies Center.
Bean/Cowpea CRSP Women in Agriculture Series ..... .. ................. 1
Introduction to the Botswana Project and Resource Guide ..... ........... 5
I. Survey of the Literature on Small Farm Agriculture ............... 7
Migration and Agricultural Develepment .................... 7
Agricultural Production Systems ..... .... .................... 9
Agro-Ecological Zones ...... ........................ 9
Demographic and Ethnic Distribution ... . . . . . 12
Agricultural Production Data .. ..................... 15
Agro-Ecological Adaptations ..... ..................... 16
Gender-Specific Farming Activities ...... ................... ...21
Overview of Women in Botswana . . . . . . . 21
The Division of Labor ..... .. ....................... 22
Women's Roles in Bean/Cowpea Production and Marketing . 29
Women's Other Responsibilities . . . . . . . 29
Summary and Conclusions ..... .. ................... ... . 30
II. Project-Specific Implications .......................... 31
Specific Project Objectives ... ............. . . . 31
Timely Planting ..... .... ........................... ...31
Reduced Tillage ..... .... .. ........................... 33
Variety Screening Program ..... .... ......................34
New Cultural Practices ...... .. ........................ 35
New Harvesting Technique .... ................. 35
Alectra vogelii Resistance ........... . ......... . . 36
Demonstration Plots on Farmer's Fields . . ......... . 36
Self-Evaluation Meetings . . . . . . . . . . . 37
Additional Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . 37
Women's Legal Status and Land . . . . . . . . . . 37
Compatibility of Beer Brewing and Cowpea Production . . . . 38 The Division of Labor . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
Cooperatives and Marketing . . . . . . . . . . . 38
Drought and Food Aid . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
Use of Manure and Fertilizer . . . . . . . . . . 39
Summary and Conclusions . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
III. Education and Women's Organizations . . . . . . . . . 40
The Educational System . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
Women's Organizations . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
IV. Selected and Annotated Bibliography . . . . . . . . . 49
BEAN/COWPEA CRSP WOMEN IN AGRICULTURE SERIES
The Bean/Cowpea CRSP is a program of coordinated projects in Africa and
Latin America that focuses on removing constraints to the production and utilization of beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) and cowpeas (Vigna unguiculata). Funded by a Title XII grant from USAID/BIFAD, the goal of the program is to support research and training which will ultimately result in a reduction of hunger and malnutrition in developing countries.
In many of these areas, beans and cowpeas are staple foods that provide the major source of protein and an important source of B vitamins in family diets. Usually produced on small farms for household consumption and sale, these basic food crops have not benefited from the kinds of research and extension efforts accorded to crops grown for export purposes. Consequently, yields tend to be low due to high insect and disease infestation, depleted soils and drought. Often much of the meager harvest is lost during storage.
In many parts of the world the primary responsibility for the production of beans, cowpeas and other crops grown for family consumption rests with women and children. While women's roles in agriculture vary by country and region, women generally play a major part in seed selection, planting, weeding, harvesting, storing, processing and preparing food crops. These factors combine to pose a special challenge to development efforts, suggesting both a need to direct attention to the constraints faced by small farmers and at the same time to recognize that, in many contexts, a majority of these farmers are likely to be women.
A total of eighteen projects, eight in Africa and ten in Latin America, are included in the Bean/Cowpea CRSP. All involve collaborative research between investigators located at Host Country (HC) institutions and at US universities and institutes. A wide range of research interests is reflected in the program; all address the small farm context and many focus on agricultural and food preparation tasks usually carried out by women. Included in the program are projects designed to:
1. Increase bean and cowpea yields through developing disease and insect
resistant, drought tolerant or high nitrogen fixing varieties which
incorporate locally desirable traits (color, texture, taste and cooking
2. Faciliate the processing of beans and cowpeas through the development of
technologies that are suitable for use at the household and village level.
3. Investigate and where possible remove the anti-nutritional factors and
increase the protein content and digestibility of beans and cowpeas.
4. Address storage losses and preparation constraints such as the hard-to-cook
phenomena in beans.
In addition to the research objectives, each project has a training
component tailored to HC bean and/or cowpea research needs. This includes opportunities to participate in formal degree programs and in short-term
training courses. Interactions among researchers from the various projects in the CRSP have resulted in an integrated approach which promises to yield realistic and viable solutions to the problems confronting small farmers.
Since its inception, the Bean/Cowpea CRSP has incorporated a strong Womenin-Development (WID) focus and has included a WID Specialist on its Management Office staff. While specific objectives vary by project, certain WID concerns are of' program-wide significance. These include:
1. Assuring that gender issues are taken into account in information
gathering. This requires an awareness of the ways in which this variable
influences resource allocation, decision-making processes and the division
of labor within farming households. Such a focus is important in Latin
American contexts where women's participation in agriculture has often gone
unrecorded and is especially significant in many African areas where women have access to their own fields and are responsible for providing for their family's sustenance. In both situations data gathering must encompass male
and female work roles if workable solutions to the problems confronting
small farmers are to be devised.
2. Ascertaining that agricultural innovations (be they improved seed varieties,
new techniques or technologies) are appropriate to the small farm context
and that these innovations do not result in the progressive marginalization
of women in the agricultural sector or increase their already heavy work
3. Encouraging the participation of women in the projects as researchers,
technicians and students. Over the long run, such efforts are likely to
result in the diminution of male biases in research and hence lead to more
equitable and successful development efforts.
Overall, the perspective is one which situates small producers within the wider socio-cultural and economic context and draws attention to how a consideration of gender differences within households and society will result in achievement of project objectives and ultimately in improved nutrition and health status.
As part of this effort a series of Women in Agriculture Resource Guides is being prepared to provide Bean/Cowpea CRSP Principal'Investigators (PIs) with an overview of the HC small farm sector and women's roles in agricultural production, processing and marketing. These handbooks are designed primarily for researchers in agricultural and food or nutrition-related disciplines who may be unfamiliar with the social science literature on the area where their projects are located.
Relying on secondary source materials, the objectives of the guides are, first, to present a description of the local farming systems with emphasis on women's work roles. The amount and quality of information on women in agriculture is highly variable. A large number of studies exist for some developing countries while in others few investigations have been conducted. Second, a discussion of the relevance of the available information to the specific project objectives is provided. Where studies are not available, suggestions
are made as to what kinds of data on women's roles would be most appropriate to gather. In all cases, PIs are urged to gather more information on women's roles in farming through consultations with HC researchers and farmers, firsthand observations and interviewing. Where there are plans to conduct on-farm trials, these may provide an opportunity to clarify which members of the household are responsible for the various production tasks. A third objective is to provide information on education and to identify, where possible, women's organizations in the HCs and researchers in both the HC and the US who can serve as sources of information and as consultants. Finally, an annotated bibliography of the literature on women's roles in agricultural production, food processing and preparation in the HC is included.
The first Resource Guide in this series was prepared on Cameroon where the University of Georgia and the Institute of Agronomic Research, Government of Cameroon have a Bean/Cowpea CRSP project entitled "Pest Management Strategies for Optimizing Cowpea Yields in Cameroon." The second Resource Guide, presented here, is on Botswana. It was prepared by Ms. Nancy Horn and Ms. Brenda Nkambule-Kanyima for the Bean/Cowpea project "Development of Integrated Cowpea Production Systems in Semi-Arid Botswana" which is under the direction of Colorado State University and the Ministry of Agriculture, Botswana.
For further information on the Bean/Cowpea CRSP and its Women in Development component, contact:
Women in Development Specialist
Bean/Cowpea CRSP Management Office
200 Center for International Programs
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824-1035
Phone: (517) 355-4693
INTRODUCTION TO THE BOTSWANA PROJECT AND RESOURCE GUIDE
This second in the series of Resource Guides has been prepared on Botswana where Colorado State University and the Department of Agriculture of the Government of Botswana are collaborating on a project entitled "Development of Integrated Cowpea Production Systems in Semi-Arid Botswana." The principal goal of this project is "to provide Botswana farmers with an acceptable package of recommended practices for cowpea growing and harvesting including improved varieties and implements as required to realize higher yields and other benefits of the research to be conducted under the proposed scheme."
Detailed project objectives include:
1. Devise a set of practices whereby planting of cowpeas can begin immediately
at the start of the rainy season to take advantage of natural mineralization of soil nitrogen.
2. Evaluate the merits of reduced tillage with simple tools primarily in
marginal territory having near-desert conditions.
3. Initiate a continuing variety screening program during the term of the
contract period with selection criteria based on acceptable appearance,
roughness of seed coat and flavor.
4. Arrive at innovative, sound cultural practices for cowpea production
adjusted for certain sets of environmental conditions, limitations of investment capability, shortage of labor and improved returns on labor
5. Devise a harvesting technique whereby whole plants are collected, dried and
stacked prior to threshing at a central site so avoiding repeated pickings
in the field.
6. Incorporate resistance to Alectra vogelii into the Blackeye cowpea cultivar
so that cowpea growth is facilitated.
7. Test the acceptability of research findings for private farmers on
8. Receive suggestions and opinions concerning program activities and findings
from government agronomists to maintain high program efficiency by holding
9. Address the needs of female farmers taking into account the low availability
of capital they have for investment in agricultural implements and
machinery and considering that greater input of labor in any aspect of
agricultural production is not feasible.
In summary, the project has a number of objectives which, according to the proposal, recognize the particular issues which constrain female farmers in agricultural production.
Bearing this point in mind, the following Resource Guide and annotated
bibliography should provide specific information to the Principal Investigators and their staff so that they can be appraised of ways in which prior findings of social science researchers may enhance achievement of project objectives.
The Guide is organized in the following manner: Part I, the literature
survey, is divided into three sections. The first presents a brief historical overview of migration as the issue which has received the most attention in the literature on agricultural development. The second describes various factors related to the agricultural production systems practiced in Botswana. The third focuses specifically.on the position of women in Botswana and their role in agriculture. Part II considers this literature as it addresses project goals and objectives. This section also indicates areas of research which have received little attention and which bear further exploration. Part III discusses levels of educational achievement in Botswana and provides information on women's informal and formal organizations. The Wide concludes with a selected annotated bibliography as it applies to agricultural production in general and women in particular.
I. SURVEY OF THE LITERATURE ON SMALL FARM AGRICULTURE
Migration and Agricultural Development
Labor migration is the dominant theme of the literature on Botswana.
Although there are two foci--rural-urban migration and migration to the mines in South Africa--the conclusions drawn by most authors discussing either of these are the same, i.e., that the withdrawal of various members of the household from the rural areas has had a number of deleterious effects on agricultural production.
Prior to any detailed discussion of these effects, it must be noted that cropping activities do not constitute a major source of income in Botswana. Only 5% (4.45 million hectares) of Botswana receives adequate rainfall and is suitable for crop cultivation, but only 10% of this area is actually cultivated since there is a high evapo-transpiration rate--a cause of crop failure. The ecology and climate favor ranching and herding, with cattle outnumbering people by three to one in 1983. Income from livestock provides over 80% of all earnings in the agricultural sector. The uneven distribution of cattle ownership and the privatization of grazing land have fostered out-migration from rural areas in search of employment either in the cities of Botswana or in the mines in South Africa. Remittances from mine laborers (estimated to number 50,000 people in 1983) add considerably to the income of many families in Botswana.
Historical analysis within the context of the political economy of Southern Africa indicates that Botswana has functioned as a labor reserve for South African mines and cities since early in the 19th century. More recent literature indicates a reversal of this trend as South Africa no longer employs the number of expatriate Africans it once did. The return of migrant laborers has resulted in more competition for jobs and for pastureland, a demand for more equalized income distribution and the need to develop cropping enterprises.
Alverson (1979) examines how migration has effected rural modes of
production and posits that the opportunity cost of expanding agricultural production in light of the overall political and economic situation is high compared to the lower costs involved in moving elsewhere to work for a wage. He notes that:
1. The proportion of the total population involved in arable production is
declining, mainly due to labor migration.
2. Towns and large villages are experiencing a growth in population, not
necessarily due to natural increase but due to the influx from the more
3. Pressures on land are increasing due to demands for more grazing and arable
land, perhaps brought about by the expansion of capitalist production of
cattle and crops.
4. Variation in yields and areas cultivated is attributable to the reduction
of on-farm labor and the restructuring of the social relations of
5. Within households there are changes in the rights and privileges of access
to the means of production.
6. The contribution of agricultural production to total household income is
not uniformly significant.
7. The ability of the land to produce is declining due to changes in herding
and cropping practices.
other authors have outlined additional effects of migration on agriculture: Behnke and Kerven (1983) found that less than one-quarter of farm dwelling units are solely dependent upon agriculture and that two-thirds of these units obtain more than 40 percent of their income from off-farm labor. Bell (1980) contends that individual household members perceive obtaining a greater advantage by migrating than by staying on the farm and trying to increase production. Brown (1980) posits that Botswana was converted into a labor reserve for South Africa during the colonial period but that wages paid to migrants were never sufficient for them to become fully proletarianized. Thus, a dual dependence on mine wages and rural production led to the semiproletarianization of the peasantry. This continues to characterize the Botswana economy and agricultural production today.
Murray (1980) states that due to labor migration the conjugal unit
(husband/wife) within the household is disintegrating although ties with relatives in the rural areas are being maintained. This breakdown has severe consequences for the remaining household members' abilities to maintain or expand levels of agricultural production. He states, however, that migrants circulate between town/mine and the rural areas and by so doing maintain social ties and ensure rights to land which may provide a form of social security in times of unemployment or retirement.
Men are not the only ones to migrate; several authors comment on female migration, especially to Gaborone, the capital. Bryant (1977) states that women form the majority of rural-urban migrants in Botswana and leave the rural areas for economic reasons. Movement may have been precipitated by the reduction in on-farm labor brought about by male migration. Cliff and Moorsom (1979) argue that women who remain on the farm after male household members migrate to the mines in South Africa are left with the dual burden of caring for home and family, as well as carrying out all agricultural tasks including the management of herds. Unable to adequately meet their needs in agricultural production, women migrate especially to cities, believing they can fare better in selling their labor. Cooper (1979) found that women who migrate to the city are discriminated against in terms of the wages they receive and the type of work they do. As a result, many women participate in the "informal" economy, earning income through activities such as brewing and selling beer.
Although women migrate to towns for economic reasons similar to those of men, the structure of the rural economy enhances the probability of female migration. Izzard (1979) states that educating a daughter predetermines her movement to town since outside of farm labor there are few, if any, opportunities to earn income in the rural areas. Izzard also found that income from crops or farm labor is not sufficient to support and educate children. This
is especially true in the case of single mothers. Where no remittances are received from male migrants, the probability is high that unmarried mothers will migrate, leaving their children in the rural areas with grandparents or
other relatives. Also, the presence of a relative or close friend in the urban
areas will make a woman's choice to migrate easier since she will already have established a minimal network of relationships from which to draw support and
The issue of labor shortage is central to the approach these authors use in
analyzing agricultural production. How women, in particular, cope with this shortage is not fully explored. There are studies which provide some insight
into female strategies to activate assistance networks, but researchers have
not asked the specific question--What means do female farmers employ to overcome their labor shortages? Furthermore, little has been reported on how
remittances from urban/mine migrants are used to enhance production (except to
hire labor or draught power). Research to elicit such information would
enhance understanding of the impact of migration on agriculture.
What the literature does indicate is that the removal of male labor from
agricultural activities has led to the social reorganization of production.
Farm size has been reduced due to the inability of women to gain access to
draught power and labor in a timely manner. Since more income can be earned in activities other than agriculture, both the number and size of farms have been
reduced. Availability of inputs to these small-scale farms is determined by
the income they generate, either from rural farm labor or from remittances.
Monetization of the rural economy has relegated single female heads of house* hold to precarious economic situations since many do not receive remittances
nor do they have the full contingent of social resources a married woman has
that permits the marshalling of kinsmen's and neighbors' labor at peak
* agricultural production periods.
With Botswana acting for the past 100 years as a labor reserve for the
mines in South Africa, little attention has been paid to the development of agriculture. This trend is changing as a result of the reduction in foreign
labor recruitment by South Africa. The implications of mine laborers returning
to Botswana to seek employment, buy land or become cattle ranchers are farreaching and will strongly effect the further reorganization of agricultural
With this brief overview of the relation of migration to agricultural
production in mind, the following comments on agriculture and women's roles in
farm production are presented.
Agricultural Production Systems
* Agro-Ecological Zones
Essentially, there are three agro-ecological zones in Botswana: 1) the
eastern strip extending from Kasane in northern Chobe District to south of
Labatse in Southern District, where cultivation is suitable; 2) the Okavango Delta in Ngamiland District where a 16,000 sq. km. marsh covers much of the
area and where the possibility for irrigating 600,000 ha. exists; and 3) the Kalahari Desert, which dominates southern and western Botswana and is used primarily by pastoral and semi-nomadic hunting-gathering peoples.
The information which follows on climate is taken largely from Wilson (1978), Hinchey (1978) and Africa South of the Sahara (1984). Rainfall patterns correspond to these agro-ecological zones (see Figure 1). In the eastern strip, rains usually begin by the end of September and continue until April or May, with peak periods occurring in early November, late December to January and late February through March. Dry spells occur between these peaks and have a restraining effect on agriculture. Rainfall averages 500 mm annually with a 30% variability. The northern part of the strip receives about 650 mm and the southwestern portion receives about 200 mm. The eastern strip has the highest population density. This is attributable in part to the quality of the soil, which responds fairly well to application of fertilizer and allows for a high standard of crop husbandry.
The Okavango area has an average annual rainfall of 460 mm with peaks in
December, January, February and March. The Okavango-Chobe swamps represent the only perennial surface water of any extent in Botswana. The water of Ngami Lake (about 18,000 million cubic meters) flows largely from Angola.
The remainder of the country, including the Kalahari Desert, constitutes
the southwest arid zone. Rainfall here is generally less than 350 mm annually.
The recent drought follows a recurrent wet/dry cycle (see Figure 2) which has been described by Wilson (1978: 60):
Rainfall appears to be following a recurrent cycle with wetter
and drier periods. Rainfall patterns appear in three cycles
running simultaneously: the first is a short cycle extending
over a period of about six to ten years. During this time
there are a series of consecutive heavy (above average) rainfall years, followed by two or three years with a below average rainfall. From 1975 onwards there were four years of good
rainfall, but the rainy season of 1978-79 was below average
and it is suspected that this trend will continue for several
seasons before there is an improvement.
This short cycle is suspected to be part of a much longer
cycle lasting over hundreds of years, during which average
rainfall and temperature may vary slightly upwards or downwards. This again is probably involved in the third cycle which extends over thousands of years. Research has shown
that the Kalahari has been a semi-arid zone for millions of
years and that during this time there have been some wet
periods sufficient or cause the dried rivers to run and
filling many pans with water to a considerable depth.
~ ~.e650 ~ 400-50 ~ 50- 00 30-6300
!! 500 55550 20.0
Cc 45-50 E Ls h 5
Takn ro MdaonT. inhe (d.. g~Dig on heSypoiu onDrugt n otsan7T~inA
Musum Gaooe Bosaa4ue58 98 Gaoe h osaScey 99
A, ,* Iu I ~
'9 900 1920 29130 39/40 490 59.60 69/70 74!800
Figure 2. Annual Rainfall Patterns of Gaborone
Taken from B. H. Wilson. "A Mini Guide to the
Water Resources of Botswana" in Hinchey, Madalon
(ed.). Proceedinojs on the Symposium on Drought
in Botswana. National Muiseum, Gaborone, Botswana
June 5-8, 1978. Gaborone: The Botswana Society, 1979.
Wilson states that temperatures are the highest and most uniform during the summer months of December and January with mean daily maximum temperatures in the eastern strip at 310C (81.80F). In the winter months, air frost occasionally occurs, especially in the south and in the Limpopo Valley. Ground frosts are frequent in the southeast after mid-May.
According to the 1973-78 National Development Plan, about 84% of the land surface is covered with Kgalagadi sand which supports a low, savannah-type vegetation (see Figure 3). The sand is of aeolian origin and can extend up to 120 meters in depth. Rainfall is normally held within the top few meters and is lost largely through evaporation and transpiration. Water held in the upper sand layers is adequate to support plant life with many plants able to stand long periods of drought. It is uncertain at this time what the effect of the most recent drought is on vegetation and crop production.
Demographic and Ethnic Distribution
According to the 1981 census, 80% of Botswana's population of 936,600 live in the eastern strip where there are reasonably fertile soils. Seven of the eight Batswana tribal groupings live in this zone. Rainfall is sufficient to produce good pasturage and to permit arable agriculture.
, %;:. : ::-;i:!:... .Forest Reserve
Tree Sovanna with Mopone Close Tree Savanna on Rocky Hills Grass Savanna S Aquatic Gross/and
OZ ory Deciduous Forest
Figure 3. Vegetation Zones
Botswana. Ministry of Finance and Development Planning. National Development Plan 1973-78, Part I. Gaborone: Government Printer, 1973.
Population distribution according to district is as follows:
Population by Census District
(1981 Census, Preliminary Results)
Barolong 15,600 Kweneng 115,600
Central 321,900 Lobatse 19,000
Chobe 8,100 Ngamiland 68,200
Francistown 31,100 Ngwaketse 104,000
Gaborone 59,700 North-East 36,700
Ghanzi 18,700 Orapa 5,200
Jwaneng 5,400 Selebi-Phikwe 30,200
Kgalagadi 24,000 South-East 30,900
Africa South of the Sahara, 13th ed. 1983-84.
London: Europa Publishers, 1984: 226.
Information on characteristics of the people living in some of these districts can be found in the following: for Kweneng see Alverson 1979, Odell 1977 and Solway 1979; for Kgatleng see Arntzen 1983, Brown 1980; and for Okavongo see Belien 1978, Sutherland 1980.
Although there are difficulties in reporting births and deaths, Family
Health Care (1978) reported that the population growth rate is 2.6%, the mortality rate is low (17.5 per 1,000 in 1975-80) and infant mortality is also low (97/1000 births). Fertility was reported at 6.5 births per woman and women of child-bearing age comprise 20% of the population. Customarily, women do not conceive again until their last child has been weaned at about 18 months.
The Tswana (Batswana) constitute the largest ethnic group in the country comprising over 50% of the population. They live primarily in the eastern strip in Chobe, Central, Northeastern, Kgatleng, Kweneng and Southern Districts. Once mainly pastoral, the Tswana have become mixed farmers and cattle ranchers. Chiefs were the traditional heads of local-level political organization and had control over delineated geographic areas which contained several villages. The chief's ward was located in the center of the village with other families and kinsmen of lesser rank occupying surrounding wards. Village population reached as high as 30,000. With the changes brought about by migration both the size and spatial organization of Tswana villages have been altered.
The chief in Tswana society has been described as the symbol of unity who
is ruler, judge, maker and guardian of the law, repository of wealth, dispenser of gifts, leader in war, priest and magician of the people. Many of these functions were altered during the protectorate period although some areas remain where chiefs have remained powerful. This is especially the case where they have gained an economic advantage and have expanded their cattle herds.
In conducting agricultural research, the community's political organization should be given consideration. In certain instances, research may be enhanced by enlisting the assistance of such traditional political leaders. For example, members of a local chief's ward (a mid-level political/administrative unit) might be more willing to cooperate if it is known that the chief is willing to participate.
The Kalanga, discussed by Werbner (1975), are the second largest ethnic group, numbering approximately 80,000 people. They are primarily agriculturalists, living around Francistown, to the northwest beyond the Nata River and to the northeast well into Zimbabwe. They were formerly part of the larger group of Bamangwato, a conglomerate of peoples welded together over decades, whose headquarters are at Serowe. Other Bamangwato are primarily cattle herders owning over 47% of the national herd. Cattle ownership, however, is not evenly distributed: 7% of this population own 51% of the tribe's cattle and 35% own none at all.
The Herero, discussed by Vivelo (1974, 1977), live mainly in the Ngami Lake area, throughout Ghanzi District and in Francistown. They were pastoralists but this lifestyle is changing as a result of mixing with other populations. Originally, the Herero came from Namibia and Angola.
Various San groups (a generic term referring to a linguistic
classification) inhabit sections of the Kalahari and are traditionally hunting-gathering populations. Some of the San divisions are the Sarwa (Basarwa) who live in Ghanzi, the Xubisa in the Hanahai Valley, the Plasiba and the Kgalagadi in the higher veld west of Molepolole to the Namibia border and throughout Ghanzi District. Specific population statistics for the Herero and the San are not available.
Agricultural Production Data
The Bean/Cowpea project in Botswana seeks to enhance the production of
cowpeas in a number of ways. While it would be useful to have current production statistics, available data are not highly reliable. For instance, publications by the Botswana Division of Planning and Statistics, Ministry of Agriculture (1971) and Purcell and Webster (1977) present production tables which disaggregate "beans" and "peas." Actually all "peas" listed are varieties of cowpeas, while "beans" listed are also cowpeas with the exception of mung (Phaseolus aurlous) and tepary beans (Phaseolus acutifolius). Tables which present aggregated data for beans, peas and pulses must also be regarded with caution because of possible miscategorization.
The Livestock and Crop Survey, prepared by the Botswana Ministry of
Agriculture Statistics Unit (1979), is a continuation of a series of annual surveys conducted since 1967 on all traditional farms in the Agricultural Administrative Regions and on all of the freehold and commercial farms in the country. Certain cautions concerning the use of the data are mentioned in the publication. The authors note that the standard error for district estimates of crop production is very high, that district totals might be misreported because farmers living in one district may actually farm in another, and that some 2,000 farms were not taken into account since they were considered too
marginal. Tables present the following information: a summary of traditional, freehold and total crop estimates according to crop category; a description of cattle farms, total number of cattle and average size herd by size of cattle holding; information on crop farms, area planted to specific crops by districts and regions, and area harvested to specific crops by districts and regions; planting and harvesting statistics for beans and pulses; and a diagrammatic presentation of bean and pulse production by region.
