Front Cover
 Title Page
 Abbreviations and acronyms
 Table of Contents
 List of figures and tables
 Research and planning issues
 Appendix A: Selected literature...
 Appendix B: Persons contacted
 Appendix C: Field log
 Appendix D: Summary of field level...
 Appendix E: Collinson's recommendations...
 Appendix F: Typologies
 Appendix G: Selected agricultural...

Group Title: Recommendation domains for districts in central and Francistown regions of Botswana : final report
Title: Recommendation domains for districts in central and Francistown regions of Botswana
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00072497/00001
 Material Information
Title: Recommendation domains for districts in central and Francistown regions of Botswana final report
Physical Description: ix, 75 leaves : ill., map ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Kansas State University
Botswana -- Ministry of Agriculture
Publisher: Kansas State University
Place of Publication: Manhattan Kan
Publication Date: 1981
Subject: Agricultural systems -- Botswana   ( lcsh )
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (leaves 34-39).
Statement of Responsibility: prepared by the farming systems research team: Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas and Ministry of Agriculture, Gaborone, Botswana.
General Note: "August, 1981."
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00072497
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 49731554

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Title Page
        Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Abbreviations and acronyms
        Page v
    Table of Contents
        Page vi
        Page vii
    List of figures and tables
        Page viii
        Page ix
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
    Research and planning issues
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
    Appendix A: Selected literature reviewed
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
    Appendix B: Persons contacted
        Page 40
        Page 41
    Appendix C: Field log
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
    Appendix D: Summary of field level interviews
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
    Appendix E: Collinson's recommendations on methodology
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
    Appendix F: Typologies
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
    Appendix G: Selected agricultural statistics
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
Full Text

/6 / ef





Prepared by the Farming Systems Research Team:

Kansas State University
Manhattan, Kansas


Ministry of Agriculture
Gaborone, Botswana

August, 1981





Prepared by the Farming Systems Research Team:

Kansas State University
Manhattan, Kansas


Ministry of Agriculture
Gaborone, Botswana

August, 1981


Team members gratefully acknowledge the cooperation, assistance, tolerance,
and patience of all Government agencies and civil servants, both in giving access
to valuable information and in arranging travel and interviews. Help and advice
from those working in other donor agencies is also gratefully acknowledged.

The cooperation, advice, and help of members of the U.S. Agency for Interna-
tional Development (USAID) Mission/Botswana is acknowledged and greatly

We especially appreciate the contributions made by Tebago Nkwe and
Elijah Modiakgotla who traveled with us and smoothed our way for two weeks.

Farming Systems Research Team Members

From Kansas State University:

Dr. Charles Bussing
Dr. James Converse
Dr. Berl Koch
Dr. L. Van Withee

Social Sciences
Animal Science and Industry

From Ministry of Agriculture, Botswana:

Tebago Nkwe
Elijah Modiakgotla

Rural Sociology Unit
Agricultural Research Station, Sebele


The Farming Systems Domain Study reported herein is the culmination of
35 days of intensive research and farm visits in three districts of Central
Region (Palapye, Mahalapye, and Serowe) and in Tutume District of Francistown
Region. Twenty-six farm visits were made in Central Region and 19 in Francistown
Region. Regional and district officers, as well as several Agricultural
Demonstrators (AD), were interviewed. A large amount of published information
was reviewed and interpreted by civil servants in various Government of Botswana
(GOB) and donor agencies. Sample block data from the 1980 Agricultural Census
was also made available to the Farming Systems Research (FSR) team.

The report includes descriptions and analyses of literature reviewed, names
of persons interviewed, and locations of farms visited by members of the team,
as well as maps and tables. Listed here are the primary constraints observed by
the team, and the Recommendation Domains (target groups).


In addition to the familiar environmental constraints of climate, soils, and
water availability, the following operational and management constraints were

1. Timely access to adequate draft power appears to be the number one
constraint. Even those who own their oxen are faced with such problems
as (a) undernourished animals at the beginning of, and throughout, the
plowing season; (b) lack of water for oxen at the lands areas; (c) plows
in poor repair; (d) poorly trained oxen; and (e) ill-fitting yokes and

2. Plows that are in poor repair or carry worn-out shares increase draft and
do a poor job of turning the soil. Farmers say repairs are hard to come
by; researchers say farmers wait too long to make repairs and thus delay
their plowing.

3. Traditional length of working day may be a constraint. If oxen were
healthy and well-nourished, they could work more hours per day.

4. Lack of weeding and late weeding are constraints to high yields; weeds
take much of the moisture needed by growing crops.

5. Bird damage is a serious constraint.

6. Cattle and wild animal damage to crops, while not quantified, was
mentioned by most farmers as a problem leading to reduced yields.

7. Insects and plant diseases were listed by many farmers as causing serious
reduction in yield.

8. Grain storage facilities appear to be inadequate on many farms, especially
in Central Region.

9. Female-headed households appear to be especially vulnerable to such
problems as late plowing and inadequate weeding.


10. Highway accessibility appears to be a serious constraint in many of
the farming areas.

11. Farmers mentioned that stumps standing in the lands areas were a serious
problem (the Arable Lands Development Program (ALDEP) is already helping
to reduce this problem).


The study was simplified by several classifications and findings-especially
useful was the study of Litschauer and Kelly on Traditional Versus Commercial
Agriculture in Botswana. Two distinct sectors are recognized in Botswana-
commercial and traditional. Commercial farms, largely freehold, represent 0.4%
of the total farms and were excluded from the study.

The major sources of variation encountered in traditional farms were in
those management variables that influence resource allocation and the farming
system. Five sources of variation are particularly important in accounting for
the differences in arable activity in Central and Francistown Regions:

1. Access to draft power; ownership and number of cattle, donkeys, and
tractors; need to hire and exchange labor (closely correlated to other

2. Major staples: sorghum, maize, beans, and millet-the major crops
represent major resource uses and exert a major influence on the
farming system.

3. Degree of commercialization: market orientation, livestock, crops,
remittances, and sale of other products.

4. Size of crop area.

5. Household characteristics: male- or female-headed, plow condition, and
other general household characteristics.

In the traditional sector, most farms are engaged-to a degree-in some
form of mixed production, and some overlapping of