The Farm Management Survey Results written by Fox in 1981 for the Ministry of Agriculture, documents trends and variations in weather effecting crop and livestock production. Data were collected at seven stations and were stratified by station and by male and female farmers with and without adequate draught power. A finding particularly relevant to this Resource Guide was that female farmers with inadequate draught power had higher crop incomes than similar male farmers and that male farmers with adequate draught power had incomes from crops about double that of female farmers with adequate draught power. The latter is attributable to the fact that 31% of female farmers used tractor power alone as compared to 12% of male farmers, thus increasing females' variable costs to 56% greater than those of males. Tabular information presented in the study falls into several categories: area, production and yield of selected crops; average prices for these crops; average area planted to specific crops and yields; rainfall recorded at collection stations; production per hectare and average planting date of selected crops; variations in yield for certain crops in accordance with the use of animal or tractor power; labor utilization in accordance with the same; average farm prices of selected crops and a crop enterprise budget for farms which produce beans.
Cattle and Ranching--The primary income-generating activity for the
agricultural sector is cattle herding. Over 80% of income in the agricultural sector comes from livestock. In 1983, the national herd was estimated to be 3 million head. In 1981, it was estimated that there were 1 million goats and sheep in addition to cattle (Africa South of the Sahara ).
Tswana-speaking people have historically been herders but have incorporated various cropping practices as a result of contact with more sedentary populations. Families value having cattle for several reasons. Bailey (1982) indicates that they are used as draught power in arable agriculture, that they are sold to meet immediate cash needs when migrants are out of work or when crop yields are insufficient to cover basic household costs, that they constitute part of the family diet (both meat and dairy products) and that they are a storehouse for the accumulation of wealth. In 1971, Campbell found that cattle were not killed for daily food but were killed as part of a feast cycle commemorating particular events or to emphasize important relationships. In such contexts, sharing the meat from a slaughtered cow is a means of illustrating a person's position in society.
Sharing cattle is also an important means of cementing relationships. The practice of mafisa, or lending cattle to others to use for draught power, milk and to build -herds (a person who receives mafisa cattle can keep offspring), is discussed by several authors. Kooijman (1980) indicates that mafisa helps to
de-emphasize wealth in that several head are lent out and thus do not "visibly" belong to a single owner. Witchcraft accusations against those who had accumulated too much wealth in the form of cattle were common in Bokaa where Kooijman conducted her study. In accumulating cattle, owners are usually more interested in quantity rather than quality. Kooijman reports that their prestige value remains high. The Rural Income Distribution Survey (1976) of the Government of Botswana notes that owners of cattle are taxed on a per head basis. Consequently, there is a monetary aspect to lending cattle to neighbors, friends and kinsmen: the burden of taxation falls on the person in whose kraal they are located rather than on the actual owner. Gross underreporting of the number of cattle owned is a problem for government tax collectors.
Because rainfall is unreliable in most parts of Botswana and pastureland is generally several kilometers distant from the homestead, when local watering holes or streams dry up, cattle are brought to cattle posts for grazing. Hjort (1978) states that historically cattle were brought to the posts when the chief of the local Tswana group indicated. Men and boys would depart for the cattle posts, while women and girls would go to the fields for the duration of the crop-growing season, from November through June. Since political structures have been severely altered as a result of colonialism, migration and the impingement of capitalism, chiefs no longer have the same powers, and more people decide independently when to depart from the villages to undertake their respective tasks. Kooijman (1980) notes that nowadays more people in Bokaa stay on their fields throughout the year and that this has led to village fragmentation.
Mut~ch attention is paid to the use of cattle in the payment of bridewealth. Schapera (1953, 1978) found that even though missionaries had banned the practice, Tswana Christians still exchanged cattle for wives in the 1930s and 1940s. Kuper (1982) notes that there are four types of cattle-wife exchange all involving political hierarchy, headship of domestic groups and linkages with the ancestors. Building herds for future payment of bridewealth also is important. Kooijman (1980) found that upon birth a cow is assigned to both male and female children, and parents see to it that these cattle are properly cared for until the children are grown.
While most ethnic groups in Botswana keep cattle, the passage of various laws and the favored status of certain people within a given community has led to their uneven distribution. Bailey (1982) found that following the major drought in 1965/66 the national herd had doubled. Hie reported, however, that within Eastern Botswana only half of the rural households had cattle after the drought. Colclough (1980) found that at least 45% of all households did not have cattle and another more affluent 40% had less than fifty. This means that 15% of cattle owners own approximately three-quarters of the national herd.
Peters (1983) provides particular insight into how the concentration in cattle ownership has occurred in one area. In the 1920s, groups of cattle owners in Kgatleng District formed syndicates to jointly dig and manage boreholes or deep wells. Although these were located in communal pastureland, the result of syndicate members having access to these water resources was the privatization of the grazing land. The de facto control of water rights and pastureland has provided syndicate members greater access to resources. Hlerds
belonging to syndicate members are better fed and thus command higher prices on the market. With more financial resources, members are able to exert control over greater portions of pastureland. Smallherders who are not syndicate members are forced out and must bring their cattle to graze closer to the homestead. This has had disastrous results on the environment.
Evidence suggests that the enactment of the Tribal Grazing Land Policy (TGLP) has worked in favor of large herd owners, many of whom are government officials. Hitchcock (1980) analyzes the law's effect on the Ngwato people in the east-central Kalahari. Prior to its implementation, residential and arable lands were divided according to ward affiliation, and pastoral zones were divided for use by several wards. Access to land was through membership in a social group which was hierarchically stratified with a chief and his family at the apex. Members of certain San groups--the Kgalagadi and the Sarwa--were treated as serfs and could not own cattle. Water was accessible to all who required it. Sinking a borehole or well required permission of traditional authorities but, once it was granted, the person who made the capital improvement had sole rights of access. These practices were changed as a result of the TGLP. Portions of land were designated as either commercial or communal. Previous occupants of communal land were forced off their property and resettled, thus making more land available for commercial cattle ranchers. The populations who suffered the most were those formerly in the serf status since they depended upon others for rural employment or upon access to wide expanses of land for hunting and gathering.
Hjort (1978) makes the point that government programs to improve herding practices, enhance the quality of livestock and expand marketing systems have largely benefitted the economic elite of the cattle industry. He notes that many in this group are government officials.
Cropping--The next most important income-generating activity after
migration and cattle herding is crop-growing. Lucas (1981) states that it is considered the third largest source of income for families in the 15-50 percentile range of household income, but one of the least important for households in the 1-10 percentile group. Brown (1980) asserts that agriculture is viewed only as a secondary activity due, in part, to water shortages and unreliable rainfall. This is supported by the findings of Behnke and Kerven (1983) who state that one-quarter of all farm dwelling units are solely dependent upon agriculture, while two-thirds obtain more than 40% of their income from off-farm labor.
In Ommen's economic summary in Africa South of the Sahara (1984), he states that only 5% of Botswana enjoys adequate rainfall and has suitable soil for crop cultivation. As noted previously, there is a high risk of crop failure in the arable areas due to inadequate rainfall, poor soil and high evapo-transpiration rates. Principal crops include sorghum, maize, millet and cowpeas. In 1982, only 12,000 metric tons of food crops were grown. This constituted less than 20% of that harvested in 1981. The low production rates were due to the severe drought that most of Southern Africa was experiencing at that time.
While the literature indicates some willingness on the part of farmers to increase production, the 1973-75 Rural Income Distribution Survey (RIDS) found
that prices paid for grain by Botswana's official marketing boards are
inadequate to induce farmers to grow more. Hukdson (1977) found that a high
proportion of the bean and pea crop was sold because farmers were able to get higher prices for legumes than for grain staples. Additionally, Cliffe (1979)
notes that maize, a less drought-resistant crop, is increasingly preferred over
sorghum. He argues this change in dietary habit came about because the most
commonly available sorghum meal is factory-produced and is regarded as inferior
to the hand-ground meal. Thus, cropping practices may change as a result of a
wide range of factors.
Since droughts occur frequently and severely effect agricultural
production, over the years much food aid has been distributed. Cliffe (1979) reports on an FAO study that revealed 30% of rural households depended at one
time or another on food assistance and on food-for-work programs. The poverty
of rural agriculturalists can also be seen in the sharecropping arrangements of
many peasants. Comaroff (1980) found that in the Tshidi chiefdom in the
Barolong Farms area, peasants who were unable to harvest a surplus had to
establish disadvantageous sharecropping arrangements with those who were more
prosperous. This was especially the case for women who, in many instances,
are compensated in kind rather than in cash for their labor.
In the past, not only did chiefs indicate when cattle should be taken to
the posts, they also advised when it was time for family members to leave their
homesteads to cultivate the lands. According to Werbner (1975), fields may be
as far as 35 miles from the village. Colclough (1980) reported that, if cattle
were not sufficiently fed while at the cattle posts, difficulties would be
experienced in using them as draught power when cultivation began.
With regard to the agricultural cycle, Mahoney (1977) describes the
pattern followed by the Birwa. From July-September, land clearing and fencing take place; October-December is the ploughing and planting period; January-May
is the growing and ripening season which includes weeding. During May-July,
harvest takes place. The month of harvest, of course, is dependent on the
crop, the time of planting and rainfall.
Cultivation practices are commented upon by several authors. Curtis (1972)
details the technical practice- of ploughing among some Tswana groups in the
Manyana area. He found that ploughing and planting involve a single operation with maize, sorghum, bean and various cucurbit seeds broadcast together on the
field. Then the mouldboard plough, which requires between six and eight
cattle, is used to turn the soil and cover the seeds. This practice is
conducive to the growth of quick grass. As a result, a two-stage operation was
introduced in which the soil is first turned and then the seeds are planted.
This helps choke the effect of weeds and eases the hoeing burden.
The timing of planting is crucial to yields in Botswana. Gollifer (n.d.)
* found that seed-bed preparation and planting are of no'consequence unless done
at crucial points. He describes the tillage systems in which a mouldboard
plough is used in autumn before soils dry up and while oxen are still in good
* condition to break open soil surfaces, allowing rain to penetrate the soil and
reducing run-off. Autumn ploughing allows spring rains to easily penetrate the
soil and enhances the preparation of seedbeds and early planting.
The literature also provides information on crop rotations and preferences. Gollifer states that crop rotations in the dryland areas are as follows: sorghum, sunflower, sorghum, cowpeas, sorghum and maize. Kooijman (1980) reported that in Bokaa, some 40 km from Gaborone, almost 93% of the households surveyed planted their fields in sorghum, millet, beans and small quantities of maize, sweet reed, squash and watermelon. She also noted that "Beans are the only crop which are primarily grown for sale as the market price is relatively high." (Due to the confusion in nomenclature for "beans" and "cowpeas" it is possible that the author is referring to cowpeas.) Lucas (1981) found that the importance of sorghum as a regional crop increases as rainfall increases (600 mm) and as the number of males present during the ploughing season increases. Cowpea production is more important in arid areas (300-400 mm of rainfall) and decreases when more males are present in the ploughing season, although this varies considerably by size of land holding. Mahoney (1977) found that sorghum and maize are the principal crops among the Birwa and that these are normally planted on farms less than two hectares in size. Werbner (1975) found that in eastern Botswana, among the Kalanga, sorghum and bulrush millet constitute the staple crops for both high and middle veld farmers. Other crops include maize, sweet cane, groundnuts, beans, pulses, potatoes and, especially in the high veld, finger millet and, in swampy areas, rice.
Concerning other agricultural practices, Kooijman (1980) notes that weeding is done only once and is usually begun when weeds are well established. In surveying farmers' attitudes toward the Integrated Farming Pilot Project, Merafe (1979) found that there was an awareness that weeding twice or more would result in higher yields. Norman and Baker (1984) noted that if ploughing were done at the first spring rains or during the preceding winter, the labor burden would increase since double weeding would be necessary. It is likely that the need to weed twice or more as a result of changes in cultivation practices would create a bottleneck in farm operations done by women. Finally, Lucas (1981) found that fertilizers and chemicals are not used by small farmers, with the exception of those in the Barolong Farm region who are primarily commercial farmers.
Hinting-Gathering--A different adaptation has been made by huntinggathering populations. While the term "Bushman" appears in the literature denoting a number of ethnic groups who practice hunting-gathering, the term is derogatory and was generated by those who did not understand these peoples' complexity. Some of the ethnic groups in Botswana who practice huntinggathering are the Basarwa, !Kung, San and Kgalagadi. Draper (1975) notes that some of these have been sedentarized and that, in the process, certain changes have occurred. The division of labor has become more rigid and the wide variety of foods formerly eaten as a result of gathering techniques is no longer available. She states that the diet of sorghum, maize, squash, melon, etc., does not offer the same rich nutritional variation as was available in more nomadic times. Hitchcock (1978) found that a class relationship has developed between the Tswana and some hunting-gathering populations. The Basarwa, as an example, became serfs to the more hierarchically-organized Tswana. They were not allowed to own cattle or land and thus functioned as laborers. As a result of land tenure changes, hunters and gatherers have become increasingly dependent upon rural employment opportunities generated by members of other ethnic groups.
While each ethnic group's agricultural practices vary, it should be borne in mind that these are set within an intricately-woven network of kinship and productive relationships. To consider farm problems from a purely technical viewpoint, without taking into consideration the range of behaviors, cultural practices and human relationships involved, is to dismiss the human dynamic in the production enterprise. The strategies employed to deal with ecological, social, political and economic environments have been outlined in a general fashion. Consideration will now be given to micro-level adaptations and women' roles in agriculture.
Gender-Specific Farming Activities
Agricultural production is a function of many variables, including the composition of the labor force, access to land and implements, ecological constraints, management capabilities and the broader socio-cultural and political-economic milieu. This section presents several authors' views on women's agricultural participation. It begins with an overview of the position of women in different ethnic groups and then considers them in light of each of the variables listed above.
Overview of Women in Botswana
Schaperals classic ethnography (1953) on the Tswana outlines the position of women in the 1930s when the author did his fieldwork. He notes that there were rank and social class differences among the Tswana as well as sex and age differentiation. Women were treated as perpetual minors under the guardianship of their fathers, husbands or other male relatives. As members of male headed households, women were responsible for all crop production, as well as for repairing the walls of any structures on the compound, fetching grass and thatching roofs, preparing food and making beer, looking after fowl, hauling water, wood and earth, collecting wild edible plants, doing the housework and child rearing. Historically women did not plough since handling cattle was the task of men. In fact, among most Southern Bantu populations, women were regarded as a source of danger to cattle (Kuper 1982). When agricultural tasks were too onerous for household members to complete on their own, work parties were called by the male head with females responsible for preparing food and drink for the workers. Many community-wide work parties were organized on the basis of gender-based age regiments and were utilized in public works programs designed by the colonial government or by chiefs and other traditional political leaders. According to Alverson (1978), age regiments were common among Bantu-speaking people in Southern Africa. They were based upon tribalwide groupings of men and women who came to maturity at about the same time. Those from noble and commoner families were included. Initiation rites were performed with males and females segregated into their own sets. Deference behavior was practiced by those in lower, younger grades toward those in older grades. Although age sets cross-cut political hierarchies, high ranking clan members may have been appointed as age-set leaders, thus enhancing traditional political structures. Age sets functioned on a local level particularly for warfare, public works, hunting, policing of executive decrees, entertainment, etc.
Comaroff (1977) has updated some of these earlier observations and notes
that women are no longer under the close scrutiny of male guardians. Analyzing
traditional court cases among the Kgatla, he found that women now have legal rights and can present cases to the courts. If they win, they, and not their guardians, receive the compensatory fines. Since traditional courts are held in rural areas, fines are generally paid in cattle. These changes may be a result of labor migration as males often are not present to represent women.
The Division of Labor
Bond's study (1974) examines women's roles in agriculture in Botswana. As the first person to have studied this, she outlined the tasks women generally perform. These include: weeding, bird scaring, harvesting, threshing, storage and the care of pigs and poultry. When husbands are absent, women make all decisions regarding crop operations, and when husbands are present, a free exchange of ideas on farming practices takes place. In a survey of 204 rural households, she found that women performed between 47.7% and 73.6% of all crop activities and 81.6% of the operations after ploughing. Where there are no males present, women must hire men or depend on relatives to clear the land, plough and help with planting.
In addition to their agricultural tasks, women perform an array of domestic activities. More than half of their time is spent in household labor including food preparation, washing, grinding corn, fetching water, collecting and chopping wood, collecting wild fruit and vegetables, brewing beer, shopping, house building and caring for infants and children.
In his survey of the rural economy, Campbell (1971) found that women did
the "necessary work of keeping the family alive" while men did the "prestigious" work. Similarly, Koussoudji (1979) reports that the gender-based division of labor results in women being assigned chores that require little capital and that are characterized by low productivity while the more capital intensive chores are allocated to men.
Cooper (1979) adds to the list of tasks women perform in rural areas by noting that they care for sheep and goats. He also argues that migration has resulted in a renegotiation of the division of domestic labor. Kooijman (1980) found that the traditional division of labor, women responsible for cropping and men responsible for herding, has resulted in young males being reluctant to participate in cropping activities even though their family's fields may have expanded. She also notes that since there are few other means available for them to support their children, women cultivate to provide for their families.
In summary, the literature indicates that migration has strongly affected the division of labor; it has added to the tasks women perform and to the burden of their work. With males away, females must carry out their traditional agricultural and domestic chores I in addition to the tasks which men once performed (Cliffe 1979). Women's work is especially difficult where there are no male kin to assist with land clearing and ploughing. In this context, innovations adding to women's work will have little chance of adoption, while those reducing their chores and drudgery are more likely to experience a high level of acceptance.
Certain other changes have occurred in rural production practices as a
result of labor migration. Because these offer specific micro-level insights which have a bearing on the CRSP project, they are singled out for consideration here.
Matrifocal Households--Cooper (1979) discusses a three-generational
matrifocal chain of relationships which constitutes a labor base for agricultural production and for females who migrate to urban areas. In this chain, a female head of household living in the city relies upon her mother in the rural area for the support and sustenance of her children, sending her remittances for the care of the children. These rural child caretakers, in turn, send vegetable produce to their daughters thus establishing a mutual dependence between female migrants and their rural parents.
Izzard (1979) defines matrifocality as a situation where children are not necessarily affiliated with their father's kin and where, in terms of domestic relations and child rearing, the mother and maternal kin predominate. She notes that increased matrifocality corresponds with the declining social and economic importance of the father figure within Tswana society.
A differentiation can be made between de facto and de jure female headed households. The former represent cases where females remain as farm managers and laborers while men are away. The latter arise as a result of females having children out of wedlock. Koussoudji (1979) suggests that de lue female headed households are characteristic of a particular stage in the Mcycle.
Most males who migrate are in the 20-40 age group and often defer marriage until after labor migration at about age 40. It is unclear from the report whether these males choose women who are the same or younger in age. Peters (1983) makes a similar assertion, stating that female headed households represent a stage in the domestic life cycle and that the changing meanings ascribed to "marriage" must be considered from the Tswana perspective within the domestic group itself.
Although the matrifocal household is variously defined, in Botswana it
generally consists of a woman, whether "married" or not, who is responsible for daily household maintenance and for the majority of the agricultural tasks. Where there is a male, whether it be a husband, a father, a brother or an uncle, women depend on him for the performance of certain agricultural tasks. If he is a wage earner, he may be relied upon to a certain extent for monetary inputs.
To illustrate the complexity of relations and agricultural work roles,
Behnke and Kerven (1983) cite a case in which an old, non-farming mother is the senior member of a household which contains her youngest son, two daughters and their children. The daughters and the son farm their plots, but hire animal traction from the eldest son who lives elsewhere, while the younger son hires out his own traction to other farmers. The younger son also provides draught power for his sisters in return for the labor of these sisters as well as the labor of their eldest daughters. The women brew beer to pay the eldest son for animal traction. This example illustrates the different strategies employed by
various members of the matrifocal unit to support the household.
Income Generation and Remittances--Based on data from the Rural Income
Distribution Survey, Brown (1980) found that some 50% of the country's populati'on depends on remittances primarily from migrants to South African mines. Fortman (1980) argues that these do not substantially increase the incomes of female headed households and that this has resulted in at least 54% of these households earning below the poverty line set at P395/ year. Since remittances are often not reliable sources of income, women have had to find ways to earn cash for their families. They have devised a number of income-generating activities in rural and urban areas.
Rural women may work as agricultural laborers. Cooper (1979) notes that, in certain instances, payment received by women is in kind or in reciprocal assistance rather than in cash. Males on the other hand, usually are paid in cash.
Formerly, women brewed beer to share with participants in rural work parties, but more recently this has become an important income-generating activity. Curtis (1979) found that beer-brewing intensifies from September through November, the interim between harvesting and ploughing/planting. In Manyana and Mankgode, sorghum beer is brewed and sold for cash. By converting the sorghum into beer, women can increase the value of a poor sorghum harvest by at least 100%. This income is used to pay taxes, school fees or to purchase stock--traditionally male responsibilities.
Grant (n.d.) notes that to generate income a family may sell cattle to the Meat Commission. This option, however, is seldom open to female headed households since they generally do not own surplus cattle. Hudson (1977) also has outlined several income generating activities, but does not separate them according to gender: sale of maize, sorghum and millet, beans and peas as well as small stock; and employment either in the full-time "modern" or in the tertiary and subsistance sectors (e.g., seasonally employed agricultural laborers, beer brewers, petty commodity productors, etc.).
Koussoudji (1979) found that female headed households receive some income from remittances, but that the bulk comes from their labor. Even when incomes are combined, female headed units have lower earnings than male headed ones and much of female income is derived from employment as field laborers. The author notes that pregnancy and child care obligations limit these activities and increase the time it takes to perform them. Lucas (1981) found a discrepancy between male and female wages--men earned 49 Rands for agricultural work during 1974-75, while women received only 28 Rands. The tasks performed were not specified. He attributed these differences to the fact that rural wage rates do not increase with age for female laborers as they do for males. He also found that women's peak earning period coincides with their child-bearing years.
Considering the available options, it appears that beer brewing is the most profitable income generating activity for females. This has implications for the CRSP project, especially with regard to women's time and task allocations. Since beer-brewing is a year round activity, which intensifies from September through November, competing activities may not receive the attention they require. In addition to the actual brewing, women are responsible for sorghum
cultivation and spend time in planting, weeding, bird scaring, harvesting, threshing and grinding. Labor taken away from these tasks may result in lower yields. Given the returns generated from sorghum beer brewing, women may not be willing to divert their attention from this crop to participate in activities that will not produce a comparable return.
Labor Requirements and the Agricultural Cycle--Female and male headed households confront a number of constraints in agricultural work. Some are attributable to the absence of males at crucial periods and others to the decreasing number of household members who are available for farm work. Allison (1978) found that children who once were responsible for certain agricultural tasks are now attending school. Bell (1980) posits that once educated, the propensity to migrate increases since there are few rural job opportunities.
Bell also reports that males who migrate to urban areas often return on
weekends to work on the farm and to maintain social ties. The ability to do so depends on proximity and earnings; in the absence of an adequately paying job, frequent trips home are not possible and farm work and management fall to spouses. In cases where females migrate, Bell found that mutually supportive networks of social relations are created.
As farm managers, women encounter a number of problems. Bond (1977)
reported that they are often ignored by male extension agents. In an effort to remedy this, the Ministry of Agriculture created the post of Agricultural Officer, Women's Extension. While the government's effort to meet the needs of female farmers is laudatory, problems of access to information, labor and draught power continue to confront them.
Brown (1980) found that in Kgatleng 35% of her sample of 210 households were de Jure female headed. Widows comprised 20% and single women 15%. Many did nof o or hold cattle, tended to plough late or not at all and lacked sufficient labor power for hoeing and bird scaring. Colclough (1980) states that a high proportion of households with no cattle are female headed. Such households also plant a smaller number of hectares and own fewer implements. Thus, households which do not have sufficient cattle for draught purposes are unable to plough in a timely fashion, cannot adequately cultivate holdings and may become dependent on food aid to supplement yields.
Mahoney (1977) has outlined gender specific tasks carried out during the agricultural cycle. Land clearing and fencing are undertaken by men, July through September. When males are not available, hired laborers or relatives assist. The ploughing and planting season, October through December, requires labor and draught power intensification. Mahoney states that most households lack some or all of the equipment and/or labor necessary to plough and that, as a result, various strategies are employed. These include arranging work parties and borrowing or renting equipment and/or animals. Work parties are often constituted on the basis of reciprocity and may result in the postponement of planting for some of the participants and, hence, in reduced yields. May through June, women's work intensifies with weeding, scaring birds, building threshing floors and preparing storage facilities as major tasks. If female household labor is insufficient, a woman may be hired for the duration of the agricultural cycle. Harvesting occurs between May and July and is conducted by women who are also responsible for various food processing and storage operations.
Describing cropping practices among the Yeyi in the Okavango Delta,
Sutherland (1980) states that micro-ecological variations have given rise to differences in the social organization of production. In the wet valley system, he found that ploughing is done by oxen teams. On the northern side of the valley, two men team up to plough each other's fields with the senior having his ploughed first. In this same location, women are prohibited by custom from ploughing. Sutherland also notes that peak labor demands vary by area. In the Sandybelt, where the swidden cultivation system (shifting cultivation) is practiced, more labor is required for weeding. Also, drought resistant crops, such as millet and sorghum, are planted and require more labor during harvesting and threshing than maize which is grown in the better watered valley areas.
The literature reveals that two crucial elements in the agricultural cycle are draught power and labor. A brief discussion of practices developed to cover shortfalls in these areas follows.
The traditional mafisa system entails wealthier owners lending cattle to
kin and members of -ther social networks. Alverson (1979) notes that mafisa is conducted between Tswana men; women do not receive mafisa cattle. Consequently, female household heads have developed other means of gaining access to draught power. Comaroff (1977) analyzed one of these. He notes that women who are single household heads with children may sue the fathers of their children for support on the basis of breach of marriage promise. The fines are often paid in cattle.
Behnke and Kerven's (1983) case study, discussed earlier, illustrates
exchange relationships between brothers and sisters. In return for ploughing and/or use of draught power, women brew and sell beer to pay for their brother's assistance. Also, a woman's female children may be "loaned out" as laborers in return for draught power. Curtis (1972) reports on a case where a widow sent two grandsons to work for two oxen owners and thus had two spans at her disposal at planting time. This arrangement guaranteed her sufficient draught power, and its timeliness was critical. Cattle were loaned or hired out only after the owner's ploughing was completed. In studying the social organization of ploughing, Curtis reports that those who "plough alone" must have sufficient draught power at their disposal and the ability, at the cost of offending the family norms of cooperation, to avoid obligations. He concludes that the ability to plough is dependent on wealth or social ties.
Fortman (1981) found that over 50% of female headed households owned no
cattle, and of those that did, some 60% had fewer than the six to eight needed for ploughing. In these households, cash to hire draught power or a tractor came from brewing beer or other means of income generation. The author notes that while women do plough, caring for children and other household chores makes this almost impossible. Obtaining labor may be difficult since female household heads usually are able to pay only low wages.
Kooijman (1980) examines another way for women to gain access to cattle. A cow in the family herd is given to children upon their birth. When the children grow up, responsibility for the cow and its offspring is transferred to the sons and daughters. Unfortunately, no information is provided on whether women's cattle are incorporated into their husband's herds, or whether
they are maintained separately. More generally, Koussoudji (1979) notes that
women may own cattle,' be bequeathed them, win them in a court case or buy
them, but do not have access to them through traditional mafisa lending.
As a risk-reducing strategy, families often expand their social networks to
include other community members. Behnke and Kerven (1983) posit that communities constitute multi-household production units or supra-household cooperation
networks. Findings by Campbell (1971) and Curtis (1972) support this.
Campbell reports that lower income households have more complex and widespread
kinship ties. In the Manyana area, Curtis commented on the practice of "putting in hands" or sharing work as a means of assuring access to labor on a community-wide basis. Hjort (1978) suggests that such community cooperation has
undergone modification with commercial relationships and contractual agreements
replacing familial ties and obligations as a means of assuring a labor supply.
Among the Birwa, Mahoney (1977) found a pattern of strong household
interdependence. The production unit is a neighborhood set in which households
are intertwined. Similar to Hjort, Mahoney notes that contracts provide the basis for cooperative relationships. He argues that these formal agreements
are an essential means of limiting responsibility as friendships would be
endangered if terms were not clearly delineated.
Murray (1980) also has called attention to the community's role in
providing labor assistance. He found that extended families which constitute
the core of a ward are highly durable, but that conjugal or nuclear families
are disintegrating as a result of labor migration. Murray does not fully
*examine the effects of this on labor availability.
Access to Other Agricultural Inputs--Several authors address land tenure
issues. Cooper (1981) found that women gain access to land in at least two ways: by inheritance from parents and by appeal to Land Boards or to tribal
authorities. Hitchcock (1978) states that rights to land use are dependent on membership in a social group. Chiefs originally had the authority to allocate
land, but in 1970 much of this responsibility was transferred to the Land Boards. These are elected and appointed officials operating at the local
level. Hjort (1978) reported that greater land fragmentation has resulted
from this change in part because land allocation is more politicized.
In 1970, Kuper found that women in Ghanzi and Kgalagdi Districts cultivated
garden plots allocated to them by their husbands. Lucas (1981) states that
fathers apportion land to their daughters upon marriage. This property can be
inherited by their female children.
Lucas also describes various land tenure arrangements. Where chiefs still
allocate land, female headed households reportedly have about 35% less area
than do male headed households. He suggests this could result from labor and
draught power shortages leading to land being left uncultivated. In these
cases, it may be confiscated and redistributed by authorities. Thus, the
ability to plough is likely to influence size of land holding and allocation
Peters (1983) examined how communally-held grazing areas have become
private property resulting in diminished access to water resources for less wealthy cattle owners. Sutherland (1980) comments on tenure arrangements among the Yeyi of the Okavango Delta. In the North Valley, land titles are inherited from father to son. A titleholder may loan plots to others. In the Sandybelt, however, where shifting cultivation is practiced, land rights are less clearly delineated. Short-term fertility and diminishing productivity require frequent movement. Where long-term fertility is maintained in wet valley cultivation, interest in retaining the site is greater and tenure rules are more fully developed. Further information on changes in land tenure practices is found in Werbner (1982).
Access to mechanized equipment, seed and innovations transmitted by
extension agents, etc., is also explored in the literature. Colclough (1980) describes a tool carrier (Makgonatsotlhe) which can be attached to sweeps, planters, cultivators and scotch carts, and which uses donkeys as draught power. How extensively this is used and whether women have access to it are unknown. Gibbon, et al. (1974) discuss the same implement but call it the "'versatool."1 While noting it can be used to cultivate cowpeas, they also offer no information on its adoption.
Fortman (1981) states that women seldom use tractors. When animal draught power is unavailable, those with the necessary financial resources hire a tractor and driver to prepare fields. Hjort (1978) indicates that many tractor owners were once chiefs and that many have profited from their positions and are now economically advantaged.
Lucas (1981) reports that inputs such as fertilizers and chemicals are not used by small farmers, except in the Barolong Farm region where crops are grown commercially. The amount of equipment a household has at its disposal is strongly related to the number of adult males on the farm, amount of rainfall and size of plots. Fortman (1980) found that poorer households, especially those headed by females, may have insufficient seed on hand for planting. In part, this is attributable to their inability to fully utilize land during the previous growing season and the consequent failure to harvest a crop sufficient for household consumption and seed requirement needs.
As noted above, Fortman (1980) found that extension services do not fully address the problems of labor shortage and lack of draught power which are major constraints for female headed farm households. Bond (1977) discusses reasons why extension efforts are not producing desired results. Although the Ministry of Agriculture has made a concerted effort to hire female extension agents, it appears that women's extension receives a relatively low priority. Outside-funded agricultural projects and vacation schedules require the reorganization of work loads. Agents must perform normal extension tasks as well as specifically address female farmer needs. The approach is also problematic; instead of offering farmers new ideas, agents wait for clients to articulate needs. Moreover, many male extension agents do not perceive females as decision makers even though many are heads of household and responsible for all farming activities. Thus, the structure and procedures of extension services prevent female farmers' needs from being adequately addressed.
Women's Roles in Bean/Cowpea Production and Marketing
The literature makes little mention of these food crops. Commenting upon strategies to ensure adequate nutrition during severe drought periods, Grivetti (1978) lists the food crops planted by the Moshaweng Tlokwa, a Tswana agropastoral society in Tlokweng, Southeast District. Of 126 holdings examined, 44% planted cowpeas, 27% planted tepary beans and 15% planted peanuts. Practically all households (99%) planted one or more of sixteen varieties of sorghum, while 40% planted one or more of six maize varieties. Lucas (1981) notes that cowpea production is greater in arid areas receiving 300-400 mm of rainfall. Production decreases when more males are present in the ploughing season, although land holding size influenced these patterns. Norman and Baker (1984) indicate that a regional survey on cowpea cultivation practices and utilization is to be undertaken in order to gather further information.
Cooper (1979) reports that women sell beans and groundnuts in urban and rural markets. He notes that one woman grossed P90 from bean and groundnut sales, but that she grossed P228 from maize and sorghum sales. Unfortunately no information on quantities sold nor on what was done with profits was presented. The 1971 government marketing investigation reported that farmers sold surplus of beans and cowpeas to traders who in turn sold them in South Africa.
Women's Other Responsibilities
Household Tasks--Women are responsible for many non-agricultural
activities. Chief among them is firewood collection. In Kgatleng District, Arntzen (1983) reported that if donkey carts or sledges are used for transporting wood, men are often involved. This suggests that if a labor-saving device is available, women may not have access to it. The frequency of firewood collection varies from daily to once a month depending on the means of transport, season and household size. Distances travelled range between 0-9 kms per round trip, each trip taking between 1 and 4 hours. In Bokaa, Kooijman (1980) found that cattle may also be used to pull sledges on which firewood, crops and water jugs are carried, but it was not clear if women have access to this equipment.
Bond (1974) reports that more than one-half of women's time is spent in household labor. Tasks include food preparation, washing, grinding corn, fetching water, collecting and chopping wood, collecting wild fruits and vegetables, brewing beer, shopping, house building and child rearing.
Health and Nutrition--Women have the responsibility of maintaining the health and nutrition of household members by preparing and providing food. Grivetti (1978) found that certain foods are needed in particular phases of the household development cycle. Women, as cultivators of these foods, must ensure crop availability at these times. He notes that in the Eastern District, women are fed special diets during pregnancy. These include dishes prepared from stewed green leaves, especially those from domesticated or selected wild cowpea species. Great quantities of green-leafy vegetables are served to mothers in the months after delivery, but ingestion of all legume seeds stops until children have been weaned.
The Family Health Care Report (1978) indicates that the major causes of morbidity in Botswana are respiratory and gastrointestinal ailments. Malnutrition was reported to be uncommon, but chronic undernourishment is more prevalent. It would be useful to know more about food needs in relation to the household developmental cycle and the incidence of malnutrition. Little, if any information, is available on child weaning practices.
To supplement Women's ability to maintain the health and nutritional levels of their families, the Government has instituted several types of supplemental feeding programs. Stevens (1978) found that school feeding programs may not be reaching the most needy since children who attend are most likely to be relatively well fed. In considering the "vulnerable group" feeding program--food supplied to pregnant women, nursing mothers, pre-school children and TB outpatients--the author questions whether the distributed food is actually consumed by those who receive it.
Ulin (1976) explored maternal and child health resources in Thamaga, a
village in southeastern Botswana. She found that use of traditional vs. modern medical resources depended on the symptoms manifested by the patient. Most women attended a prenatal clinic, but they did so because of illness or discomfort which coincided with pregnancy and continued to deliver their babies at home. With the exception of small pox vaccinations, most women did not have their children immunized.
Summary and Conclusions
The Botswana literature addresses three issues: the effect of labor
migration on the national and local-level political economy, demographic changes resulting from labor migration and shortages of inputs that constrain rural female headed households. Several authors outlined the strategies used by such households to overcome constraints, but rigorous comparative research on differences between male and female headed households is absent. Information is available on the reduced acreage poor and especially female headed households cultivate, but there is no indication of how much land is allocated to each crop, the quantities harvested and the marketing channels used by small-scale producers.
The lack of research on agriculture reflects the relatively low status it occupies in the hierarchy of income-generating activities. Yet, it is crucial that such information be gathered. Migration to South Africa is decreasing and will be negligible in the next decade as the result of a shift in that country's employment policies.
Most of the existing studies have focused on the eastern arable strip where water sources are more reliable. The inhabitants here are primarily Tswana, a people studied by anthropologist Schapera in the 1930s and on whom follow-up work has been conducted by Comaroff. However, for other sections of the country and other ethnic groups, a blend of anthropological and agricultural production data is not readily available. Information from these disciplines incorporating a variety of ethnic groups in different locales would offer needed insight into the social organization of production. Given the poverty of many rural households, it would be useful to examine the role played by friendship, kinship and other social bonds in survival strategies.
The points in the existing literature which aro relevant to the goals and objectives of the CRSP project are outlined in the following section.
II. PROJECT-SPECIFIC IMPLICATIONS
As previously stated, the overall project goal is "to provide Botswana
farmers with an acceptable package of recommended practices for cowpea growing and harvesting including improved varieties and implements as required to realize higher yields . 11 This broad goal includes several specific objectives which provide the organizational structure for this section. Information indicating issues of relevance to each objective and potential problems areas is presented.
Specific Project Objectives
Timely Planting: Devise a set of practices whereby planting of cowpeas can begin immediately at the start of the rainy season to take advantage of natural mineralization of soil nitrogen.
Some of the issues needing consideration in meeting this objective are
discussed by Hjort (1978). He found that, to a certain degree, chiefs continue to influence the timing of sowing and harvesting. Their powers may stem from traditional patterns of authority or may result from ownership of the means of production. In many communities, they own and control plough teams and tractors. To better grasp the role these social and economic factors play in determining planting time, the local political-economic organization deserves investigation.
Kerven (1984) considered issues related to the timing of planting that
effect female heads of household. Not all of these experience the same constraints to agricultural production. Some women have devised strategies which enhance their ability to plough on time and thus to harvest adequately. Disadvantaged households lack timely access to draught animals, labor, tools and technological inputs.
Formerly, Tswana women were prevented from handling cattle because cattle were regarded as a male responsibility and it was believed that women could pollute them (Kuper 1982). As a result of labor migration and changes in the local-level political economy women now use animals to plough. They still are not recipients of mafia cattle, though, and so must gain access to these animals by other means. In part, this may explain why more women than men hire tractors and drivers for ploughing. It is of significance to the project to discern the means disadvantaged households use to overcome lack of access to draught power and to obtain cash to hire tractors.
Where draught power is available when needed, other problems may arise.
Norman and Baker (1984) indicate that ploughing at first spring rains or during the preceding winter would result in women having to weed twice rather than once and, hence, increase their work loads. Thus, any package the project develops would have to take into account labor and draught power requirements throughout the agricultural cycle.
More information concerning women's agricultural tasks at the outset of the rains is needed. A number of questions deserve investigation. Are women responsible for planting both vegetable and staple grain crops? How is the balance between these established? Is the timing for planting vegetables different from that of staples? How do market considerations influence planting strategies?
Other labor issues may need study. The literature indicates that, under
traditional systems, men herded cattle and women grew crops. When swidden agricultural methods were employed, men were also responsible for clearing new lands. It is unclear how, or if, this division of labor has been modified. Bond (1974) reports that between 47.7% and 73.6% of cropping tasks are performed by women and that 81.6% of operations after ploughing are their responsibility. No indication of task and time allocation by gender or crop is presented. Where planting practices differ, i.e., broadcasting vs. row planting, is there a change in labor allocation? Hlow do time requirements change with different planting practices? A farm household time allocation survey would yield micro-level information useful in making specific recommendations. Such a survey is especially advised if the project intends to introduce early-maturing cowpea varieties. Knowing in advance which activities conflict with the cultivation needs of these new varieties could contribute significantly to the approach used in advocating their adoption.
Particularly relevant is a study by Alverson (1984) comparing traditional
practices with changes which the Integrated Farming Pilot Project (IFPP) wanted to institute. Since many of these changes concern the timing of inputs, planting and availability of labor, a summary is presented here.
IFPP Package Traditional Practices
Winter (dry-season) ploughing or sweep- Ploughing only after the first
ing to kill weeds and reduce compaction summer rain, with planting
of soil, thereby reducing water loss immediately thereafter.
through evaporation and transpiration.
Regular crop rotation but omission of a No specific information given on this
grass phase in the cycle. (Grass does not aspect of traditional practices. add much humus because of termite activity and the high temperature of the soil.)
Use of precision tools (either ox-drawn The single-blade plough is the only
or tractor-drawn) in ploughing, planting tool used; seeds are broadcast. and weeding.
Application of fertilizers (250 kg super- No fertilizer is used, except phosphate per hectare for sorghum and manure intermittently.
250 kg 2-3-0 per hectare for maize.)
Planting after first rains in November. Planting after farmers feel the
rains will continue.
Harvesting immediately at maturity to Harvesting depends, as does
reduce loss from birds and insects. ploughing, on labor availability.
A comparison of the IFPP "package" with traditional practices reveals that the IFPP system requires more labor (150.58 hours of bird scaring vs. 28.18 hours in the traditional system--a woman's task), a greater capital investment and higher use of purchased inputs. Ferti lizer makes weeds grow faster and necessitates double weeding, work women perform. Alverson also reports that traditional methods of hand broadcasting associated with timely ploughing after the ground is wet increased yield by almost 100%. This suggests that radical changes in agricultural practices may not be necessary to increase production.
Another labor availability issue concerns the effect of sending children to school. The school calendar and the location of fields in relation to villages may prevent children and young people from assisting in agricultural production and cattle herding. If this is the case, how do families compensate for this? What strategies are employed to obtain sufficient labor for peak production periods? Under what circumstances are communal work parties organized or is labor hired? What is the role of local-level cooperatives? Do they deal with cash or food crop production and what might their role be in addressing labor and draught power constraints?
The existing literature and the questions posed above suggest the kinds of considerations that need to be taken into account in meeting the project's first objective. The effect of introducing a set of technical practices to enhance timely planting has a number of potential consequences that deserve study before the "set" is designed. While requiring time and resources, the initial investment in gathering the necessary socio-economic and agronomic information should result in recommendations which will be adopted and which will result in increased yields without undue increases in work loads.
Reduced Tillage: Evaluate the merits of reduced tillage with simple tools primarily in marginal territory having near-desert conditions.
This objective has both technical and social components. Regarding the former, Gibbon, et al. (1974) evaluated a minimum tillage system using the "'versatool."1 Gollifer (n.d.) found that, in dryland farming, primary tillage breaks the soil surface, allows rain to penetrate and reduces run-off. He notes that reduced tillage techniques requiring less draught power need to be devised. The social component concerns the role of gender in tool use. Women tend to use hand hoes and relatively simple implements while men generally have access to more technologically sophisticated inputs. In more traditional communities, women were prevented from using cattle-drawn draught power. Due to changes in the political economy, however, some have been delegated ploughing responsibilities. These tasks are difficult and may be dangerous during pregnancy and lactation. If the project develops new tools, a pilot study to determine their availability and use by women is advisable.
The local availability and cost of adopting new inputs also bear
consideration. The issues are analogous to those raised concerning draught power. Is the tool available for use at the right time? Does it have to be rented or borrowed? Is its use compatible with pregnancy and early child care responsibilities? Cost must also be taken into account especially given the limited cash resources of most households. Ascertaining at what point in the production cycle surplus cash may be available could be useful in promoting adoption of implements (after harvest when some crops have been sold,
immediately prior to the advent of the new agricultural cycle when income from beer would be highest, etc.).
If new inputs are to be introduced through extension agents, then improved educational strategies and methods need to be devised. The literature indicates that agricultural extension agents tend not to be very aggressive in presenting information. Moreover, they often overlook female farmers. Thus, a commitment to improve presentation techniques and to include female farmers would be highly desirable.
Since this project objective addresses the needs of farmers in dry-land areas, it may be advisable to conduct base line data surveys in the zones of potential implementation. /As noted earlier, prior research has concentrated on the better-watered eastern strip, while minimal attention has been paid to the Okavango (see Belien ) and to the semi-desert regions in the west. More background information may be necessary concerning the occupants of these areas and their agricultural practices.
Variety Screening Program: Initiate a continuing variety screening program during the term of the contract period with selection criteria based on acceptable appearance, roughness of seed coat and flavor.
While little has been written on acceptability criteria of cowpea
varieties, Grivetti (1978) presented information on the food base, preservation techniques, food storage, cooking methods, dietary practices and food distribution of the Moshaweng Tlokwa in Southeast District. Here 44% of the sampled 126 holdings planted cowpeas. The leaves of several wild and domesticated plant species (presumably some of which are cowpeas) were cooked, sun-dried and/or stored for winter use. He reported that freshly harvested and sun-dried vegetables as well as unhulled legumes are stored in burlap or leather bags. If a family has a cracked pot which is no longer serviceable as a water or cooking container, it may be used for storing small quantities of grain, legumes or wild seeds. Concerning cooking, all legume varieties are boiled whole in the pod. The shells then are split, seeds consumed and pods discarded. During periods of food shortage, however, pods may be eaten. Because all legume dishes are referred to as dikgobe, it is difficult to ascertain the specific legume being eaten. Beans are consumed mixed with boiled maize flour and cracked maize kernals. Cowpea leaves are commonly stewed and served with meals as green vegetables or as relishes.
Concerning dietary practices, the author found that the main meal is
prepared at mid-day, at which time meat, stiff porridge and green vegetables are eaten. The remainder is consumed at dinner time. Children are breast-fed for about one year and are weaned on thin gruels or porridges prepared from sorghum. Pregnant women, especially, include green-leafy vegetables in their diets. Large quantities of cowpea leaves and other similar vegetables are ingested by mothers after delivery.
While this study peripherally addresses the project's screening program
objective, additional information would be beneficial. For instance, if cowpea varieties are selected by women for specific cooking, taste and appearance characteristics, then these should be determined. Does one variety have a longer cooking time? This would mean that women would have to collect more
firewood and spend more time on domestic chores. Who in the household is responsible for cooking? Mothers, daughters? Are certain cowpea varieties preferred for certain occasions or stages in the life cycle? Information on how varieties and portions of the plant (leaves, pods, etc.) are prepared should be useful in variety selection. Hamilton (1975) estimates legume consumption per person per year to be 24.3 kgs or 66 gms/day. These include cowpeas, jugo and mung beans which are eaten at lunch and dinner.
The decision to plant a particular cowpea variety may also be related to how well it stores. For instance, the Government found (1976) that a severe storage problem occasioned primarily by weevils exists throughout Botswana. Hamilton (1975) reported that the three most widely grown crops in Kweneng District were sorghum, maize and cowpeas. Wood and manure ash are commonly used insect preventatives in storage. Damage to stored cowpeas is reportedly higher than for the other two crops. Cowpeas are kept in sacks on kitchen or storage hut floors. These studies give some indication of storage problems, but more information is needed to address project objectives. For example, are both the leaves and beans stored? How? How are they dried beforehand? What varieties are more weevil or insect resistent in storage?
Additional criteria to consider in screening include cowpea consumption
patterns relative to stages in the life cycle. For example, studies indicate that women consume green-leafy vegetables during pregnancy and lactation, but do not eat beans during these periods. A family nutritional behavior or practices survey could provide information on cowpea varieties preferred by women during stages in the life cycle. Thus, in designing a screening and acceptability survey many socio-cultural and nutritional variables can be taken into account.
New Cultural Practices: Arrive at innovative, sound cultural practices for cowpea production adjusted for certain sets of environmental conditions, limitations of investment capability, shortage of labor and improved returns on labor cost.
This objective addresses issues that have received consideration as
production constraints. Alverson (1984) presents the best overview of the consequences of certain production "packages" which, at first glance, may appear to address most constraints. Outside of identifying actions which the Government of Botswana could take (e.g., subsidizing rural labor and extending credit facilities to the more needy and to female farmers), no solutions to the constraints are presented in the literature. As the bibliography in Section IV indicates, one of the strengths of the literature is the detailed information on labor and draught power shortages and the means farmers have developed to overcome these. Particularly insightful are works by Alverson (1979, 1984), Behnke and Kerven (1983), Bond (1974), Brown (1980), Colclough and McCarthy (1980), Cooper (1979) and Fox (1981).
New Harvesting Technique: Devise a harvesting technique whereby whole plants are collected, dried and stacked prior to threshing at a central site so avoiding repeated pickings in the field.
Little attention has been paid to cowpea harvesting practices. Grivetti's study (1978) on nutritional practices does provide information on consumption
of different parts of the cowpea plant. He found that leaves are harvested at
one time, while the beans/pods are harvested at another. In certain households, leaves are used by pregnant and lactating women and beans are not eaten
at all; in fact, certain plants are chosen for their leaves rather than the type of beans they produce. If the project intends to design a whole-plant harvesting technique, then care should be taken to assure that this does not
reduce women's nutritional intake at certain critical life cycle points and
that appropriate storage methods are devised to prevent losses.
The issue of who has access to technology designed to reduce labor needs at
harvest time deserves examination. The comments made above concerning tool use
are applicable here. Also, the project proposes a "central site" for drying
and stacking. It would be worthwhile to determine how women would regard this proposal. The location of such a site could create problems in that no land is
really "free" and homestead spatial distribution allows room for only smallscale drying activities. Should the whole village put its harvest in one location, physical space might be a problem and the issue of who controls the area could be cause for dispute.
Most importantly, it may be physically impossible to use a cowpea-specific harvesting technique due to planting practices. In order to reduce the risk of crop loss, farmers often broadcast a seed mixture of cowpeas, sorghum, millet or maize at different times. Design of a harvesting technique for cowpeas is predicated on acceptance of row planting, a practice which may not be in the best economic interests of marginal farmers, many of whom are women. Research to identify ways these farmers might be convinced that changes in planting practices would reduce risk is necessary prior to designing implements. The comments made above concerning accessibility are critical to the introduction of a whole-plant harvesting technique: are the poorest, most marginal, often female, farmers going to have access to the new techniques and technologies?
A further issue concerns the use of plant residue for cattle fodder. When cattle are brought to the fields for use as draught power they are often allowed to browse where crops have already been picked. Unless plant residue is discarded in a central place, uprooting the whole cowpea plant might necessitate household expenditure on cattle fodder. It is thus important to ascertain planting and dietary practices before introducing changes in harvesting techniques.
Alectra vogelii Resistance: Incorporate resistance to Alectra vogelii into the Blackeye cowpea cultivar so that cowpea growth is faiiated
No data relating to this objective were available. Reference is made to the section on variety screening, above. Where preferences for certain varieties have been established, the characteristics of importance may need to be included in the Alectra vogelii-resistent cultivar.
Demonstration Plots on Farmer's Fields: Test the acceptability of research findings for private farmers on demonstration plots.
Research elsewhere in Africa indicates that field testing is usually
conducted with male farmers and often ignores the role of women in planting,
weeding, harvesting and processing. Fortman (1980) reports that agricultural researchers traditionally have performed their field tests on research stations. She urges that they move off the station and on to farms to discern the specific problems encountered by women in changing agricultural practices. This suggestion is also applicable to the CRSP project. Gaining access to farms headed by females may be difficult for cultural reasons; however, this is not insurmountable and should not prevent the inclusion of these households since they are most likely to be disadvantaged and in need of information. Kerven (1976) suggests that another field testing strategy involve the entire community so that researchers could more fully understand how such a social unit is mobilized in development projects.
The strategy advocated in selecting farmers for on-farm demonstrations is to focus on women as they are the principal bean and cowpea producers. Women with and without males as heads of household should be included in any on-farm research conducted by the project, as studies indicate they confront different types of production constraints.
Self-Evaluation Meetings: Receive suggestions and opinions concerning program activities and findings from government agronomists to maintain high program efficiency by holding self-evaluation meetings.
Giving demonstration farmers an opportunity to voice opinions about what they have been doing and the changes they have made to ensure production and harvest of new cowpea varieties is recommended. These meetings need to be considered in light of time availability, political and social participation and traditional perceptions of women participating in public meetings. It may be useful to allow women the opportunity to voice opinions in small peer groups or individually to an interviewer.
Several other considerations that relate to the project deserve mention.
Women's Legal Status and Land
Schapera (1953) described women's legal positions in Tswana society and
Comaroff and Roberts (1977) discussed changes in their legal status occasioned by migration. It is unclear how pervasive these are and how they affect the various jural roles ascribed to women. For instance, women who win court cases are often paid fines in cattle. Have they, as a result, become more involved in cattle herding? Do they purchase more cattle to augment their herds or are their cattle integrated into a male kinsmen's herd? These issues have a direct bearing on women's access to, and ownership of, draught power.
Related to the above is the issue of land ownership. While Cooper (1979)
found that women can inherit land, be granted rights by Land Boards or petition traditional authorities for a plot, it is unclear how extensive these practices are. Kooijman (1980) found that, for Bokaa, land or asset ownership by females is very low. Also required are data concerning the relationship between landowning and decision-making. Presumably, ownership by or allocation of land to
a male household head implies that he decides whIch plots are to be planted in
certain crops. Does this same pattern hold when there is a de facto female
household head? If there is a direct link between land ownership and on-farm decision making, then more micro-level information is needed on women and land
Compatibility of Beer Brewing and Cowpea Production
The literature on women's income generating activities suggests that beer brewing is of paramount importance. Proceeds are used to pay for children's school fees, purchase seed and food, provide for the birth of a child, etc. If early-maturing cowpea varieties are introduced, the timing of required agricultural tasks should not conflict with beer brewing. If this is not feasible, efforts should be made to ascertain if the net return from cowpea sales is comparable. Otherwise, it is unlikely that women will divert attention from an assured form of income generation.
The Division of Labor
Although some attention has been given to female headed households, a more thorough analysis of the division of labor in these households would be useful. Questions to explore might include--how are traditional male tasks accomplished in households where there are no resident men? What strategies do women employ to have their fields ploughed, especially if they have no draught power? To what extent are such households more disadvantaged than others? Is there a critical point at which women abandon independent farming and migrate or turn to other income-generating activities such as sharecropping or full-time beer brewing? What other strategies are developed to insure them social reproduction? If women decide to migrate, how is the unit of production redefined?
Cooperatives and Marketing
Since obtaining sufficient labor and draught power is often problematic, what group strategies have been generated to alleviate these constraints? Have cooperatives or mutual assistance organizations been organized to grow and sell crops? If these are active, what is the extent of women's participation in them? Does participation alleviate asset and labor shortfall problems? How?
Since cooperatives are often organized to market crops more effectively, do such arrangements exist for cowpeas? According to the survey published by the Botswana Government in 1971, most of the cowpea surplus was sold in South Africa. Given the political economy of Southern Africa, does this practice still continue? Do local markets exist? Are local-level cowpea prices comparable to those published by the Government or those obtainable in urban areas? Who markets cowpeas? Such factors may influence household time and task allocation)in part determining whether it is worthwhile for farmers to alter existing cowpea cultivation practices and acreage.
Drought and Food Aid
Because of Botswana's cyclical drought conditions, some 30% of households have relied at one time or another on food aid. Has this had any long-range
effect on cropping patterns? For example, does the availability of food-aid millet reduce the amount cultivated, thus releasing land for planting in other crops?
Use of Manure and Fertilizer
While chemical fertilizer use is not widespread, Lucas (1981) and Alverson (1984) note that manuring is practiced in several areas. No information is available on this practice and whether manure is used on all planted land or simply for lands in staple crop production. Presumably, there is a relation between number of animals owned and manuring. It is likely, however, that grazing and cropping lands are not contiguous thus necessitating transport of manure from pasture or kraals to fields. Lack of a wagon or scotch cart could create difficulties in applying manure at appropriate times. More information on this topic would be useful.
Summary and Conclusions
For project success, two points regarding agriculture in Botswana are of crucial importance. The first concerns the central role of women as the principal cowpea producers and, the second, the conditions of resource scarcity experienced by many farmers. Many households lack labor and draught power at crucial points in the agricultural cycle. In part, this is due to their precarious economic situation but it is also an outgrowth of the social organization of production, kinship ties and class relationships. Production strategies employed to ensure family survival vary by gender, stage in the domestic life cycle, political and socio-cultural practices. Economic and physical resource constraints, government policies and climatic factors are also important. While not all are of equal relevance to the CRSP project, these variables provide the broad context in which decisions regarding crop production are made.
The literature on migration indicates that improvements in the agricultural sector often result from actions taken in other sectors. Current studies indicate that remittances and other resources gained from labor migration have already been reduced; South African mine owners are hiring fewer expatriate workers. It is likely that this action will have drastic effects on cropping and ranching practices in Botswana. The return of male migrants to rural and urban areas will once again alter the social organization of agricultural production. The decline in remittances to rural households makes even more urgent the need for the CRSP to achieve its objectives.
An important step toward the achievement of these objectives will result from addressing the central issues raised in this Resource Guide. Perhaps the most crucial area of study concerns the social organization of agriculture production. How is production organized to ensure minimum yields of any and all crops? Do male and female headed households manage production differently? Is use of particular tools gender related? What strategies do households employ in satisfying labor and draught power needs? Have cooperatives been formed to meet these and marketing needs? What roles do women play in cowpea production and marketing as compared to other vegetables and grain crops? How
do gender-specific cropping patterns effect yield? Are monetary returns from cowpea sales as attractive as those received from other activities? Has the growing number of returned male migrants produced an additional effect on agricultural production?
This type of information on the social, economic and political parameters of agricultural production should form the basis for technical interventions designed to increase cowpea production. Such an approach should permit the project to achieve its overall goal of generating minimum cost means of enhancing cowpea production to improve the nutritional status of Botswanan families.
III. EDUCATION AND WOMEN'S ORGANIZATIONS
The Educational System
The educational system in Botswana is patterned after that of England. At the end of primary school, students must take an examination attesting to their competence in several subjects before going on to secondary school. This pattern is repeated after four years of high school education, and if students are successful in these examinations, they achieve an "0D" level pass. If the pass is high, students may then go on to "A"l level studies which are more specialized. After passing "All level examinations, they then are eligible for university education.
Because boys frequently remained home to care for cattle, girls
traditionally outnumbered them in primary school. In implementing universal primary education, enrollments of both sexes have increased thus exerting pressure on the Government to augment the number of spaces available in secondary schools. Girls have not done as well on the first level exams as boys, and Brown (1980) found that this was a major reason for the boys out-numbering girls in secondary schools. Additionally, females drop out of school due to early marriages and pregnancies. Once a woman has had a child, she cannot reenter the formal education system. The only options open to women for vocational and technical education are adult education classes and participation in a Brigade.
Adult education for women is offered at a number of training centers
throughout the country. Courses generally focus on domestic science, with some attention being paid to women's needs in agriculture. Higgins (1981) evaluates one program offered by the Ministry of Agriculture and Bond (1977) describes how women's groups were formed for training in vegetable gardening, dressmaking, fruit tree care, grain storage and the like as part of the Integrated Farmer Pilot Project in Pelotshetlha.
There is a strong desire by women to improve their agricultural skills. The Ministry of Agriculture Women's Extension is trying to meet this need through training centers, but Sheffield, et al. (1976) note that there is a
bias against training women in agricultural subjects at the more formal educational institutions. In a case study of St. Joseph's College, the oldest secondary school, it was reported that girls were not allowed to take agricultural courses and instead, were directed to domestic science. -This had implications for income generation as boys grew vegetables and raised small ruminants to sell while no such avenues were available to girls.
The Brigades offer practical training in construction and carpentry,
textile fabrication, farming, engineering, dressmaking, etc. Van Rensburg (1978) describes them as non-governmental organizations operating under the control of local trusts, overseen and funded by a Ministry of Education coordinating committee. Originally designed in the 1960s to provide primary school leavers with practical skills, the Brigades have been expanded to include adult education and training programs, some especially for women. To facilitate their participation, child care may be provided.
Higher education takes place in several institutions. Formerly a part of the Swaziland and Lesotho university system, the University of Botswana is now independent. Agricultural students still receive their training in Swaziland, although there is now a plan to upgrade the level of education at the College of Agriculture in Botswana to make it a part of the university system.
Specific information on institutions of higher education in Botswana follows.
University of Botswana
Tel. Gaborone 51151
Until recently, higher education was provided by the University of Botswana and Swaziland, which was comprised of two university colleges--one at Gaborone, Botswana and the other at Manzini, Swaziland. Botswana now has an autonomous higher education system through the University of Botswana which provides instruction in humanities, science, economics, social science and education. It includes the Institute of Adult Education and the National Institute for Research in Development and African Studies.
1. Lobatse Teachers' Training College
Box 96 Lobatse
2. Serowe Teachers' Training College
3. Francistown Teachers' Training Colleges
1. Matsha Community College
Martin L. Bryram
Boipelego Education Project
2. Tutume Community College
P. 0. Tutume
Women in Botswana have ne eds, interests, experiences and concerns that have led them to organize in particular social, economic and political fashions.
Women's organizations did not originate with Botswana's independence in 1966. Long before that groups were formed for collective labor such as weeding, harvesting, house building and village projects. As some activities were seasonal, these groups were often informal. Formed from families living in close proximity to one another, groups often served social service type functions.
Historically, age regiments were important social organizational
structures. Male regiments cut across kinship and local-level political boundaries. Both male and female regiments were engaged in work for the benefit of the village, district or national leaders. Female regiments generally performed agricultural and home-building tasks.
While it is uncertain how much effect age regiments continue to have on social organization, interviews with representatives of Kgatleng and North East Districts indicate that women do cooperate to perform certain social functions. They organize to raise funds to help one another. When members' children marry, women's groups take the initiative in clearing the area where the marriage is to take place and, on the day of the wedding, the group prepares food or brews beer. The degree to which women engage in cooperative labor in agricultural production and other enterprises deserves further investigation. Literature on women in other parts of Africa suggests that such groups may provide an important vehicle in development efforts.
In the mid 1970s, the Government undertook to identify problems faced by women in rural areas. As discussed earlier, within the Ministry of Agriculture, there are female extension agents and cooperative extension personnel (Women's Bureau) who operate at the village level in an effort to ease women's agricultural burdens. Within the Ministry, the Women's Bureau focuses on the social and economic integration of women in development efforts.
Occasionally females are selected from village cooperatives to participate in
agricultural training programs that emphasize ways to broaden traditional
skills into commercial activities. Training programs might focus on literacy,
* nutrition, health care and leadership.
There is a central "umbrella" organization, operating through the Ministry
* of Home Affairs, the Women's Affairs Unit CWAU), which acts as a coordinating
body for many women's groups. Women's organizations are not legally recognized unless they have a constitution and are registered under the Societies Act with
the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Although informal organizations remain important, there are many formal
ones. Details on the most relevant of these are presented below.
1. Name of Organization: Botswana Council of Women (BCW)
Address: P. 0. Box 339, Gaborone, Botswana
Executive Committee: President, Vice-President, Chairman,
Secretary Liaison Officer, Treasurer
Year Established: 1965
objectives: To develop good citizenship among
women; promote mutual understanding between different cultures; encourage high standards of living through self reliance.
Activities: Organize seminars for urban and
rural women; hold meetings to discuss social problems; take part in Government-sponsored events, participate in community activities such as building of nursery schools, clinics, bus shelters, restrooms; organize home and hospital visits; encourage women in home gardening and vegetable growing; undertake fund raising activities to promote projects for the advancement of women.
National or International
Affiliation: Member of International Council of
Branches in Country: Throughout Botswana
Paid Staff: One
Publications: Annual Report
The BCW is the most active of all women's organizations, serving most of
Botswana. For example, in the Central District in 1973, the BCW had branches
in 19 villages with a combined membership of 334. In the Ghanzi area, in 1972, this group had 58 women members. With the arrival of the Community
Development staff, the activities of BCW in this region increased, both groups assisting each other to achieve their set goals. In the Katleng
District, the BCW with other organizations, such as the Young Women's
Christian Association, Botswana Guides, the Trefoil, the Tri-Ys and 4-B
Clubs, took keen interest and had active participation in the promotion of
family welfare and youth training.
When the Botswana Council of Women was established in 1965, its original
purpose was to unify existing women's groups in the country. This objective
has never been completely fulfilled and the organization has developed new objectives. The Council is one of the largest women's organizations in the country. Membership in the organization is also open to men and a few have
2. Name of Organization: Botswana Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA)
Address: P. 0. Box 350, Gaborone, Botswana
Executive Committee: President, Vice-President, National Secretary,
Year Established: 1962
Objectives: Render community services to help women and young
Activities: Informal education, adult education, literacy
programs, teaching of handicrafts to young girls, food-raising activities, setting up community clinics, running day-care centers and kindergartens, building bus stop shelters and running a private secondary school.
National or International
Affiliation: World YWCA in Geneva
Branches in Country: Three in urban centers, thirty-seven in rural areas
Paid Staff: One
In Botswana, the YWCA is the second most active women's group. In the
Central District alone, this organization had branches in 10 villages by 1973
with a combined membership of 227. Literacy, cookery and baby care classes
were held in addition to the provision of bus shelters and toilets.
The most outstanding service provided by the Y.W.C.A. in Botswana is its work
with refugees. The organization has rented houses to accommodate refugees
and enrolled them in Y.W.C.A. programs.
3. Name of Organization: Business and Professional Women's Club of Gaborone
Address: P. 0. Box 654, Gaborone, Botswana
Executive Committee: President, Two Vice-Presidents, Principal Officers
Year Established: 1972
Objectives: To uphold the interest and advancement of
experienced professional women; to promote higher education in professional activities; to contribute to the community by provision of facilities; to increase involvement of women in development Membership: 50
Activities: Fund raising, collect subscriptions from members;
organize around community and other local issues such as price control and cost of living; sponsor art exhibitions for children; head local and regional meetings and conferences National or International
Affiliation: international Federation of Business and
Branches in Country: Not specified
Paid Staff: Not specified
Publications: Not specified
4. Name of Organization: Association of Botswana Women's Organizations
Address: Secretary, Association of Botswana Women's
Organizations, P.O. Box 1305, Gaborone Executive Committee: President, Vice-President, Permanent Secretary
Year Established: 1978
Objectives: To co-ordinate development programs and activities
of all registered women's organizations in the country; to negotiate with government and other institutions in matters affecting the interest of women in Botswana; to be a link between member organizations and the Government, International Women's Associations and other agencies.
Membership: The association does not have any individual members
but consists of the member organizations as stated below. It is led by an elected seven member committee from various registered women's organizations. This committee consists of a chairman, a vice chairman, a secretary, a vice secretary, a treasurer and two committee members. There are also three exofficio members, i.e., a representative of the Ministry of Local Government and Lands, a representative of the Ministry of Home Affairs and a representative of the Botswana Christian Council.
Activities: Being newly formed the Association has not as yet
engaged in any activities, but the following plans have been discussed: 1) annual general conferences, 2) seminars--follow-up and reports by members who have attended conferences, seminars and courses abroad, 3) hosting of future international conferences, 4) a poultry keeping project to be located in Gaborone, 5) the association is also discussing building of offices and a hall.
National or International
Affiliat ion: Has six affiliates. The Association of Botswana
Women's Organizations is a co-ordinating body made up of the following member organizations: Young Women's Christian Association, Business and Professional Women's Association, Christian Women's Fellowship, Botswana Nurses Association, Botswana Girl Guides Association, Women in Development Committee. All the above member organizations operate at a national level.
Branches in Country: Country-wide
Paid Staff: Not specified
Publications: Not specified
5. Name of Organization: Women's Affairs Unit (WAU)
Address: Ministry of Home Affairs, P/B 002, Gaborone
Executive Committee: Not specified
Year Established: Not specified
Objectives: To coordinate women's actitivies in Botswana at
local, national and international levels; to disseminate information; to conduct research on the overall situation of women; to work with different government departments on issues related to women.
Membership: Open to all, particularly women in rural areas.
Activities: organize seminars; act as a central body
disseminating information; make women aware of political issues inside their country; press for better living and working conditions for women and provide assistance to women's groups and individuals, wherever possible, through pamphlets, talks and workshops.
National or International
Affiliation: Women's Development Planning and Advisory Committee
Branches in Country: Not specified
Paid Staff: Not specified
Publications: The Woman is the One Who Carries the Nation
The following international women's organizations reportedly have affiliates in Botswana: The International Alliance of Women (IAW), The International Council of Women (ICW), Women's Corona Society and World Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA).
IV. A Selected and Annotated Bibliography
This bibliography is a selected guide to materials on women's work in
* agricultural production in Botswana. It draws on a number of previouslyexisting bibliographies, especially the one prepared by Eicher (1981) and data
sources such as Dissertation Abstracts International, Sociological Abstracts,
* the Social Science Citation Index (SSCI), Agricola, CAIN and Resources in
Annotations written by other authors have been utilized. In many cases,
additional commentary of relevance to the project has been added.
Most of the materials cited are available at Michigan State University.
Resources were reviewed from the Non-Formal Education Center, the Agricultural Economics Reference Room, the Women in International Development Reading Room
and from the main library. Where documents are noted without annotation the
referenced material was not available. These were included in the bibliography
because they appear to provide information relevant to the CRSP project.
Africa South of the Sahara. 13th ed. 1983-84. London: Europa Publishers,
Analyses of physical and social geography and of the economy are set forth followed by a statistical survey which provides an economic profile of the country. A directory provides data on the government, the press, finance,
* trade and industry, tranport, etc., and a brief bibliography concludes the
description. This volume offers general and statistical overviews of all
the countries of Africa. No specific information on women is included.
Allison, Christine. The Determinants of Participation in Primary Schools in
Kweneng, With Special Reference to Cattle and Mine Lab55our migration.
Gaborone: National Migration Study/Central Statistics Office, 1978.
Considers the Tswana household as the decision-making unit, vis-a-vis primary schooling in exploring the relationship between the number of
adults in the household and the demand for children's schooling: whether children from female-headed households are more inclined to go to school; whether more educated parents will demand more education for their children; whether as labor migration increases, household demand for schooling
falls; whether households living in communities with good schools have
higher level of demand; and if communities with good employment prospects
have higher demand for schooling. (Eicher Bibliography)
Alverson, Hoyt. "Agricultural Development in Botswana: Targets and
Constraints." Institute of Development Management Public Lectures,
* November 23, 1978, Gaborone, 1978. Mimeo.
Outlines some problems facing Botswana in its national effort to develop
agriculture, based upon the major goals stated in Botswana's Fourth
National Development Plan: (1) attaining self-sufficiency in production of
essential staple crops; (2) providing secure and adequate livelihoods for
Botswana; (3) eliminating political and economic dependence on Rhodesia and South Africa; and (4) saving (earning) foreign exchange. (Eicher Bibliography)
_________ "Arable Agriculture in Botswana: Some Contributions of the Traditional Social Formation." Rural Africana, Spring/Fall 1979: 33-47.
Analyzes what is already known about the socioeconomic organization of arable agriculture in Botswana. Identifies information gaps and suggests ways in which national policy implications about the development of agriculture may be drawn. (Eicher Bibliography)
The first question Alverson poses is what is the social and economic organization of agriculture in Botswana? His answers include the following: the proportion of the total population involved in arable production is declining; towns and large villages are experiencing an increase in population; pressures on land are increasing due to demands for both more grazing and arable land; crop failures are frequent due to variation in rainfall; variation in yields and in hectarage cultivated are attributable to a multiple of factors; the rights and privileges of access to the means of production, even within households, are not equal; traditional agriculture is not self-sustaining or self-financing; the contribution of agricultural production to total household income shows a convex curvilinear relationsh-ip; overgrazing is a serious problem; traditional social institutions contribute to arable production, distribution and consumption.
The second question Alverson explores deals with areas of controversy and! or concensus in the literature. The first concerns draught power. He notes that between 30 and 45 percent of households that cultivate do not own or have access to cattle as draught power as a traditional right. The next concerns the high opportunity cost of expanding food production vs. the lower costs involved in migrating to work elsewhere. The traditional social formation of the household and its context in a broader social unit comprise the fabric of a community. Exchange to enhance survival occurs within and between each of these units. The traditional system of mafisa-loaning cattle out to get milk and offspring--includes the use of cafFT6 for draught. However, it is highly unusual, given social custom, for a female who is head of a household to receive such cattle as care of these animals is normally the domain of men.
.Mind in the Heart of Darkness. New Haven: Yale University Press,
This ethnography, mainly analyzing Tswana male mine migrants to South Africa, seeks answers to the question of how social institutions shape an individual's beliefs about who and what he is. Although the study offers a wealth of information on the Tswana, including their own self-perceptions, certain comments are more relevant to this bibliography than others.
Great emphasis is placed by Tswana people on kinship as the basis on which the political, juridical, economic and religious aspects of society are organized. Age is an important ranking criteria and is elaborated in a
complex system of age-set or age-regiments (an offshoot pattern of social organization predating the mfecane, the spread of the Zulu under Shaka in the 19th Century). Male and female adolescents are separated into sexually segregated sets and remain in these sets throughout life. Leadership in age sets normally rests upon a royal's relative who is a member of the set. These sets are activated at the local level for warfare (in pre-colonial times), public works, hunting, policing of executive decrees, entertainment, etc.
Traditionally women were viewed as minors dependent on a male kinsmen. Marriage was not fully consummated until the negotiated bridewealth from the man's family was transferred to the woman's. Since Tswana highly value their cattle as being the source of their wealth and prestige, women are often referred to as cows who will produce a nation at her husband's place. Since Tswana society is patrilineal and patrilocal (descent through the male line with residence at the father's village), women are removed as productive units from their parents' household. For this removal recompense is made to the female's family in the form of bridewealth. These practices, however, are no longer strongly adhered to in favor of a young man making his own marriage arrangements without bothering to consult kinsmen.
Concerning education, Alverson commented that it is women more often than men who want their children educated so that they might better adapt to changing conditions; men generally see education as economically necessary. He asserts that because more women value education as a means to advance, they are also more adaptable than men in seizing ways to earn income-cottage industry, petty trade, etc.--and that this income often exceeds the cash value of what men can receive from slaughtering stock. The traditional view of women held by Tswana elders (men) is that women cannot work for themselves so they should get married. Economics and ecology, among other things, have altered this view of women drastically.
While the major portion of Alverson's analysis is on the miners who return to Botswana, there is a great deal of information on the Tswana in Eastern Kweneng, Central Kweneng (Kalahari Desert) and Gaborone.
I c The Social and Economic Context of Agriculture in Botswana: Some In~tors. Gaborone: Institute of Development Management Research, Paper
No. 6, 1979.
Summarizes results of a small-scale study of the principal social and economic features of contemporary farming practices in general and in the Kweneng district of Botswana in particular. Findings confirm existence of a class system in rural Botswana which has numerous important implications for the organization and practice of agriculture. (Eicher Bibliography)
"The Wisdom of Tradition in the Development of Dry-Land Farming: Botswana." Human Organization, Vol. 43, No. 1, Spring 1984: 1-8.
While economists have developed theories of small-farm production, the author states that little or no attention is paid to the cultural
organization of agriculture in the total context of social reproduction. The lack of this focus has led economists to design development programs to change production techniques with added technology or institutional innovation in order to achieve increased yields. He argues that great potential exists to increase production within the culture of traditional agriculture as it is practiced and uses the case of Botswana to illustrate this point.
Alverson begins his case study with some background information on Botswana: arable land is between 13,000 km and 30,000 km. About 80,000 rural households participate in either arable and/or livestock production, with between 400,000 and 600,000 ha. under regular cultivation. Population growth is more than 3% per year and urban populations have grown as a result of natural increase and the decreased need for migrant miners in South Africa. Towns are growing at about 13% per year. Concerning crop production, sorghum, maize and millet constitute the principal sources of food energy. Some 50% of the 80,000 households engaged in farming cultivate fewer than 3 ha. and 18% do not cultivate at all. only 10% of farmers in 1980 cultivated more than 7 ha. Less than 8% cultivated more than 8 ha., the minimum required to feed a household of 7 or 8 members. Households which do not own cattle and must borrow them in 1980 planted only 1.7 ha., those with 1-10 cattle planted an average of 2.6 ha., those with 11-40 planted 3.8 ha. Larger herd ownership does not correlate with arable agriculture but with commercial cattle ranching income.
Cattle Herd Average Area Yield per
Size Cultivated Hectare
0 1.7 106 kgs
1-10 2.6 10 2
11-20 3.8 130
21-30 3.9 148
31-40 3.7 141
41-50 4.5 215
51-60 4.0 133
In reporting on the Integrated Farming Pilot Project (IFPP) at Pelotshetla, 35 kms from Kange, the Southern District capital, Alverson found that there are 23,000 ha. of arable land and 325 farming households. Only 35 families did not have easy access to cattle and most farmers plough between 6 and 10 ha. Ploughing is done with a single mouldboard plough drawn by between 4 and 12 in-spanned oxen. The most widely grown crops are sorghum, maize, millet, beans and cowpeas, with sorghum and maize accounting for over 90% of cultivation.,
Alverson then goes on to discuss the "package" of arable practice recommended to traditional farmers as opposed to the practices already in place. These include:
IFPP Package Traditional Practices
a) Winter (dry-season) ploughing or a) Ploughing only after the first
sweeping to kill weeds and reduce summer rain, with planting immediately
compaction of soil, thereby reducing thereafter.
water loss through evaporation and
b) Regular crop rotation but omis- b) No information is given on this
sion of a grass phase in the cycle, factor.
(Grass does not add much humus
because of termite activity and
the high temperature of the soil.)
c) Use of precision tools (either c) The single-blade plow is the only
ox-drawn or tractor-drawn) in tool used; seeds are broadcast.
ploughing, planting and weeding.
d) Application of fertilizers d) No fertilizer is used, except
(250 kg superphosphate per hectare manure intermittently and irregularly.
for sorghum and 250 kg 2-3-0 per
hectare for maize.)
e) Use of improved seeds. e) No information given on this
f) Two weedings after planting. f) One weeding, if any at all.
g) Planting after first rains in g) Planting immediately after summer
November. rains ploughing.
h) Harvesting immediately at h) Harvesting depends, as does
maturity to reduce loss from birds ploughing, on labor availability.
A comparison of the two systems reveals that the IFPP requires much more
labor (150.58 hours of bird scaring vs. 28.18 in the traditional system), a
much greater capital investment, and much higher use of inputs which are
available only for cash. Alverson found that the traditional system yields
a more favorable return than the IFPP. He also points out that the introduction of fertilizer makes weeds grow faster and that labor is not available to do more than one weeding. This illustrates that any change in the
production system has ramifications for the entire system.
In conducting trials on changing planting practices, it was found that
traditional methods of hand broadcasting associated with timely ploughing
* after the ground is wet increases yields by almost 100%. Thus it is argued
that changes not in the forces of production but in the quality, timing and
patterning of various tasks associated with management of the arable cycle
* have more long-term impact in terms of increasing yields.
Arntzen, Jaap W. Firewood Collection in Mosomone: Kgatleng. Gaborone:
University of Botswana, Institute for Development Research and
Documentation, Research Note No. 11, 1983.
Undertaken as part of a broader research-utilization project in Kgatleng District, this study focuses on the collection and use of various species
of wood for the purpose of making fires. Data is analyzed on the basis of
stratification with varying levels of people making use of different resources. The author states that firewood is collected by women in
Kgatleng, but that if donkey-carts or sledges are used for transporting wood, men are often involved. Wood is collected by the members of each household for their own use, although some surplus may be sold. Selling
wood, however, is not an important source of income to households in
Mosomone. The frequency of collection varies from daily to once a month
depending on means of transport, season and household size. Distances
travelled range between 0-9 kms per trip, each round trip takes from 1-4
Bailey, Charles Ray. Cattle Husbandry in the Communal Areas of Eastern
Botswana. Ph.D. Dissertation, Cornell University, 1982.
This study is about cattle husbandry in the semi-arid, unfenced and
communally held rangelands of eastern Botswana. People keep cattle for a
variety of reasons, among them the use of cattle draft power in arable
agriculture, the sale of cattle to meet immediate cash needs, home consumption of meat and dairy products and the accumulation of wealth. Since the
last major drought in 1965/66, the cattle population of Botswana has
approximately doubled and now poses a potential threat to the long-run
carrying capacity of the country's rangelands. The open-access nature of
the range removes the individual incentive to limit stock numbers or to systematically rotate animals among different grazing areas. Although
cattle are the best means for exploiting the water and land resources of
eastern Botswana, only half of all rural households hold cattle.
This study was undertaken to gain a better understanding of the use and
management of two of Botswana's major natural resources--land and water-for the production of cattle. The analysis proceeded on two levels:
1) the aggregate effects of individual decision making on range condition
and water resource management and development, and 2) the effects on individual herds of cattle holder herd management. Empirical data were gathered through a series of questionnaires and open-ended interviews
carried out with 245 cattle holders-in twelve communities in eastern
Botswana during 1979/80.
Stocking rates were found to be substantially higher than those recommended
by government range ecologists. Cattle holders appeared to be building up their herds to take the fullest advantage of the forage produced by a succession of good rainfall years. Water was not a constraint on growth in
herd numbers. Water availability did vary seasonally and from place to
place, but not enough to shift cattle and allow the range to recover from local grazing pressure. Cattle holders required at least 35 to 40 animals to plow with a full team of oxen. Net revenue in cash and kind reached an
initial maximum in herds of between 41 and 50 head. (Dissertation
Behnke, Roy and Kerven, Carol. "1FSR and the Attempt to Understand the Goal and
Motivations of Farmers." Culture and Agriculture, Vol. 19, Spring 1983:
In Botswana less than 1/4 of all farm dwelling units are solely dependent upon agriculture; 2/3 obtain more than 40 percent of their income in offfarm labor. While FSR researchers may be concerned with measuring and increasing farm income, farmers are concerned with stabilizing and increasing
their entire income, much of which may come from non-farm employment. one
risk-reducing strategy employed is cooperation among close kin. The
authors cite a case study in which an old, non-farming mother lives with her youngest son and two daughters, with the eldest brother living elsewhere. The two daughters and the son farm three plots, but hire-in animal traction from their older brother, while the younger brother hires out his own traction. The younger brother provides cattle in return for the labor
of his sisters and their oldest daughters. The younger brother has only small children. The women brew beer and pay the older brother for animal traction with the proceeds. The authors pose the question, what constitutes the household in this case?
Households are governed by kin relationships and rules, not by close calculations of short-term costs and benefits. Meeting with people outside
of the household is not economic but social--the family, as broadly defined, acts as a unit of production with family-type relations extended to the world at large. Family relations are never limited as that would limit
* risk reducing strategy. Designing recommendation domains may obfuscate the
economic and social interdependence of the community under study. Every
assistance or risk-reduction network will have overlapping members in contiguous areas or among the broader family. There is a heterogeneity of
contiguous farms in which a degree of specialization has occurred. Thus, communities really constitute multi-household production units or suprahousehold cooperation networks.
The authors advocate selection of "dwelling units" rather than households
as units of analysis in applying research methodology since all other units have multiple and overlapping layers of allegiance, cooperation, membership
and residence. Probing of these units would lead researchers into other
rural and urban networks.
Belien, J. The Suitability of Horticultural Crops in the Okavango Area.
Gaborone: UNDP/FAO Project, Swamp and Dryland Soils of the Okavango
Delta, Project Field Document No. 8, June 1978.
Provides a broad outline of optimum horticultural practices and varieties.
Indicates which crops are economically viable. (Eicher Bibliography)
_________*The Suitability of Some Vegetables in the Okavango Area Swamp and
Dryland S oils of the Okavango Delta. Gaborone: UNDP/FAO, June 1978.
Provides field data on crop varieties, trials, climatic influence, irrigation, fertilizing, spacing and crop yields. (Eicher Bibliography)
Bell, Morag. "Rural-Urban Movement Among Botswana's Skilled Manpower--Some
Observations on the Two Sector Model." Africa, Vol. 50, No. 4 (1980):
This study seeks to achieve three goals which run counter to modernization theory assumptions concerning rural-urban migration: 1) identify the influence of formal training on the propensity to migrate, 2) assess the
level of integration of migrants into the urban community, and 3) question the effect of movement on rural households and rural production, as well as
on urban social processes and labor market conditions.
Where young people have received education up to the Junior Certificate
level, good prospects for securing well-paid employment in the public sector are available. (Those with only primary school leaving certificates
are not deemed "educated".) While the Tswana have a tradition of movement
to take care of their cattle and crops, the decision of an individual to
migrate into the city is based upon a perception of job availability
(learned about through communication along kin and friendship networks) and the presence of a relative in the city with whom to stay. Those with Cambridge level education and higher apply directly to ministries for work and secure jobs. Hence, migration of the more educated population is employercentered, while migration by lesser educated individuals is potential
employee-centered. Women fall mainly into the less educated category, and job committment and security are viewed as even more important for independent females with families. Females who are living in the urban areas with
their husbands tend to be better educated and better off since many women
in this category waited until they finished their education before marrying
and/or having children.
Willingness to consider the city home was found to be a function of education, with concomitant job security, the ability to buy a house or, for less-educated, lower-income migrants, whether family members (kin) were
also in the city.
Ties to people in the rural areas remained strong with those earning adequate wages sending remittances at least once every three months. For
many, a monthly return visit to work on the cattle posts or in the fields
was normal, while for those who did not receive adequate wages both remittances and return visits were less frequent. The urban elite also maintain
a traditional stratification pattern in that part of their earnings are
invested in the purchase of cattle. Investment in land and cattle provide
a useful supplement to urban wage.
As Bell puts it, "The spouse was based permanently at the rural home with authority to organize and manage the lands and cattle post, while the migrant returned home regularly at weekends." In this way both the farm and
the urban migrant could support each other. However, independent women in town do not have a rural spouse and so must depend on other relationships
Bottles, F. M. Women's Access to Agricultural Extension Services in Botswana.
Gaborone: Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Agricultural Field
Services, Women's Extension Unit, 1980.
This paper presents an analysis of women's extension work in Botswana, relating it to the wider context of women's role in agriculture generally.
The analysis is presented in three parts: an overview of agriculture with
specific emphasis on constraints faced by female farmers (including land ownership, arable efficiency, access to draught power, labor and equipment); an historical overview of women's extension activities (including
the Integrated Farming Pilot Project, courses for women, liaison activities
and policy proposals); and proposals for the future integration of women
into agricultural policies and projects. The final section includes a
table of on-going work and future plans for the expansion of the Women's
Extension Unit, projects of relevance to the needs of women, evaluation of
currently-existing course offerings at rural training centers, further work on appropriate technology and liaison activities. This table is
expanded into a discussion of each topic. The paper ends with the
following note 11. . the talk of integrating women into development
becomes a nonsense. Without women there is no development."
Bond, C. A. Discussion Paper in Agricultural Extension for Women. (No
publisher-HYR), 1977. (Mimeo)
To solve the problem of female agriculturalists not being visited by male extension agents, the post of Agricultural Officer, Women's Extension was
created. The paper describes the activities of people in this post and the
ways in which women may be brought into a stronger network of information sharing. Many attempts to expand extension contact have failed due to the intrusion of other projects which required the time of extension officers,
vacation schedules, etc. Basic approaches utilized by extension workers
are problematic in that they wait for their clients to articulate certain
needs to them rather than offering certain new ideas to farmers. Biases of extension workers include perceiving females as those who are not decisionmakers, as the poorest when they are heads of household, etc. This negative attitude is further exemplified in courses designed for female
farmers. Officials are apathetic in recruiting more female extension
Women's Involvement in Agriculture in Botswana. Gaborone:
Ministry of Agriculture, 1974.
This study seeks answers to the following questions: What is the role of
women in Botswana agriculture and what is the extent of their participation
in field operations and decision-making? Other questions involve extension work as it relates to women farmers.
Women are responsible for weeding, bird scaring, harvesting, threshing and storage. They also keep pigs and poultry. When husbands are absent, women make all decisions regarding crop operations and when husbands are present,
there is a free exchange of ideas on farming practices. This could have
resulted from more traditional practices which left men in charge of herding and women in charge of gardening. The results of a survey (covering
204 rural households) indicate women perform between 47.7% and 73.6% of all crop activities. Where there are no males in a household, women must hire men or depend on relatives to clear the land, plough and to do some planting. This work is most often done in exchange for cash thus necessitating
a minimal level of cash accumulation by female-headed households. Women
provide 81.6% of the labor for all operations after ploughing.
More than one-half of women's time is spent in household labor. Tasks
include food preparation, washing, grinding corn, fetching water, collecting and chopping wood, collecting wild fruits and vegetables, brewing beer,
shopping and house building.
In matters requiring specific decision-making, the survey found that
decisions concerning tractor ploughing, cattle sales and fencing are made
primarily by males, and that women decide about ploughing at times and
about planting. But in most instances, discussion was reported to have
taken place between males and females with a decision being reached
mutually on task allocation.
The report recommended the creation of specific extension services that
would meet the needs of female agriculturalists.
. Women's Involvement in the Integrated Farming Pilot Project.
Gaborone: q17-nistry of Agriculture, 1977.
This report sets forth background information on the IFPP and outlines the areas of livestock and crop production the project addresses. The History of Developments section deals with the ways in which women were incorporated into the project. A section on future plans lists the courses being offered to women and how groups might be formed to enhance both the efficiency and the effectiveness of the project. The report ends with a profile of each of the women's groups participating in the project.
Botswana. Agricultural Statistics Unit, Ministry of Agriculture. 1979
Livestock and Crop Survey. Gaborone: Central Statistics Office, Ministry
of Finance and Development Planning, 1979.
This survey is a continuation of a series of annual surveys conducted since 1967. It covers the traditional tribal farms in the Agricultural Administrative Regions and all freehold and commercial farms in the country. In
interpreting the data, several limitations were pointed out: the standard error for district estimates is very high, district totals might have been misreported due to farmers living in one district and actually farming in another, the use of a point system to determine whether a marginal holder
qualified as a farm reduced the number of farms by 2$000.
The tables on crop and livestock production which comprise the bulk of the data are extensive and should be consulted (along with surveys published subsequently) to have an accurate picture of the production of cowpeas and beans.
________*Crop Protection in Botswana, Biennial Report 1973-1975. Gaborone:
Ministry of Agriculture, 1979.
Reviews research carried out on insect and avian pests, plant pathology and weed control in 1973-75. (Eicher Bibliography)
_______* Division of Planning and Statistics, Ministry of Agriculture. Preliminary Investigations into the Marketing of Crops and Livestock in Botswana. Gaborone: Government Statistician, 1971.
Three surveys were conducted in order to elicit information on crop and livestock marketing by farmers in Botswana, on traders in the Ngwaketse and Barolong regions, and on prices and demand for agricultural products in Gaborone.
In ascertaining marketing information the survey indicated that sorghum, maize and cowpeas were the main crops sold, in order of importance, mainly to traders at harvest time. The survey on traders indicated that quantities of beans and cowpeas purchased from local producers were mainly sold directly to South Africa.
The tabular presentation of data is useful, though dated, and should be used in the project as indicators of production and pricing at the time the surveys were conducted.
________ Dryland Crop Production in Botswana: A Review of Research, 196974. Gaborone: Agricultural Research Station, 1974.
________*The Rural Income Distribution Survey in Botswana, 1973-1975. Gaborone: Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, Central Statistics
Rather than summarize this document, some of the problem areas which were pointed out in the survey will be noted. This survey was conducted throughout Botswana.
"Male-less" households suffer from an inability to plough either adequately or on time; also, no funds supplied by migratory labor are remitted to aid such households in hiring these services. Women brew beer to generate income.
Weevils are the main problem in storing food.
The Botswana government taxes cattle owners on a per head basis, so there is underreporting of the number of cattle owned. Also, the same rates apply to ranchers and smallherders.
At the time of the survey, farmers were paid low prices for their grain
harvests thus leading them to conclude that production of crops for sale is not adequately compensated especially since extra effort is needed to grow
more. The survey provides good base line data.
Brown, Barbara. "Girls' Achievement in School in Botswana." Botswana Notes
and Records, Vol. 12, 1980: 35-40.
The major reason for girls not achieving higher levels of education, though
girls outnumber boys in primary school, is early marriage and pregnancy.
Unable to continue school because of the need to take care of their children, women are thus denied access to skilled jobs. With at least 30% of
the households in Botswana headed by women, the author notes that rural incomes are low due to females not being able to earn adequate incomes.
In a survey conducted at the Molefi and Linchwe II schools, Brown discerned
a high degree of sex stereotyping in terms of career aspirations and particular jobs. Women were considered incapable of driving a tractor, being
a pumper or building a brick house, although these views altered the higher
the level of educational achievement of the respondents. Perceptions of
future roles by girls included being a mother and 50% of the female respondents indicated that they alone would be responsible for their
children's welfare. Hence, career aspirations tended to focus on
decreasing the dual burden of children and career.
Present government policy states that girls who become pregnant are expelled from school and are not to be readmitted. The author advocates changing this policy so as not to lose part of the labor resources of the country.
Women, Migrant Labor and Social Change in Botswana. Boston:
Boston University, African Studies Center, Working Paper No. 41, 1980.
Brown begins her analysis with a brief historical overview which describes the "semi-proletarianzation" of the African population during the colonial
period in which the people of Southern Africa constituted a labor reserve
for the mines in South Africa. Laborers were dependent both on their
salaries and on receiving support from their families in rural areas since mine owners were not willing to pay wages that would ensure the reproduction of the family unit.
Views on what is acceptable work for men and women impede women from
obtaining salaried jobs which pay a supportable wage (e.g., women are generally hired as domestics and have no job security). Some 50 percent of the country's population depended on remittances in 1974, but these came
largely from men who worked in the mines. Agriculture was viewed as a secondary activity for most households due to its tenuous nature and reliance
upon rains for decent harvests. Yet women have been relegated to this
activity. Where central villages have become overpopulated, a household may be divided with some members going to live on their fields during the agricultural cycle while older family members remain in the village with
Of the 210 households interviewed in Kgatleng, Brown found that 35 percent were de jure female headed households (widows 20 percent; single women 15
percent The area also has the highest out-migration of any district.
Characteristic of female headed households as agricultural production units
are the following comments: many do not own or hold cattle; they tend to
plough late or not at all; and they may lack sufficient labor power to hoe
and scare birds. Brown found that if cattle are owned, generally they number less than the critical 10 needed for ploughing. Half of the female
headed households that ploughed did so by hiring a tractor--a very costly
process. Widows have an added problem in that when their husbands died,
the relatives of the deceased may have repossessed any family cattle.
Half of the women interviewed by Brown were unmarried mothers, few of whom
received any support from the fathers of their children. Nutritional
studies indicate these children are the most undernourished, and of these
children, girls suffered most nutritionally.
An educational profile documents a high dropout rate for girls at the point of taking the 7th grade certificate exam. The most significant reasons for
dropout were pregnancy and failure to pass exams adequately to gain
entrance to the next higher level of schooling. Moreover, a survey of high
school students indicated that females aspire to traditional female professions--teaching and nursing--which do not require higher certificates.
The paper concludes with a number of recommendations that concern helping women in income generating activities; allowing women who become pregnant
to return to school; encouraging women to fight for their legal rights; and
training greater numbers of female extension agents.
_ Women's Role in Development in Botswana. Gaborone: Ministry of
Agriculture, Rural Sociology Unit--Planning and Statistics, 1980.
Women's Role in the Development of Kgatleng District in Botswana-A Preliminary Report. Gaborone: National Institute of Development and
Cultural Research, 1978.
Bryant, Coralie. "Women Migrants, Urbanization and Social Change: The
Botswana Case." Paper prepared for the 1977 Annual Meeting of the American
Political Science Association, September 1-4, 1977, Washington, D. C.
As part of a survey research project on rural to urban migration conducted
by the University of Botswana in Gaborone, Botswana, a sub-sample of 35
migrant women was chosen for in-depth interviewing to discover the potential for back migration, the underlying causes of migration, and the types of adjustment problems migrant women face. The women lived in "unit housing, site and service, self-help or traditional housing and servants quarters." The author found that type of housing correlated with differences
in women's perceptions of their problems. The data indicate that women
(who form the majority of migrants in Botswana) tend to migrate for economic reasons. The effects of South African mining (causing massive male
outmigration), the collapse of polygamy and the responsibilities of women
with dependent children are interrelated factors. The women's own perceptions of their problems are presented and their stories help to elucidate their points. The women defined their major problems to be jobs, housing,
and dependent children; the author perceived their major problems to be
jobs, housing, the lack of child support from fathers of unmarried women's
children (primarily when they are in mining camps or out of the country) and the lack of organizations in which women could use collective action for collective needs. A more generalized discussion of female employment
compared with male employment in Gaborone elucidates the employment situation of migrant women. (Rihani Bibliography)
Campbell, A. C. "The Rural Economy: A Sociological Perspective." Botswana
Notes and Records, Vol. 3, 1971: 192-94.
Enumerates the three main features of traditional life that changed with the new economic order: (1) the outlook on property, especially cattle; (2) the attitude towards the definition of labor between the sexes; and,
(3) the hierarchy of the social structure. (Eicher Bibliography)
The author describes the modes of production of various peoples in precolonial times and notes that "each mode of subsistence had created around
it set patterns of behaviour to which its members conformed. These patterns assured the continuation of the system and the relations to other
members of his family. Foremost amongst these patterns was kinship--a
man's relations to the other members of his family. The lower the subsistence level the more complex and widespread the kinship web, together with
all the mutual economic ties involved. At the lowest subsistence level,
economic ties extended beyond the family to every person in the group. The
more evolved the subsistence level the less the kinship ties counted."
In speaking of more pastoral lifestyles Campbell notes that cattle were not killed for food, they were killed to emphasize important relationships and
events and that they were a means of cementing position in society rather
than as wealth alone.
In discussing the division of labor he notes that men conducted the
"prestigious" work while women did the "necessary work of keeping the
family alive." All this changed, however, with the introduction of money into the economy. He states that the result of a monied economy placed a
new value on cattle and crops, handcrafts, skins and ivory. At the same time it required that a new attitude be taken towards ownership and disposal of such items.
In pre-colonial times, Campbell posits that a man knew exactly where he stood in society and exactly what society expected of him. In the same
way a woman knew her exact position and what society expected of her.
Women's ambition was limited to marriage, and usually this was arranged
The change in value orientation which occurred as a result of colonialism
was more akin to new wine in old bottles than to a complete transformation.
He cites several examples. The brigades, organized for mutual work and
learning, are really an extension of the old p~cactice of grouping both men and women into age regiments for work and war. He notes the tradition of
communal tenure could be reactivated for the purpose of estalishing experi8 mental and demonstration farms. He advocates a change in traditional attitude towards labor allocation, with men becoming agriculturalists and
breeding fewer cattle of high quality instead of more cattle of poor quality. He notes also that women consider agricultural work a drudge and
have no ambition to be vigorous cultivators. one of the main reasons for this is that women do not have the right to dispose of cereal crops, only
men have that right.
Carruthers, Richard, et al. The Sun, Water and Bread. Gaborone: Ministry of
Health, Nutrition Unit, 1978.
Reports on an Appropriate Technology Workshop on Food and Nutrition convened at the Rural Industry Innovation Centre, Kanye, November 5-17, 1978.
Includes syllabus and critique of two-week workshop for better communication skills and construction techniques of family welfare educators and
home economists in Botswana. (Eicher Bibliography)
Cliffe, Lionel and Richard Moorsom. "Rural Class Formation and Ecological
Collapse in Botswana." Review of African Political Economy, May/December
Links rural class formation and agricultural economy to 1) the impoverishment and "proletarianization" of poor peasants; 2) a worsening of the
position of women in peasant households; 3) a general decline in food production capability; and 4) a closely linked "collapse" of an often fragile
ecology. (Eicher Bibliography)
Although Cliffe's argument focuses broadly on rural transformation, the
specifics about women are as follows: he feels women have borne most of
the costs of rural transformation brought about by changes in the division of labor in the adoption of capitalist agricultural production and the ensuing shortages in the means of production. In drawing male labor into the
mines in South Africa, women were left with the dual burden of caring for
the home and family, as well as for all the agricultural production including the management of herds. Moreover, in the instances where females also
migrated, jobs open to them were menial and very low paying. Thus, it is women, overall, who bear the costs of social reproduction. Cliffe notes
that women who are left on the farm have greater control over the production processes, but that women have not been adequately equipped to assert
efficient control and so are unable to attain economic self-sufficiency.
Colclough-, Christopher and Peter Fallon. Rural Poverty in Botswana-Dimensions, Causes and Constraints. Geneva: International Labour Office,
* Rural Employment Policy Research Programme Working Paper, World Employment
Programme Research, 1979.
* Analyzes the distribution of rural incomes and the highly inegalitarian
ownership of capital in the rural areas. Concludes that the distribution
of formal employment opportunities appears to have exacerbated this bias
against poorest groups. Urges action to change access to or ownership of
cattle among the poorest 40% of rural households, concluding that rural
income distribution will continue to become more unequal in the future if
present situation continues. (Eicher Bibliography)
Colclough, Christopher and Stephen McCarthy. The Political Economy of
Botswana. New York: Oxford University Press, 1980.
This volume considers issues relating to economic growth and structural
change; political and constitutional change; mining, industry and dependence; migration, employment and income distribution; and schools, skills and social policy. The chapter on agricultural production and inequality
is particularly germane to the current study.
An important link between cattle rearing and arable production is that the
ox-drawn plough is used for repeated cultivation of extensive areas of
arable land with rather low yields per hectare. As a risk-reducing strategy, mixed pastoral and arable production provides some security against
the uncertainities of rainfall. Traditional methods of achieving a degree
of security, which included redistribution of crops and livestock by
chiefs, appear to be breaking down.
In analyzing rural inequality, the authors divided the rural population
into three groups: those who own no cattle, those with small- to mediumsized herds (up to 50 head) and those with large herds (more than 50 head
of cattle). They found that households with no cattle (45%) correlated
positively with absolute poverty. A high proportion of this group consists of female headed households which are short of male labor for ploughing (a male task). Owners of small- to medium-sized herds (40%) were found not to
have sufficient resources to acquire exclusive ownership of a borehole to water their cattle, but had a sufficient number of animals for ploughing.
Owners of large herds (15%) practiced cropping as a peripheral activity (3/4 of the national herd is owned by this 15% of the population). The
traditional practice of mafisa (lending out cattle) accounts for between 10
and 20 percent of the national herd.
Arable plots are generally located near villages while pastureland is more
distant. Where arable land is not located nearby, families migrate from
the villages to their fields where they remain intermittently until the end
of harvest. A problem in ploughing is the condition of oxen at the onset
of the rainy season, there being little grass for them to eat before
ploughing commences. Tasks are allocated along gender lines: men plough,
men and women plant, and women weed, scare birds, harvest and thresh.
An increasing consumer preference for maize over sorghum, a more droughtresistant crop, has been reported. This has resulted in part from the availability in the cities of a factory produced sorghum meal which is
regarded as inferior to the hand-ground meal. The preference for maize may
in the long run be attributable to the high requirement for female labor
that sorghum requires in growing (more bird scaring) and grinding over
Also positively correlated with cattle owning was the average hectarage
planted, the overall average kg. production, and the ownership of implements. Where cattle are not owned, they must be borrowed or hired. This
means that the owners of the oxen plough first, and then relatives, friends
or clients may have access to the span. Normally oxen are available for hire or borrowing well into the rainy season thus allowing only a relatively small portion of an arable plot to be cultivated. A new invention-the Makgonatsotlhe (a "tool carrier") to which can be attached sweeps,
plantes, cultivators and scotch carts, and which uses donkeys as draught
power, has helped to increase yields in farmer trials.
In times of drought, households depend for their food on the sale of livestock or on broad networks of family relationships. Where these relationships have broken down, an FAQ study revealed that 30% of rural households
depended at one time or another on food assistance and on food for work programs. These households, which comprise the poorest in terms of resources, were largely headed by women.
Females who are heads of household manage their enterprises using strategies different from more resource-rich farmers. Those who have no cattle either have close links with those who do, or receive some kind of remittances from migrant workers who are family members.
Comaroff, J. "Class and Culture in a Peasant Economy: The Transformation of
Land Tenure in the Barolong."1 Journal of African Law, Vol. 24, No. 1,
Spring 1980: 85-113.
Beginning with a political-economic sketch of the history of Barolong and
Barolong Farms (a farmer training scheme), the author discusses some of the
agricultural practices of the Tshidi chiefdom in terms of its adaptability to changing economic relations of production. He notes that people traditionally lived in villages, and when the chief so counselled at the outset of the rains, various members of a household would move their cattle from
the cattle posts to the arable plots where both people and animals would
stay until the harvest was over.
As a result of peasant capitalist formation in Barolong, those who did not accumulate capital through the generation of surplus became vulnerable to sharecropping agreements under disadvantageous terms. The author analyzes how the chiefdom was established as a separate political community in 1970.
The Tribal Land Act, he argues, seemed to have been designed to leave
existing land rights intact, while simultaneously changing thle agency of
distribution and management.
Throughout this analysis women are not mentioned as a group who were
particularly disadvantaged in peasant-capitalist formation.
Comaroff, John L. and Simon Roberts. "Marriage and Extra-Marital Sexuality:
The Dialectics of Legal Change Among the Kgatla." Journal of African Law,
Vol. 21, No. 1, 1977: 97-123.
This article examines the changes that have occurred in marriage practices
among the Kgatla since Isaac Schapera wrote on this subject in 1953. Labor
migration has produced transformations. Women are no longer under the
close scrutiny of their male guardians (fathers). When a child is born out
of wedlock women now are able to seek compensation or child support from
jural authorities, whereas beforehand a claim against the father of the
child had to be made by the guardian. Polygyny is rare but has been replaced with serial monogomy; formal marriage negotiations can now be
conducted between a man and a woman instead of between the guardians of two corporate groups; and restitution for a promise of marriage with subsequent
bearing of children can be sought by individual females. Fines are also
receivable by individual women instead of guardians, and are generally paid
in cattle. The authors conclude that judicial institutions provide the
public context wherein the logic of social order--and thus, of social
change--may be apprehended and articulated by the Kgatla themselves; and it is this process which, in expressing the dialectic between social principle
and its normative negotiation, underpins the dynamic of the legal system.
Commonwealth Fund for Technical Co-operation. The Horticulture Industry of
Botswana: With Implications for Domestic Consumption and Export
Opportunities. Toronto: Resource Management Consultants, Ltd., 1976.
Cooper, David. Rural-Urban Migration and Female-Headed Households in Botswana
Towns: Case Studies of Unskilled Women Workers and Female Self-Employment
in a Site and Service Area Selebi-Phikwe. Gaborone: Central Statistics
Office, National Migration Study, Working Paper No. 11, 1979.
Presents twelve biographical case studies based on interviews with female heads of households. The biographies focus specifically on women who are unemployed, self-employed on a small-scale, or unskilled wage earners, and
who have built their own compounds in town. (Eicher Bibliography)
Although the author indicates that each one of these cases is atypical, in
their composite aspects these women's lifestyles are indeed typical.
Female urban squatters rely on beer brewing to generate income. Where
enough is generated a female might enter into a cultivating partnership
with a friend or relative in the rural areas to grow crops for sale in
urban markets. Sometimes crops are grown by relatives in the rural areas
and brought in by them for sale. In 1975 when one female sold beans and
groundnuts, she grossed P90, but in selling sorghum and maize she grossed P228 profit. Reciprocal exchange also exists between urban squatters and rural peasants--melons, sweet reed and maize are sent to the city, while money, sugar and tobacco are sent from the city. These coping strategies
are really an extension of the semi-proletarianization of the African
economy begun in the colonial phase with laborers semi-dependent on both
wages and rural production. Mines did not pay a sufficient wage to cover
the cost of social reproduction; thus the cost of reproducing the family
was shared between wage earners and rural agriculturalists. The
"oscillating migrant" gave rise to the rural female-headed household.
Women have access to land either through their parents or through. direct
appeal to land boards or tribal authorities, but do not have easy access to
cattle. These are inherited by males as well as herded and cared for by
them. Women can acquire cattle through cash savings. When women are hired
to perform traditional agricultural tasks they are generally paid in kind
or in reciprocal assistance rather than in cash (which men receive for
clearing land, ploughing and planting).
The domestic division of labor has changed little since the 19th Century.
With oscillating male migrant labor, the addition of agricultural and farm
management tasks to the female burden has resulted in the need to renegotiate the domestic division of labor.
Where females find urban employment, kin networks provide informal creche
services for children. Even though a wage-earning job may be found, incomes .are supplemented in several ways, primarily by brewing beer and by holding beer and food parties. Hawking vegetables grown by relatives in the rural areas was problematic in Phikwe because members of a religious
sect had cornered the market.
Women traditionally care for sheep and goats while males care for cattle.
A three-generational matrifocal chain of relationships appears to be the
female urban squatter's support network--the female head of household relies upon her mother in the rural areas and vice-versa for the support and
sustenance of her children and for the reproduction of the social unit.
Links with male relatives are diminishing in overall importance although a
substitute father for a woman's children is sought in the form of a brother
or a mother's brother who is seen as being able to give advice, care, or
ploughing assistance when needed.
Curtis, 0. "Cash Brewing in a Rural Economy." Botswana Notes and Records,
Vol. 5, 1979:: 17-25.
Although the traditional sorghum beer, bajalwa, was used in a variety of
economic/socLal settings among most of the agricultural groups in Botswana, beer brewing has taken on different significance in Manyana and Mankgodi in
the southeastern part of the country since the advent of the cash economy.
In some cases particular women become known for preparing good beer, and their compounds become places where people gather and where tankards are
purchased and taken home to be enjoyed in the milieu of good friends. In
other cases, several women might pool their resources to brew beer and
share the profits much like a rotating credit society.
The agricultural calendar ends with the harvest and with people living at
home during September, October and November before the new season's ploughing gets underway. This is-the period of the year when much beer is
brewed. The study found that the households with greater resources could brew more beer. Those headed by widows or single women lacked the labor
resources to be successful beer brewers. Proceeds from brewing and selling beer augment the domestic budget. Money can also be used for taxes,
school fees, or the purchase of stock--all of which are generally the husband's responsibility.
Women reported that the value of a poor sorghum harvest can be increased 100% by using the sorghum to brew beer and then selling it, thus making
maximum use of resources. (The author notes this was also done to milled
corn that was distributed in a "work for food" program during a famine
Other sources of income in the rural areas are highly unreliable; thus, beer brewing is an income-generating strategy which reduces the risk of starvation. The most successful strategy in the Manyana households was
labor migration (68% of 190 households surveyed reported one or more
Curtis, Donald. "The Social Organization of Ploughing." Botswana Notes and
Records, Vol. 4, 1972: 67-80.
This is a descriptive survey of 279 households, carried out in June/.July 1971 in the Manyana area, where ploughing is usually done with a team of
six or eight beasts. Ideally, the animals should be oxen, but if these are
not available, bulls, cows and heifers are used. Results show uneven
ownership of cattle and widespread use of mafisa cattle.
The practice of mafisa entails an owner giving some of his cattle or goats to another who cares for the animals, milks and works them and receives the
first calf as payment on caring for the animals. Other practices differ slightly in that the caregiver is not paid with a calf for his services, but he may use the animals for ploughing during the period he cares for
Tswana ploughing customs involve one operation with corn, sorghum, beans
and various cucurbit seeds thrown upon the section of the field to be
ploughed. The soil is then turned covering weeds and covering seeds
(plough-planting) with a broad mouldboard plough. The spread of quick
grass has altered this practice and a two-part operation (turning the soil
and planting) has been instituted to choke the effect of weeds and ease the
burden of hoeing. Where more than one ploughing is required (as a result
of changes in planting practices) sharing of oxen with neighbors is reduced
as animals are required on one farm for longer periods. This has consequences for social relationships.
The practice of "putting in hands" to help one farmer who has draught animals is reciprocated by the oxen owner lending out his spans to his assistants. In this way, the author notes, a widow sent her two grandsons to work for two oxen owners and thus had two spans at her disposal when she wanted to plant. Women who own ploughs but no animals can make exchange
arrangements with neighbors. The difficulties in these arrangements center
on timing. Where loans of animals are made on a short-time basis (peak season), owners of the beasts take care of their fields first. In cases
where animals are "hired", ploughing might be done in good time. Widows and single women, who do not have males to help them, brew beer to earn
money to hire both labor and draught animals.
The bond between brothers and sisters is instrumental in sharing animals
and labor. The author argues that since sisters and their children are not in competition for the assets of inheritance there is more cooperation than
with sisters-in-law who may be living in the same area (the paternal
A conclusion the author reached about those who "plough alone" is insightful: those who plough alone must have sufficient draught power at their
disposal, and the ability by negotiation, chance, or at the cost of offending the norms of cooperation within the family, to avoid obligations. Thus
the ability to plough appears to be a function of wealth or a function of
Draper, P. "!.Kung Women: Contrasts in Sexual Egalitarianism in Foraging and
Sedentary Contexts" in R. P. Reiter (ed.) Toward an Anthropology of
Women. New York: Monthly Review Press (1975): 77-109.
Draper attempts to alter the view of !Kung women's work as uninteresting and unchallenging by analyzing the tremendous ecological knowledge these
women possess in order to gather appropriate foods at the time they are
ripe. She also notes the social processes in which women partake when
gathering in groups. !Kung women retain control over their own production
and can redistribute it as a gift to band members.
Although there is a distinct division of labor, especially concerning food gathering, other tasks might be shared. The author noted that while women
traditionally build houses, men sometimes perform these tasks. Fetching
water is generally women's work, but when the water source is quite distant
men will haul it. Among sedentary !Kung, however, gender roles are more
rigidly adhered to. To grow food, men clear the fields and erect brush
fences around the gardens, while women perform the rest of the agricultural tasks. The diet of sorghum, maize, squash, melon, etc., does not offer the
same rich nutritional variation as was available in more nomadic settings.
The overall effect of sedentism, as the author asserts, is the decrease in
women's autonomy and influence relative to that of men.
Duggan, William R. Informal Markets, Technology and Employment on Arable Land
in Botswana. Gaborone: Ministry of Agriculture, ALDEP Employment Study,
Paper 11, 1978.
Egner, E. B. and A. L. Klausen. Poverty in Botswana. Gaborone: University
College of Botswana, National Institute of Development and Cultural
Research Documentation Unit, Working Paper No. 29, 1980.
Eicher, Shirley F. Rural Development in Botswana A Select Bibliography
1966-1980. Washington, 0. C.: African Bibli-ographic Center, 1981.
This bibliography is a very valuable resource. Among the categories of
materials the author either noted or annotated are government documents,
analyses of agriculture, development, education and training, employment,
labor and migration, health and nutrition, land tenure and land use, livestock, marketing, cooperatives and credit and women in development. Many
of Eicher's annotations have been noted and utilized in this selected
Fair, T. J. D. Towards Balanced Spatial Development in Botswana. Pretoria:
The Africa Isitute of South Africa, 1979.
Family Health Care, Inc. and Africare. Health and Development in Southern
Africa, Vol. VIII. A Review of Health Care in Botswana: Issues, Analyses, and Recommendations. Washin-gton, D. C.: AID, Southern Africa Development
Analysis Program, 1978.
The major causes for morbidity in Botswana are respiratory and gastrointestinal ailments, and pulmonary tuberculosis is a major cause for hospitalization. Malnutrition is uncommon, but chronic undernourishment is more
prevalent due to lack of total food intake.
Urban migration has been running about 16% annually for the past several
High nitrate concentrates in water from boreholes and groundwater supplies
has affected children. It is envisioned that by 1985 all villages with
more than 500 inhabitants and 2/3 of settlements with less than 500 will be
supplied with safe water. It is intended that nobody should have to walk.
more than 400 meters to the nearest standpipe.
Women of child-bearing age comprise 20% of the population. Family welfare
educators--mainly women--receive three months of pre-service training to
work in their villages on local health problems--child care, immunizations,
family planning and nutrition. The educators are chosen by Village
Reported population statistics include a growth rate of 2.6%; a low mortality rate, and a low infant mortality rate of 97/1000 births. Fertility
is 6.5 births per woman. Child bearing is spaced in accordance with the
belief that a woman should not conceive until her last child has been
weaned at about 18 months.
Recruiting women for nurses' training is difficult because other careers
offering better salaries and working conditions are available. Early
marriage, child-bearing and family obligations are additional facts which
cause a drop out among nurses trained.
Finch, Glenda S. and Peter 0. Way. Country Demographic Profiles Botswana.
Washington, D. C.: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census,
In 1978 approximately 80,200 females and 65,200 males were enrolled in primary school. During that same year approximately 8,900 females and
7,000 males were enrolled in secondary schools.
In 1971, 67.9% (140,000) of the total female population 10 years and older
worked in family agriculture, while 5.8% (12,000), worked for a salary;
66.7% of the male population (107,100), worked in family agriculture,
while 23.4% (37,600) worked for a salary.
The projected mid-year population for 1980 was the following:
Total 794,700 Male 367,300 Female 427,400
Fortmann, Louise. Women's Agriculture in a Cattle Economy. Gaborone:
Ministry of Agriculture, 1981.
Two problems seem to affect women in agriculture more than men: access to
draught power and labor. Over 50% of female headed households (varying
between 20% and 43% of the total) own no cattle; of those who did own them,
60% had ten or fewer. Average small stock herd size was 5.1 for females.
Households without sufficient draught power generally plough late as oxen
must be borrowed after they have been used by their owners. Where animals
are not available there must be ready cash to pay for the hiring of a
tractor and a man to drive it. Such cash outlays reduce profit per acre.
Women do undertake ploughing with animal draught when necessary, but this activity is incompatible with pregnancy, carrying small children and the
completion of household chores. While women might hire some of the labor
power, it is generally thought to be unreliable due to low wage rates.
Poorer females hire themselves out to other farmers on a sharecropping
basis known as majeko. Arguments for and against women remaining in agriculture are examined in the conclusion. Recommendations are made concerning what might be done to either eliminate or accommodate the
special constraints women face in agricultural production.
. Women's Involvement in High Risk Arable Agriculture: The Botswana
Case. Washington, D. C.: AID, 1980.
The author begins her study with a review of the literature on women in agriculture in Botswana. A point she stresses is that women have little access to draught power for cultivating and few or no cattle to serve as "savings on the hoof." Incomes of female headed households are not substantially increased by remittances from husbands working in the mines in South Africa, so that 54% of these households earn below the poverty line
set at P395/year. Access to labor for these households is also problematic
in that the quality, reliability and quantity of time of male laborers is
always open to conjecture.
An analysis of data collected from a Water Points Survey is presented.
Women stated that lack of seed was yet another problem in growing more crops. Since women gain access to draught power later in the planting
season, they are unable to fully utilize the land they have. Thus, their
harvests are smaller and they are unable to save sufficient seed from their
harvests to plant in the following year.
Policy issues are considered in the following section. Fortmann notes the
creation of the post of Agricultural Officer for Women's Extension, but
this has not solved the labor and draught problems. She points out difficulties in making draught or tractor power available (insufficient arable
land, no room for grazing, operating costs) and in providing incentives for increasing agricultural production. She asserts that one way to keep women
in agriculture, opposing the already-existing transformation of women's
work to more artisan and market-focused occupations, is to provide direct
subsidies to women. Additional funds could be utilized to solve both labor
and draught problems.
The report concludes with a recommendation that agricultural researchers move off the research station and on to the farm to discern the specific
problems of women so that more relevant solutions can be developed.
Fortmann, Louise P. and Emery M. Roe. Common Property or Scarce Resource: The
Management of Dams in Botswana. (fZ publishing informatI'o
A discussion of the function of dam groups. Dam groups were proposed as a solution to "poorly managed dams," i.e., those dams which had been subject to severe overgrazing and overstocking pressures through time. The strategy held that a group which was given exclusive rights of use over the dam
would conserve the water and grazing resources and thereby manage the dam
better. While some groups have been quite successful recently in other
enterprises in Botswana, most of these dam groups failed to manage the dams
according to government procedures. Some groups were created by agricultural extension staff rather than rising in response to a community initiative. Some were, in a sense, a means of getting something for nothing,
since these groups were not required to contribute more than a token amount
of money and only in a few cases labor as a prerequisite for obtaining exclusive rights of use. There was in some cases a lengthy hiatus (two
years or more) between the formation of the group and the building of the
dam which was itself done with a minimum of participation. Failure of the
government to finish equipping some dams led to these not being formally turned over to the groups. Groups were sometimes expected to undertake
tasks which made little sense to them--planting on a dam wall grass which was unlikely to survive livestock trampling; encouraging people to use a hand pump rather than simply turning their cattle loose in the reservoir.
Moreover, the dam groups, which were meant to be limited groups (intended
for not more than twenty people with no more than four hundred livestock units), ran afoul of the traditional perception that water and the water
source are common property, the access of which should not be denied to anyone, especially those in need. Dam groups were thus often loathe to
restrict access or collect fees from users, whether they were members of
the group or not. Also, many dams only incrementally extended the availability of the rainy season supply of water in any given area and hence
were of marginal importance in the water user strategy of maintaining yearlong access to water. Differing perceptions of the same water point by dam groups and by government are at the heart of the management and participation issues. (Sociological Abstracts)
Fox, Ray S. Farm Management Survey Results. Gaborone: Division of Planning
and Statistics, Ministry of Agriculture, 1981.
The fourth in a series of farm management survey reports covering 19701980, this writing continues to document trends and variations in weather and how it effects both crop and livestock production. The objectives of
the survey are: to describe farm enterprise organization, to identify
physical and financial returns in the form of input-output and cost-returns data for individual crop and livestock enterprises, to establish standards for planning and decision-making purposes and to identify changes in agricultural production practices adopted by farmers over time. Data was
collected from farmers at nine collection stations: Polokwe in Ngwaketse
North, Gakgatla in Kweneng South, Mookane in Mahalapye, Maunatlala in
Palopye, Masunga in Tate, Matobo in Tutume and Gorokhu in Ngamiland East.
The other two stations were established in Ngamiland but data were not
included in this report. Methodologically, data was stratified by station, by female farmers with and without adequate draught power and by males with
and without adequate draught power. Data presented in tabular form are
comprehensive and provide information according to gender.
Some of the findings of the survey include the following. Crops were grown by 91% of survey farmers with sorghum grown by 92% of crop-growing farmers
(constituting 45% of planted area), maize grown by 95% of crop farmers (29%
of planted area) and beans by 81% of farmers (14% of planted area). The average area devoted to crops in 1980 by survey farmers was 5.7 hectares, but 45% of farmers planted on less than 4 hectares and 16% planted 10 or
Among survey farmers, males with adequate draught power had net incomes
from crops about double that of females. This is attributable to 31% of female farmers using tractor power compared to 12% of males (with a variable cost to females 56% greater than to males), to female farmers planting
smaller amounts of land and to females receiving slightly lower commodity prices on their crops. Females with inadequate draught power had higher
crop incomes than males. Farmers with the highest per hectare income from
crops tend to have lower incomes per livestock unit from their livestock
activities and vice versa.
Since certain of the specific findings on crop production are relevant to this Resource Guide, they are presented below in full rather than in abstract form.
Of the 120 FMS sample farmers 92 percent or 110 farmers planted crops in
1980. Following are selected summary findings of those farmers' practices
1. Plowing practices--Cattle were the primary source of draft power used for plowing in the spring of 1979. They provided the draft power for 72 percent of the farmers, donkeys 16 percent and tractors 12 percent. Only one of the lO farmers fall plowed their crop land for the 1980 crop. Of the remaining farmers 41 percent plowed after the first planting rain while the remaining 58 percent plowed later. Forty-four percent of the farmers who plowed later did so because of inadequate draft power and another 44 percent because their draft animals were in poor condition. The reason the latter was so high was because of the poor grazing conditions that prevailed during most of 1979 in many areas of Botswana.
Although only one farmer plowed in the fall of 1979, 53 percent of all the farmers fall plowed at one time or another in the past. Of these farmers 38 percent felt weeds were a greater problem, while 35 percent thought they were less when fall plowed. Sixty-seven percent of the same farmers felt that their yields were the same or less when fall plowed. Of all the farmers, 17 percent said that they would not fall plow in the future primarily because they did not think it was beneficial.
2. Planting Practices--Broadcasting seed just prior to plowing continues to be the most dominant method of seeding crops. The broadcast seeding method only was used by 84 percent of the farmers. An additional eight percent did both row planting and broadcasting. Sixty-two percent of these farmers said that they did not row plant because they did not have nor could they afford to buy a planter. However, 84 percent of these farmers said that they plan to row plant some time in the future.
Of those farmers who seeded their crops by broadcasting, 76 percent practice mixed cropping. Somewhat more than half of these farmers practice mixed cropping to save time especially when rains are late and 44 percent felt it was more reliable in low rainfall years. In addition, 30 percent believed mixed cropping required less labor.
Some farmers, 38 percent, intentionally stagger their planting dates. Of these farmers, 79 percent stagger their plantings to improve the chance that some of their crops would be in a growth cycle that could best utilize the rainfall pattern of the year. In addition, 38 percent of these farmers staggered their plantings to spread out their labor inputs over a longer period of time.
When planting the 1980 crop 25 percent of the farmers used seed from their previous year's production. When selecting their seed, 73 percent made their selection in the field from standing crops. The remainder of the farmers selected their seed from their crops while in storage. Twenty-five percent of the farmers acquired their seed from cooperatives, 20 percent from the drought relief program and about 12 percent each from BAMB, private traders and friends or neighbors. The type of seed most often acquired from outside sources was sorghum followed by maize then beans.
3. Fertilizer Practices--Only two of the 110 survey farmers growing crops used chemical fertilizers on their 1980 crops.
Manure is a more commonly used fertilizer. Thirty-one percent of the
farmers said that they had used manure during the last five years. All of the farmers that used manure said it improved yield. of the 69 percent of
the farmers that did not use kraal manure 34 percent said they had no way
of transporting the manure from the kraal to their fields. Twenty-one percent felt that manure didn't improve yield while another 20 percent said it
required too much labor. A significant 14 percent said that they knew
nothing about the use of manure as a crop production input.
To get an understanding of the amount of kraal manure available and its
location, farmers were asked where they kraaled their animals relative to
their fields and for how long. Eighty-four percent or 101 of the survey
farmers had livestock. Of these farmers, 63 percent kraaled some or all of their livestock some time during the year. The average number of livestock
unit months that animals were kraaled (night time only) was 107 of which
100 livestock unit months were cattle and 7 were small stock. Assuming
that 5 kilograms of kraal manure is produced daily per livestock unit then
107 livestock unit months would yield about 16 tons. This is approximately
what is required for one hectare. Thus the average farmer with livestock who crops between five and six hectares would be able to manure all their
crop land about once in every five years or so.
The average distance between kraal and crop land is relatively short at 0.8
kilometers. Seventy-eight percent of the farmers who kraaled their livestock had their kraals within one kilometer of their crop land.
The farmers were asked if their land was producing as well as previously.
Half of the farmers felt that their land was producing less well than it
did before. As a result of this 44 percent of these farmers said that they
would apply manure or fertilizer, 32 percent said they would keep farming
as they have been in the past and 14 percent said they would abandon their
4. Weeding Practices--Survey farmers generally weed their crops once
during the year. Seventy-five percent of the farmers weeded their crops
once in 1980 while 23 percent performed this activity twice or more. The remaining two percent did no weeding at all. Of these farmers who weeded
only once 74 percent did so because they did not have enough labor to do more weeding. Twenty-nine percent of these farmers felt one weeding was
The hand hoe was used almost exclusively for weeding purposes. Ninety-nine of' the farmers used the hoe for some or all of their weeding needs. Of the
16 percent of the farmers who did some row planting 33 percent used a cultivator on some of their crops. The reason 92 percent of the farmers who
row planted but did not use a cultivator was because they did not have
* access to one.
5. Water Sources, Fencing and Lands Area Occupancy Practices--Almost one* half of the survey farmers or someone from their household stay permanently
on their lands area. About one-fourth of the farmers go to their lands
area for plowing and planting then leave and return occasionally during the crop growing season and for harvest. Another one-fourth of the farmers go
to their lands area for plowing and stay until harvesting is completed
before returning to their villages.
Boreholes provide 40 percent of the survey farmers with their water needs at the lands area. Thirty-three percent acquired their water from wells
while 28 percent do so from rivers and pans.
Thirty-four percent of all the survey farmers have their crop land fenced.
Of these farmers, 70 percent have bush fences and 38 percent have wire
fences. Also, 26 percent of all the farmers have some protection of their
crop land through the presence of community built drift fences.
Garforth, C. J. Crop Husbandry in Southern Botswana: Report of a Knowledge,
Attitudes and Practices Study. Gaborone: Ministry of Agriculture,
Evaluation and Action Research Unit, Agricultural Information Services,
Examines the attitudes toward crop husbandry in Kweneng North and Ngwaketse
North, in conjunction with the preparation of an educational campaign on
crop husbandry. (Eicher Bibliography)
Gibbon, D. Dryland Crop Production Systems in Semi-Arid Botswana: Their
Limitations and Potential for Improvement. Norwich: University of East Anglia (Overseas Development Group, Development Studies Reprint 1), 1974.
Gibbon, D., J. Harvey and K. Hubbard. "A Minimum Tillage System for Botswana."
World Crops, Vol. 25, No. 11, Sept./Oct. 1974.
This article explains the design and various functions of the "versatool,"
an animal-drawn tool which has several attachments for several operations:
overall sweeps, overall chisel plough, marking out, subsoil plough,
planter, steerage hoe and fertilizer application. The tool can be helpful
in cultivating cowpeas.
Gollifer, David, Theo Wilcocks and David Salmon. "Dryland Farming." Botswana,
No. 5 (n.d): 27-31.
Timing is crucial to seed planting and seed-bed preparation since more than half of the semi-arid soils of Botswana form clods as a result of sporadic
rainfall patterns. Primary tillage breaks open the soil surface and allows
rain water to penetrate the soil and reduce run-off of water. Reduced
tillage techniques need to be devised, therefore, which require less
draught energy. Two types of crop production systems have been developed-one using a traditional mouldboard plough and the other an animal-drawn
tool bar, the former being used in the autumn before soils dry up and oxen
are still in good condition. Autumn ploughing allows for spring rains to
easily penetrate the soil and enhance the preparation of seedbeds and
early planting in November and December.
Crop rotations in the dryland areas are as follows: sorghum, sunflower,
sorghum, cowpeas, sorghum, and maize.
Graff, 3. F. "The Brigades of Botswana." Social Dynamics, Vol. 6, No. 1,
June 1980: 25-35.
The Botswana Brigades attempted to apply socialist principles of education
within an underdeveloped capitalist country. Their success in this
endeavor is examined on the basis of published reports. While they now
supply a significant proportion of skilled artisans in Botswana, they have drifted away from their original philosophy and have failed in the spheres
of activity most essential to a less developed country: agriculture and
rural development. (Sociological Abstracts)
Grant, Sandy. "Old Struggles, New Hopes." Botswana, No. 4, n.d.: 53-57.
The common sequence of family disintegration resulting from male heads of household going to work in the mines is as follows: absent husband finds second wife, contact with the home ceases, support dries up and the women,
mother and wife, are left to struggle all alone as best they can.
Where a family has a substantial number of cattle, occasional sales to the meat commission help meet larger expenses while sorghum and beans serve as
the family staple.
Grivetti, L. E. "Nutritional Success in a Semi-Arid Land: Examination of
Tswana Agro-Pastoralists of the Eastern Kalahari, Botswana." American
Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 31, No. 7, July 1978: 1204-1220.
This study, which was undertaken between April 1973 and May 1975, focuses
on dietary traditions and nutritional status of the Moshaweng Tlokwa, a Tswana agro-pastoral society in Tlokweng, Southeast District, Botswana.
The author found that during July-September families live in villages, but with the onset of the rains in October, families move to homesites at the interface between agricultural fields and communal grazing lands 6-12 kms.
from the village.
Nutritional success during severe drought falls into five broad categories:
1) diversified food base, 2) food preservation techniques, 3) cooking
methods, 4) dietary practices, and 5) food distribution mechanisms.
Food Base--Of 126 holdings examined, the following agricultural crops were noted: sorghum (16 varieties)--99%; maize (6 varieties)--40%; sweet reeds
(6 varieties) 37%; cowpeas--44%; tepary beans--27%; peanuts--15%; hem
squash--58%; pumpkin--33%; watermelon--29%. Of 145 household gardens examined, the following horticultural crops were noted: maize--50%, sweet
reed--27%; peanuts--41%; potatoes--lO%; pumpkin--25%; gem squash--19%;
watermelon--13%; tomatoes--34%; peaches--32%; black mulberries--30%;
oranges--18%; grapes--16%; papaya--15%; pears--13%; figs--12%;
Preservation Techniques--Foods are sun-dried, salted, parched, or fermented. Leaves of several wild and domesticated species may be cooked,
sundried, and stored for winter use.
Food Storage--Traditionally each family compound had its own mud, timber and thatch silos, with the headman or chief erecting a separate silo for
communal food resources to be distributed at a time of greater need. The silo tradition, the author contends, has been abandoned and grain is now
stored in rough burlap sacks and kept dry under protective plastic tarps or sheets of galvanized metal. Freshly harvested and sun-dried vegetables are
stored in burlap or leather bags and unhulled legumes are stored in the
same manner. Cracked pots, no longer serviceable as water or cooking
containers, hold small quantities of grain, legumes or wild seeds.
Cooking Methods--All varieties of legumes are boiled whole in the pod.
After cooking, the shells are split, seeds consumed and pods discarded.
Legume pods are eaten, however, during periods of food shortage. All legume dishes are referred to as dikgobe and these are difficult to disaggregate in research. The following combinations, however, were noted:
peanuts mixed with boiled, stamped maize flour; peanuts blended with boiled
sorghum; beans mixed with boiled maize flour and cracked maize kernels.
Cowpea leaves are commonly stewed and served with meals as green vegetables
or as relishes.
Dietary Practices--Three meals are prepared daily--a breakfast of sorghum porridge, a mid-day meal of meat, stiff porridge and green vegetables and
an evening meal of leftovers from the mid-day meal. Children are breastfed
for about one year and are weaned on to thin gruels or porridges prepared
from sorghum. Encouragement to abandon breast feeding is conducted by smearing a paste made from chicken dung, hot spices or tobacco on the
nipples. Boys and girls are forbidden to eat the meat of certain animals
and honey due to the belief that consumption promotes forgetfulness. Girls
are not allowed to eat eggs for a number of reasons related to fertility
and child bearing. Pregnant women have special diets which strongly favor the inclusion of dishes prepared from stewed green leaves, especially those
from domesticated cowpea or selected wild species. Great quantities of
green-leafy vegetables are served to mothers in the months after delivery,
but the ingestion of all legumes stops until children have been weaned.
Food Distribution--When an animal is killed, meat is distributed according
to sex, age and social status. In times of food shortage, relatives ask
each other for food before going to the chief for a gift.
The author concludes on a note of warning--should the Tlokwa embark upon cash crop farming on a large scale, the damage done to the environment in
clearing the bush will endanger the plant species which have provided these
people with the diversity of foodstuffs for survival. If diversity cannot
be maintained, the Tlokwa face an uncertain future.
Guenther, M. G. "Bushman Hunters as Farm Laborers in the Ghanzi District of
Botswana." Canadian Journal of African Studies, Vol. 11, No. 2, 1977:
This is a study of how San people have adapted to sedentary agricultural
practices, even though they have traditionally been hunters and gatherers.
The study covers about 4,000 people who have become a part of the labor
force of the rural economy. This labor force is employed almost totally
on white cattle farms which number about 300.
The author notes that even within the farm community, San "camps" or
"bands" remain together thus maintaining traditional social organization.
Problems in adaption center on three points: the nomadic-type lifestyle of bands, the inability to accumulate stock holdings and an inability to "make
do" on the lower-than-subsistence wages, the attitudes of non-San people
toward the San--e.g., "once a hunter, always a hunter."
While no comment is made specifically about women, it is ascertained that
where San join the labor force a number of gender-related issues will
Gulbrandsen, Ornulf. Agro-Pastoral Production and Communal Land Use, A SocioEconomic Study of the Bangwaketse. Gaborone: Ministry of Agriculture,
Rural Sociology Unit, 1980.
Discusses rural poverty and the increasing absolute number of poor households which have very few cattle and which produce crops below the subsistence level. Examines the increasing pressure on communal land resources
and the serious danger of deterioration of grazing land. (Eicher
. On Socio-Organizational Aspects of the Bangwaketse Land Tenure
System with Special Reference to the Tribal Grazing Land Policy. Bergen,
Norway: University of Bergen, 1978.
Discusses the implementation of the TGLP within the Bangwaketse territory,
and man's relationship to his land and to the community with regard to
land. (Eicher Bibliography)
Hamilton, Andrew G. A Review of Post-Harvest Technologies, Botswana. Ottawa:
Canadian University Service Overseas, 1975.
This report is an in-depth analyses of agricultural practices, storage
techniques and facilities, marketing and distribution channels, utilization
of sorghum as the crop most widely grown, and the results of a rural consumer food preference and storage survey in Kweneng District. The survey
makes the point that rural women earn most of their income from beer brewing (from sorghum). No less than 40% of the households are headed by women
and this figure does not include those women who are nominal household
heads while their husbands and/or fathers are temporarily absent from the
area on labor migration.
The three crops most widely grown in the survey area are sorghum, maize and
cowpeas. Wood and manure ash are commonly used insect preventatives in
storage. Where cowpeas are stored, damage levels are higher than for the
other two crops. When animals are used, women have to rely on men for
ploughing and carting activities. Estimated legume consumption per person per year is 24.3 kgs or 66 gms/day. These include cowpeas, jugo and mung
beans. They are eaten generally at lunch and dinner time.
Henderson, Francine I. Women in Botswana: An Annotated Bibliography.
Gaborone: University College of Botswana, National Institute of
Development and Cultural Research, Working Bibliography No. 4, 1981.
A general bibliographical guide on women in Botswana with references as to
where each item is found in Botswana.
Higgins, Kathleen M. Women Farmers and Their Training. Gaborone: University
College of Botswana, National -Institute of Development and Cultural
Research, Working Paper No. 39, 1981.
This is an evaluation report of a non-formal education program provided for women by the Ministry of Agriculture at rural training centers. The first
chapter is an overview of the WID perspective and how it bears upon women
in agriculture in Botswana. The second chapter discusses the lack o 'f educational opportunity at all levels for women and broadly outlines the
various departments and institutes which have NFE components. It also details the background of how women's courses in agriculture were introduced at the NFE level. The third chapter describes courses offered at various
training centers including a breakdown of which courses were requested and which were offered, an outline of recruiting and training practices and an
evaluation by the women themselves as to whether or not their needs were
met. The final chapter asks certain evaluative questions of the program in
general and makes several recommendations as to how programs might be
changed to better meet women's needs, including having them participate in
developing their own programs.
Himchey, Madalon T. (ed.) Proceedings on the Symposium on Drought in Botswana.
National Museum, Gaborone, Botswana, June 5-8, 1978. Gaborone: The
Botswana Society, 1979.
Botswana was ill-prepared for the severe drought which affected it during
the 1960s. As there is a strong possibility that extended drought following a series of below-normal rainfall years will occur in the 1980s, and with the lessons of the Sahel drought of the 1970s in mind, the Botswana Government is actively examining strategies and making plans to cope with
future droughts. The Botswana Society organised a symposium in 1978 to
further this obective, and in collaboration with the Government, University
College, Botswana, and Clark University, Massachusetts, invited participants with both local and international expertise from a wide range of
disciplines. The proceedings consist of twenty-eight papers, edited discussions and speeches loosely grouped into the physical and social aspects
of drought and with a substantial final section on combating and ameliorating drought. Many papers are short but all are informative and only
about half relate solely to Botswana so that there is much of interest for
students of other parts of Africa. In view of the increasing need for
inter-disciplinary understanding of such problems as the ecological,
economic and social collapse which may accompany drought, this volume is
one that can be recommended to a wide readership. (Review by R. A. Pullan,
Africa, 50 (2), 1980.)
Hitchcock, Robert K. Kalahari Cattle Posts. Gaborone: Ministry of Local
Government and Lands, October 1978.
This is a preliminary draft describing a number of different people and
their agro-ecological adaptation to the Western Sandveld Region of Central
District. The study includes a profile of the natural environment, the
social environment, the physical and social infrastructure, water source
locations and ownership, the various economic systems of the Sandveld
including hunting and gathering, pastoralism, employment and agriculture.
The study concludes with a number of recommendations to the government relating to the Tribal Grazing Land Policy and a general development policy for the area. The analysis is based on agronomic data and does not disaggregate findings by gender.
________ "Tradition, Social Justice and Land Reform in Central Botswana."
Journal of African Law, Vol. 24, No. 1, Spring, 1980: 1-34.
This article addresses the issue of land tenure as it was altered as a
result of the Tribal Grazing Land Policy of 1975, and how traditional political and social organization have been attenuated as a consequence.
The study focuses particularly on the Ngwato people (a Tswana group) of the east-central Kalahari. Prior to the implementation of the policy, residential and arable lands were divided according to ward affiliation, pastoral
zones were divided for use by several wards, and hunting areas were unallocated. Access to land was through membership in a social group, which was
hierarchically stratified with a chief and his royal family at the apex, commoners who were absorbed through conquest, foreigners who had sought
refuge among the Ngwato, and serfs who were members of other ethnic groups held in low esteem (e.g., the San, the Kgalagadi and the Sarwa). As serfs,
property ownership was denied, and as a result these groups did not own cattle nor did they have access to land for their own use. All of these
practices changed, however, as a result of the policy.
Concerning access to water: all open surface waters were considered tribal property and were accessible to any who needed them for their cattle. However, when an individual sunk a borehole, dug a well or built a dam, the
person responsible had sole use rights over that water. But permission to
make these capital improvements had to be sought from traditional
Concerning land rights: Government-created land boards (1970) transferred land allocation from tribal chiefs to a body of elected and appointed members, although in many instances the transition has not been complete.
Where land was divided into commercial and communal zones, previous occupants in "commercial" areas were forced off the land or became squatters subsisting on gathered or begged-for food. This was especially true for
* non-stockholding populations such as the Sarwa who were never given access
to land and who were traditionally perceived of as hunters with no permanent residence (although every anthropologist writing on hunting-gathering
* populations comments on their territoriality).
The overriding concern of the author is that traditional institutions are
perceived of as being static and unstructured resulting in the political
elite of the country expanding its authority at the expense of local-level organizations. He notes that unwillingness to take into account the comments of tribal authorities 'has already resulted in the failure of a highly
capitalized development project--the AID Range and Livestock Management
Project--and that such lack of success will continue if certain social
variables are not considered.
Hjort, Anders and Wilhelm Ostberg. Farming and Herding in Botswana.
Stockholm: Swedish Agency for Research Cooperation with Developing
Countries, Report No. R:l, 1978.
Surveys literature on farming and herding in Botswana over the last 20-30
years. The authors raise a number of troubling issues about changes in
Tswana society and rural development. The unspoken conclusion is that inequality in rural areas is increasing as Tswana move into the monetized
economy. Recommends more research on who benefits from migration, on
causes of rural inequality and on the role of women in rural development in
Botswana. (Eicher Bibliography)
Farmers in Botswana tend to participate in a number of activities and conduct a mixed farm, mixed crop enterprise to withstand the exigencies of
climate. As a result of overgrazing, the withdrawal of mutual labor to the
mines or cities, etc., the subsistence farmer is becoming more and more.
sub-subsistence. About half the households in any given village live under
While traditional chiefs and herdsmen no longer have power over when sowing and harvesting are to begin, many of these former political leaders
profited from their positions during the colonial period and now often comprise the people who own the local tractor, oxen or plough teams. Political support is maintained by a chief pledging the use of his farm equipment
to his supporters.
Households headed by single mothers have few or no cattle. They lack an
economic base to establish an independent household and thus are dependent
upon the male members of their families.
Due to the scarcity of water, cattle are taken to cattle posts which can be quite distant from the homestead. In such cases, and when the family does not have sufficient resources to hire herdsmen, it is possible that
both fathers and mothers may live at the post during the dry season. The
authors note that this is especially the case when arrangements can be made
to house school-age children so that when parents go to the posts, the
children will be taken care of.
Government development programs to improve herding practices and the quality of livestock and to develop marketing systems, etc., have largely
benefitted the economic elite of the cattle industry--who themselves may be government officials. In such situations, increasing numbers of the rural
population must gain their livelihood from activities other than herding.
Settlements have become more dispersed a3 a result of fragmentation brought
about by the increasing inability of chiefs and headmen to allocate land.
* Cultivable fields as well as cattle posts are the locales for many new
* homes. This movement has tended to isolate social units and has precipitated interaction on the basis of mutual commercial interests and formal
agreements rather than familial loyalties and obligations.
Hudson, Derek J. "Rural Incomes in Botswana." Botswana Notes and Records,
Vol. 9, 1977: 101-108.
Reports on a sample survey to measure rural *incomes, including the statistical distribution of income among citizen households in rural areas of
Botswana; the extent of relative poverty; the extent of absolute poverty; the contributions of various sources of income to the total household income; the relation of income to the number of cattle owned by the household. Also analyzes certain socioeconomic characteristics such as size of
household, how household members spend their time, fertility patterns of
mothers, etc. (Eicher Bibliography)
Income was generated through the following activities: 1) sale of maize,
sorghum and millet crop, as well as of beans and peas (a high proportion of the latter was sold due to favorable prices); 2) sale of small stock (goats
and sheep); 3) employment in areas ranging from the full-time "modern" to
casual subsistence sector (e.g., temporary reaper of crops at harvest);
4) beer brewing; 5) petty commodity production, and other means. Data on
the distribution of the incomes earned through these activities was not
disaggregated by gender.
* Institut D'Etudes Economiques et Sociales. Transformation of Customary Land
Tenure Systems as a Result of Socio-Economic and Political Change: The
Case of Botswana. Paper prepared for the World Conference on Agrarian
Reform and Rural Development, July 12, 1979, Paris.
Describes changes in land tenure and land utilization, and discusses
problems relating to land reform. (Eicher Bibliography)
Izzard, Wendy. Rural-Urban Migration in a Developing Country: The Case of
Women Migrants in Botswana. D. Phil. Thesis, Oxford University, 1982.
A more detailed and comprehensive account than the fieldwork report
________ Rural-Urban Migration of Women in Botswana, Final Fieldwork
Report. Gaborone: Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, Central
Statistics Office, National Migration Study; Ministry of Agriculture, Rural
Sociology Unit, 1979.
Presents some preliminary results drawn from nine months' fieldwork in
Botswana on rural-urban migration to Gaborone, focusing on women who are heads of households. The research emphasizes the following topics: the
emergence of female-headed households and the matrifocality of the family group; the stages of formation, growth and decay of the life-cycle of the
household in terms of support; the generational structure of these
households; the interdependence of female-headed households; the decisionmaking process in migration; the degree of permanency of the migration, and
the social and economic problems encountered by these women and how such
problems can be overcome. (Eicher Bibliography)
The author interviewed 84 female household heads in Gaborone and 61 in the
villages of Kanye, Ramotswa and Oodi. Methodologically, she used a life
history matrix format to ascertain information on migration. Under
"Emergence of Female-Headed Households" Izzard defines matrifocality as a situation where jurally, children are not necessarily affiliated to their
father's kin and where in terms of domestic relations and child rearing,
the mother and maternal kin predominate. A full 82% of the sample interviewed fell into this category. Matrifocality tends to correspond with the declining importance, both socially and economically, of the father-figure within Tswana society. This may be due to the changing pattern of economic relations where rural women are legally allowed to own their land and urban
women can support themselves through formal employment. Moreover, a century of male labor migration made females de facto heads of household; with
legal and economic independence, women have become de jure heads of household. She notes that female heads who have not had adult males live with
them predominate in the urban areas while female heads who are widows,
divorced or separated predominate in the rural areas. Some 69% of the latter households are older (past child-bearing age). of those in the city,
61% first resided with relatives and friends in Gaborone before establishing their own households.
While migration of a female to Gaborone is seen as bringing potential benefit through remittances to the rural household, the study revealed that 36%o
of the urban women were supported solely by their parents at the birth of
Some 77% of rural women either owned or borrowed land, but many had not
ploughed for several years due to the unavailability of labor. In discussing why women migrate, the author makes the following points: educating a
daughter predetermines her migration to town; unmarried mothers must earn income to support their children and that need guides women to migrate; as women rarely set up their own households in town immediately, the presence
of a relative or friend with whom to stay might enhance the decision to
The paper concludes with a number of policy recommendation on how to
address the needs of female-headed households, and how the government
needs to change its perceptions of women to that of human captial which
should not be wasted.
Kann, Ulla. Voluntary Women's Organizations in Botswana. Gaborone: Swedish
International Development Authority (SIDA), 1979.
Kerven, Carol. "Academics, Practitioners and All Kinds of Women in
Development: A Reply to Peters." Journal of Southern African Studies,
Vol. 10, No. 2, April 1984: 259-268.
In critiquing Peters' article ("Gender, Developmental Cycles and Historical
Process: A Critique of Recent Research on Women in Botswana" in Vol. 10,
No. 1, 1983), Kerven attempts to correct some of the misconceptions Peters
has given rise to. The first point relevant to this bibliography is that
of female-headed households and how policy does not adequately address this
issue. Kerven notes that the phenomenon of female headed household was
first brought to the attention of the Government by Bond in the early
1970s. It received wider focus as more researchers found that such households are more disadvantaged than those with a male head. This conclusion
prompted more finely-honed research by the author who found that female headed households are a highly heterogenous group and are not uniformly
disadvantaged. They are a very mixed category in terms of wealth, composition and size of household, ability and need for crop production, etc.
While many households headed by females are in a cycle of poverty because
of the lack of draught power, lack of male labor power, and lack of male
migrant remittances to pay for labor and draught inputs, many other female
headed households do have some access to these inputs in social networks of
reciprocity. This also has its drawbacks, however, since use of draught and labor supplied by others comes later in the season, after the others
have tended to their own ploughing and planting. As a result, women almost
invariably harvest less and receive lower incomes from the sale of their
Kerven takes exception to the directions for research Peters suggests.
Peters did not include women's wage employment in her study while Kerven notes that it is arguably the single most important factor affecting the social and economic position of women in Botswana. Kerven also strongly
recommends further research in the area of male support to women who have their children, and how such support might correlate with class distinctions.
________ National Migration Study Bibliography. Gaborone: Ministry of
Finance and Development Planning, Central Statistics Office, National
Migration Study/Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Sociology Unit, 1979.
A preliminary bibliography representing the collection of materials
gathered by the National Migration Study. Divided into two sections--Part
I lists the works dealing directly with migration in Southern Africa and Part II lists a selection of works on social change, agriculture, income
and rural development in Botswana. No historical works are included.
_________ National Migration Study. Urban and Rural Female-Headed
Households' Dependence on Agriculture. Gaborone: Ministry of Finance and
Development Planning, Central Statistics Office, 1979.
The author separates female headed households into two groups: those who
either have some resources (e.g., cattle, land) of their own or who receive
reliable remittances from husbands on labor migration, and those who have no husbands, no resources or no adult children.
The author summarizes her conclusions as follows: successful farming by female headed households depends on age of the head, marital status, employment status, age and education of children and composition of the household (how many laborers). Absence of young males from the rural areas is due to the unattractive employment opportunities for them there and the relative ease with which they can obtain wages in towns and in the mines of South Africa. Work that females do now has traditionally been done by men. Consequences of this are decreased yields, more labor power leaving to earn money to make up for agricultural inadequacies, and more dependence on the communal group to share in the harvest.
Certain cautions are advanced by the author concerning policy. If women were to be given draught power, this might upset the labor balance since many women work on farms in return for draught power for their own holdings. Policy must be directed not only at women, but their associated other "segments" who are elsewhere, i.e., policies designed to target one group might negatively effect another. She notes that one policy might be beneficial to all: the subsidization of labor.
. Report on Tsamaya Village North East District. Gaborone:
MinisFry of Agriculture, Rural Sociology Unit, Division of Planning and Statistics, Report Series No. 1., 1976.
Reports on a two-month study on a Tsamaya village and concludes that women must be brought more effectively into agriculture planning and extension. Also stresses that attempts must be made to involve entire communities in development schemes, that severe labor and resource constraints must be overcome, and that arable agriculture and its development must be seen as inextricably linked to livestock programs. (Eicher Bibliography)
. Underdevelopment, Migration and Class Formation in the North East District oT -Botswana. Ph. D. Dissertation, University of Toronto, 1977.
The subject of this thesis is urban migration in North East Botswana. The central problem is to explain the economic underpinnings of the labour migration pattern as found, and in particular the continuing need of urban dwellers to maintain their economic links with rural areas. The continuation of these links calls into question some theories of urban migration which explain urban/rural ties as a consequence of "traditionalist" tendencies among African migrants or else as ties between the unconnected "dual economics" of urban versus rural sectors.
This problem is investigated from several aspects, namely present day socio-economic patterns in the town of Francistown and its hinterland, specific historic forces of imperialism and commercial activity and the individual behaviour and attitudes of both urban and rural dwellers.
The methods used in the investigation, which consisted of ten months field work in Botswana (1975-76) were participant-observation, life history
interviews and archival research. Three research locations were studied,
two squatter settlements in Francistown and a rural village of outmigration some 25 miles away from the town.
The results of the research indicate that migration to town is largely a product of the rural areas' inability to provide subsistence and cash opportunities, for the majority of the population. The previous alienation
of land by a private company, at the turn of the century, set into motion a process of rural impoverishment and a need for cash. This resulted in outmigration of adult males, which in turn deprived the rural areas of labour power and further underdeveloped them. Meanwhile, urban wage levels were
set low enough to prevent migrants from completely relying on wages for
subsistence in the town.
Therefore, urban and rural dwellers are straddling a fine line between
marginal rural subsistence and low, unpredictable wage employment. Rural
economic links are maintained in order to support members of a migrant's
family and to provide insurance against unemployment, sickness and old age.
Consequently, the rural and urban economic spheres are highly interdependent.
The conclusions of the thesis support the argument that it is the imposition of a colonial capitalist mode of production in southern Africa which
has necessitated a pattern of migration in which rural economic links must be maintained. Thus the urban capitalist sector is dependent for part of its profit upon the rural pre-capitalist sector which is threfore integrated with the former rather than isolated from it. The rural sector has
been allowed to stagnate to the point where it can only provide economic
back-up to migrants, rather than an alternative viable subsistence. This
merging of two modes of production has been accompanied by an emerging
class structure which is neither fully capitalist nor pre-capitalist, but
an underdeveloped combination of the two. (Dissertation Abstracts)
Ketlareng, C. L. "Grain Storage Methods." AGRINEWS, Vol. 7, 1976: 8-9.
Kooijman, Kunnie. Bokaa, Living and Learning in an African Village.
Cambridge: International Extension College, 1980.
Although the author's fieldwork, conducted in 1971, 1972 and 1977, originally was designed to ascertain the needs for non-formal education in the
village of Bokaa, some 40 km from Gaborone, due to difficulties in ascertaining meaningful responses, the author decided to translate her assignment into an analysis of the social and economic problems of Bokaa. An
account of social and cultural change is given as well as one of community development and health care. Chapter 4: Cattle, Agriculture and Economic
Change is most relevant to this bibliography.
Although cattle husbandry and agriculture continue to be the major economic
focus of the middle-aged and older people of the village, the rest of the
population depends on wage labor/remittances and other income-generating activities such as beer brewing. However, the Rural Income Distribution
Survey indicated that even with several types of income, 45% of the
population still live under the poverty line. Cattle are accumulated as
economic goods, but not necessarily to be sold to raise standards of living. They have high prestige value and are relied upon heavily for milk and draught power. It follows that those who are poor in cattle (those who have less than six cattle required for a span to plough) are also poorest in crops since without cattle, households must await the loan of another family's cattle to plough after they have finished their own fields. Cattle are also used to pull sledges on which firewood, crops, and water are carried, in barter in exchange for grain, to pay court fees and herd boys, to exchange for brides, and to be killed and consumed at ritual feasts. A cow is assigned to each child (including girls) at birth and parents are seen as the guardians/caretakers of such animals and their offspring until children grow up and can assume responsibility for themselves. For these reasons, it is the quantity of cattle which is important, not necessarily the quality. In conducting a survey of 110 households, the author found that 35% of the households had no cattle, another 8% had only 1-4 (not enough to plough) and another 35% had between 5 and 14. Only 4 households had between 50 and 100 head, and many of these more commercial ranchers lent out their cattle mafias) so that they would not be accused of witchcraft because of having 9c-cumulated so many animals. More than 20% of households had received mafia cattle, but in 65% of these instances they were given to households which already had cattle.
Almost 93% of households cultivated their fields in sorghum, millet, beans and small quantities of maize, sweet reed, squash and watermelon. The author notes that beans are the only crop which are primarily grown for sale as the market price is relatively high. But farmers were unable to meet even subsistence needs due to exhaustion of the soil, poor agricultural techniques, inequality of cattle ownership and migrant labor. The gender-specific division of labor makes women responsible for crops and men for cattle; thus young males are reluctant to enter agriculture even though a family's fields may have been expanded. Women must cultivate to feed their families as there is little other choice for them in paid employment. Weeding is done only once and is usually started when weeds are already tall and strong. In performing a labor survey, the author found 46% of households cultivated without men ages 16-55 and another 14.8% did so without males or females in this age group. The growing demands of cropping altered the herding priorities of men such that cattle posts were abandoned, and cattle were kept close to the fields. This has resulted in gradual destruction of the local environment.
Traditional settlement patterns have been altered as a result of economic pressures and the attenuation of the political system. More people stay in homes on their fields throughout the year than live in the village once the harvest is in. Fragmentation has resulted in the inability to form farmer organizations which might facilitate an extension worker's job or build stronger reliance mechanisms. An extension agent has been in the village since 1948, but due to lack of cooperation tends to work more with "scheme" (more progressive) farmers and ignores the rest. The scheme isan educational endeavor in which pupil farmers are taught to be master farmers, but problems in implementing the scheme involve poverty, labor shortage, limited rewards and traditional beliefs.
The chapter on women, love and marriage illustrates how education has opened new avenues for both political and economic mobility for women,
even in rural village leadership.
_________ Social and Economic Change in a Tswana Village. Leiden:
Afrika Studiecentrum, 1978.
Botswana has seen significant economic change and has undergone a rapid political tranformation since its independence, not only at the national
but also at the local and district levels. The country's economy remains based on the earnings of labour migrants to South Africa, on agriculture, and on animal husbandry as it did in pre-independence times. Today, however, economic opportunities have diversified with the growth in local and
national government employment, new mining developments and with increasing
opportunities for trade and commerce. Diversification is the key word
here, for those who have grasped these opportunities have not abandoned the
pattern of migration and agriculture, rather they have combined new
opportunities with the old.
Kumnie Kooijman gives us an account of change in one Botswana village. She traces some of the changes in production, labour availability, and related patterns of residence and is anxious to point out the structure of inequality in the village. What she does not do is present us with a systematic analysis of productive relations, property ownership, and capital accumulation in the village, or of the significance of multiple occupations for
Ms. Kooijman's overriding view is that of a 'traditional' society collapsing under the impact of the 'forces of modernisation.' The ethos changes
from 'communalism to individualism' while, on the political front, the
traditional chiefship is in decline. She is undoubtedly correct that the
chief does not have the power he once had, but the impression of village
life she gives is almost one of a political vacuum. This would sebm
strange, given accounts we have of other contemporary Tswana villages.
There, an increasingly diversified economy has given rise to new resources, new classes, new competitions and new institutions; while political struggles have been fought out in new, often informal and overlapping, arenas.
This book alludes to such developments in local politics but does not really give them the empirical or theoretical attention they deserve.
(Review by Nicholas Mahoney, Africa, Vol. 51, No. 4, 1981.)
Koussoudji, S. and E. Mueller. "The Economic and Demographic Status of
Female-Headed Households in Rural Botswana." Economic Development and
Cultural Change, Vol. 31, No. 4, 1983: 831-859.
The purpose of this article is "to analyze the demographic and economic
* status of female-headed households" in rural Botswana where "insufficient
earning opportunities force many men to live and work away from home." The
article demonstrates that these households are poorer than others and
* explores the reasons for their poverty. It analyzes the social customs,
economic institutions and economic behavior of women that either alleviate or aggravate their economic problems. Basing much of their information on
the data collected as part of the Rural Income Distribution Survey, the
authors found the following: being unmarried or separated may be a characteristic of a particular life-cycle stage since the preponderance of
males who migrate are in the 20-40 age group with many deferring marriage until after labor migration ceases at about age 40; female headed households are somewhat younger than male heads and that a separate household
may be formed before any children can be net contributors to it; female
headed households receive the greatest portion of their income from their own labor and that even when transfer payments are included in calculating
household income, female headed units still have less income than male
heads; one of the explanations of female poverty is the low level of asset
ownership among female headed households (cattle, land, equipment); women may own cattle, be bequeathed them, win them in a court case or buy them,
but usually cannot have access to them through traditional mafisa lending;
female headed households with no males present own the lowest number of
stock; women receive land from their husbands or the fathers of their
children or through Land Board allocation, but in the latter instance the household must be able to cultivate in order to receive a holding; female
headed households cultivate only 2/3 the area of male headed households;
often female crop income derives from women working in other people's
fields; the gender based division of labor allocates chores to women requiring little capital and is characterized by low-productivity, and those that are more capital intensive and more productive to men; child care obligations tend to confine women to less productive economic activities and prevent them from translating their educational qualifications into opportunities in the wage labor market. The article concludes with several
policy recommendations: special credit facilities should be available to
women; fathers should bequeath more cattle to their daughters; women should
receive more crop extension education; and more rural cooperatives should
Kowet, Donald Kalinde. Land, Labour Migration and Politics in Southern Africa:
Botsw~na, Lesotho and Swaziland. Uppsala: Scandinavian Institute of
African Studies, 1978.
Development specialists in Southern Africa as well as desk-bound academicians should start their area orientation by reading this volume. Dr.
Kowet has provided a refreshing departure from more conventional analyses
of political economy and dependence networks. Unfortunately, the attention
of the reader is constantly interrupted with spelling, punctuation and
grammatical errors. The author moves beyond an indictment of colonialism
and capitalism to a Real Politik which allies traditional leaders, new
black managerial elite, and South African socio-economic interests in the
maintenance of the status quo.
Professor Kowet's analysis is based upon Samir Amin's three-part typology
of colonial penetration in Africa: first, those countries of the colonial economy; second, countries administered by the concession-owning companies;
third, Zambia, Swaziland, Lesotho, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda,
Burundi, Mozambique and Angola.
Amin, a noted social theorist, has examined underdevelopment as a natural consequence of reducing large land areas into labor reserves for European colonial and capital penetration. Professor Kowet builds from this functional premise in analyzing "push-pull" forces between South Africa and the
labor reserves of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland. Early Afrikaner and
indigenous conflict over land (1800 onwards) is identified as a major cause
of dispersal and concentration into uneconomic "reservations." Between
1820 and 1870, British colonial intervention further accelerated the consolidation of power in the hands of selected chiefs.
The allocative power of selected chiefs over land is identified by the
author as the main reason for the relationship between land, labor migration and politics in Southern Africa. Chiefs were responsible for controlling access to land, which in turn affected labor migration and the
allocation of political power within traditional family-based systems.
With increased scarcity of land, local chiefs allied themselves with paramount chiefs and they in turn with colonial administrators and the industrial power structure. Chiefs would coerce and send labor to the gold
mines of South Africa so as to maintain their own economic and political
self-interests. This alliance became an institutional escape valve.
The author has pointed out that contemporary political and economic progress on the periphery of cores such as South Africa and Britain has become subordinated to economic self-interest. In particular, Dr. Kowet has
noted the failure of reforms in Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland since independence. This is attributed to the self-interest of chiefs, as well as
to the new black elite of civil servants, teachers and managers. Indeed, many of the development initiatives introduced by external international
assistance agencies appear to have been subverted by the alliance of
chiefs, new black elite, and expatriate elite.
This analysis has important implications for future progress in Botswana,
Lesotho and Swaziland as well as in the "Homelands" of South Africa.
Explosive population growth, rural-urban migration, unemployment, scarce
land, and uneven economic development continue to widen the gap between the
rich and the poor. Before further assistance efforts are made, Kowet suggests the question of whether these programs will have a realistic chance
of success, given the constraints, must be faced. (Review by Stanley B.
Andrews, Africa Today, Vol. 28, No. 3, 1981.)
Kuper, Adam. Kalahari Village Politics. Cambridge: University Press, 1970.
It is no longer a novel observation that social anthropologists in Africa
have largely been concerned with reconstructions of "traditional societies"
or with the impingement of Western institutions and power on those societies. Nevertheless it bears repeating if only because we still have far
too few incisive studies of ongoing social life in rural Africa during the
second half of this century. Even fewer (almost to the point of nonexistence) are the analyses of contemporary political life at the local level, and in its own right, despite much profession of interest amongst anthropologists. The study of local-level politics is rather more advanced
among anthropologists specialising on India and other parts of Asia: and there is a moral in that, no doubt.
Dr. Kuper commits himself to tell it as it is, or at least as it was in the mid-1960s, in the field of political life. His book is very much concerned with local-level politics because for the most part he concentrates on a single village of mainly Ngologa people, a Kgalagari group living in the semi-desert of western Botswana. Ethnographically, rather little is known of these people, but Dr. Kuper is not at all concerned with filling ethnographic gaps as he aims at a more limited, analytical goal.
An Ngologa village comprises agnatically focused kin-groupings, of which the most important politically is the "family-group alliance" under the leadership of an elder. The focus of village politics is the semihereditary headman, though nowadays as formerly his authority is weak. He achieves what political success he can either by following general village opinion (mainly as expressed by the elders) or by getting his own supporters (mainly his patrikin) on to the village council. The arena of village politics is the lekgota, or council, which meets regularly either as a court to deal with dispute cases or as an overt political assembly to deal with intra-village affairs and with relationships outside. The council in the particular village studied was dominated by three factions with marked agnatic bases: one supporting the headman, one against him, and one which varied in its support. In addition to all this, Dr. Kuper introduces and shows the local significance of such latter-day figures as village counsellors and court-scribe within the village, and District Councillor, Members of Legislative Assembly and of the House of Chiefs, as well as District Commissioner and state police, who operate in the village's external political environment.
There is a good deal of hard empirical fact to substantiate generalization about political action in the village. Unfortunately, however, it is not clear whether Dr. Kuper's cases (both judicial and political) are only exemplary (apt illustrations) or if they comprise more or less the totality of public confrontation and encounter in that one village during the periods of observation (just before and soon after Botswana independence). The former seems to be the answer, for the case material does not altogether add up to the continuing actuality of the ongoing village polity in the sense that this has been achieved by Turner for the Nedmbu village, and by Middleton and others since. Admirable though this book is, this is one partial defect. The other is that Dr. Kuper makes very little attempt to draw general conclusions or make theoretical hypotheses from his data and analysis that might be illuminating and instructive for anthropoligists and others studying local-level politics elsewhere. Agreed, this is no easy thing to accomplish, but it should surely be an aim beyond the careful treatment of highly localised, specific new material. (Review by P. H. Gulliver, Africa, Vol. 42, No. 2, April 1972.)
Although this writing is a general analysis of what the author calls "An African Democracy," certain points he makes about women in Ghanzi and Kgalagdi Districts are noteworthy.
Youngwomen generally participate in the economic activities of their parents on their parents' compounds where a garden is grown, and poultry and small ruminants are raised. Compounds can be occupied by a matrifocal unit. Most often women have their own gardens, though sometimes the women who are married to one man will share a plot and cooperate in forming work groups.
Politics is basically the business of men with the affairs of women dealt with to the extent that the rights of men as husbands, fathers, or brothers are involved. Thus, women do not have access to the politico-jural domain except in so far as they are related to a male who has access. This also applies to the decision-making processes in rural development projects-women should work only with the permission of their fathers or their husbands.
"The Kgalagari and the Jural Consequences of Marriage." Man, Vol. 5, No. 3, September 1970: 466-482.
The Sotho-speaking Kgalagari of Botswana are used to illustrate the principle that a jural analysis of marriage, stressed by modern social anthropology, is a necessary preliminary to the understanding of marriage. The marital histories of 37 adult males were collected in 1964 in a Kgalagari village. The basic features are described, especially those of the prestations and bridewealth. Very few men practiced polygyny. Conjugal unions were unstable. Marriages were most commonly dissolved by the wife's desertion. Men rarely sued for divorce. The marriage rights of men are sexual, rights to the wife's services, and rights to the children, all prescriptive and supported by the courts. These rights are transferred against the receipt of brideswealth payments; rights in a woman are recognized as they mature. There is a definite tendency for more people to consider brideswealth in its economic terms and for it to increase in value. Economic factors also affect the rate of marriage dissolutions. Its jural dimension is only one of.its dimensions. Kgalagari marriage can be seen as a dialectical series of exchanges against prestations. The most stable rights are transferred against the highest prestations. These findings have implications for comparative studies of marriage. (Annotation by D. Burkenroad from Sociological Abstracts)
Africa'e "The Kinship Factor in Ngologa Politics." Cahiers d'Etudes Africaines, Vol. 9, No. 2, 1969: 290-305.
The social structure of the Ngologa of Western Botswana is examined in order to test Fortes' and Evans Pritchard's hypothesis that "kinship and domestic ties have an important role in the lives of individuals, but their relation to the political systems is of secondary order." Fieldwork in ten Bantu villages of the Kalahari, mainly populated by Ngologa people, is reported. The kinship idiom is seen as part of the language of politics. Clans and active kinship groups are described as of the patrilineal type. It is noted that the activities of the clanhead influence the political future of his descendants and that kinship determines the lay-out of groups on the ground and patterns the distribution of power (each village being headed by the senior man in the senior family group). There is, however, a
concept of law which overrides kinship status. After this examination of the idiom and ideological system, the system of action is studied in order to evaluate the behavior conditioned by kinship relationships. Three groups are described: the family-group based on a tight association of households, a corporation of the inner ring of Magnates, and the sub-clan which has no solidary character. It is noted that "the kin-based groupings are the main political groupings in the village" but that kinship does not mechanically determine political behavior although political alliances and oppositions are patterned largely by kinship. The definition of political roles by the kinship factor is then described and it is noted that the kinship factor does not determine but rather limits political opportunities. Non-agnatic bonds between men, such as the bond between mother's brother and sister's son, can be made to yield to politcal benefits according to the article. It is noted that there is a reciprocal interaction between kinship (domestic) domains of social relations and the domain of political relations. It is however, stressed that smallness of political scale is a necessary but not sufficient condition for the political prominence of the kinship factor and that the actual decentralization of many African states makes the political life at the village level similar to that of the Ngologa political community. (Annotation by M. Laferriere from Sociological Abstracts)
"The Social Structure of the Sotho-Speaking Peoples of Southern Africa." Africa, London No. 45, 1975: 67-81, 139-49.
Provides an introduction to the social structure of the people who inhabit a large area in Botswana, as well as parts of Lesotho. (Eicher Bibliography)
The focus of this two-part study is on the relationship between the political arrangements within each "tribe" and certain aspects of their social systems--in particular, patterns of marriage preference and residential alignment.
The introduction to the second paper states that the Tswana, Southern Sotho and Kglagadi are organized in tribes under chiefs who are linked in competition and through marriage with other close agnates. The chiefdom is divided into wards, ruled often by brothers, brothers' sons, or sons of the chief, and within each ward the dominance of the central core of competing and intermarrying agnates is duplicated. Men with patrilateral ties to those in power at each level are brought into alliance or competition with them, and their relationships may be transferred or reinforced by intermarriage. Outsiders are attached to these ruling agnatic cores at each level and develop or reinforce matrilateral ties to them by contracting suitable marriages.
_ Wives for Cattle: Bridewealth and Marriage in Southern Africa. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1982.
Kuper's volume is an exercise in anthropological kinship virtuosity, intended to provide a better understanding of the regional institutional complex involving the exchange of cattle for wives; and, as a demonstration
of formal rule-governed institutional transformations linking the various
bridewealth systems of the region, it is offered as a case study with wider
implications. He identifies four types of marriage alliance systems, and
argues that though cattle-wife exchanges were part of the exchanges of pastoral and agricultural products between wife-takers and wife-givers,
they were also involved with other crucial hierarchical exchanges between
rulers and subjects, household heads and dependents, and ancestors and
descendants; therefore, economic, kinship and political factors account for
local variations in the systems. An appendix discusses kinship categories
and marriage preferences.
Kuper's style and approach present problems. Whilst noting that the
Southern Bantu do not constitute a closed "culture area" or represent a timeless ethnographic unity he treats the ethnographic labels as almost
totally unproblematical. Generalized, timeless discussion is interpolated with local and historically specific details from various places and times
in the "pre-industrial" period of c. 1840-1940; and too often one cannot
tell to what period his data and his analyses refer. In the absence of a clearly structured historical analysis it is difficult to appreciate fully
the transformations he indicates and their internal and external structural
and institutional concomitants within the different collectivities. Despite these and other reservations, his book should serve to alert researchers to possible questions, trends and problems for exploration, though nonanthropologists may find some of it heavy going. (Review from Journal of
Southern African Studies, Vol. 10, No. 1, October 1983.)
Lee, Richard B. "Hunter-Gatherers in Process: The Kalahari Research Project,
1963-76"1 in George MI. Foster et al. (eds.) Long-Term Field Research in
Social Anthropology. New York: Academic Press, 1979: 303-321.
Reports major findings of a long-term study of the Kung San (Bushmen), a
hunting and gathering people in northwestern Botswana. Directed by Richard
Lee and Irven DeVore, the study involved 14 researchers over a 14-year
period, and focused on four major problem areas: ecology and social
change, population and health, child development, and the cognitive world.
In 1963, when the study was initiated, the researchers did not predict the
rapid changes that would occur over the ensuing 14 years, including the
long-term trend away from hunting and gathering to horticulture and
herding; opening of a primary school; migration to the mines; and an
increase in the birth rate following sedentarization. (Eicher
Lucas, Robert E. B. The Distribution and Efficiency of Crop Production in
Tribal Areas of Botswana. Boston: Boston University, African Studies
Examines inter-family variations in crop production within tribal (nonfreehold) areas of Botswana. Four major lines of analysis are pursued: a
study of the distribution of inputs into crop farming across families; a
study of the relative importance of particular types of crops according to
household size, composition and location; an analysis of productivity in
the arable sector and some of its determinants; and, lastly, a presentation
of some issues and estimates on the question of profitability. All results of this paper are based on data from the Rural Income Distribution Survey, 1974-75. (Eicher Bibliography)
Lucas asserts that crop production is the third largest source of income (after employment and remittances) for families in the 15-50 percentile range of household income, but one of the least important for lowest income families (1-10 percentile).
Distribution of inputs--traditionally male heads of household apportioned part of their arable land to their daughters on marriage, which would be inherited by her daughters. As land tenure arrangements shifted from the
chiefly domain to "self-allotment" and purchase, these allocation arrangements also changed, although it was difficult for Lucas to ascertain specifics. He notes that female headed households cultivate or own about 35% less land than do those headed by males. He suggests this could be due to the practice of chiefs and land boards allocating land on the basis of a household's ability to cultivate it. Since female heads of household are constrained by a shortage of labor, the area of land they are allocated is smaller. When allocated land is not utilized it is confiscated and redistributed. Lucas believes this is the reason for some 47% of the female headed households surveyed in the RIDS receiving income below 100 Rands per year. Female headed households attempt to overcome male labor shortages by hiring people to plough. Fertilizers and chemicals are not used at all by small farmers, with the exception of the farmers in the Barolong Farm region. Amount of farm equipment correlated positively with a larger number of male adults, heavier rains, and larger plots.
Adult women provide most of crop labor contributing some 610 hours per year--more hours than the total for children and men combined. Girls provided the next largest input with 176 hours per year. The crop time for women and children increases in female headed households.
Crop types--Sorghum as a regional crop increases in importance as rainfall increases (600 mm) and as the number of males present during the ploughing season increases. Cowpea production is more important in more arid areas (300-400 mm rain/year) and decreases in importance when more males are present in the ploughing season, although this varies considerably by size of land holding. Beans decrease in importance as income increases but the same pattern is not discernible for cowpeas.
One of Lucas' conclusions is that conflict may occur between men who can no longer work for the mines in South Africa and cattle barons as each will require land.
_________ The Distribution of Wages and Employment in Rural Botswana. Boston: Bo-ston University, African Studies Cent-er, 1981.
Based on an analysis of findings of the National Migration Study of Botswana 1979-80 and of the Rural Income Distribution Survey (RIDS) 197475, Lucas comments on data concerning the composition of the potential adult labor force, the extent of adult participation in wage employment,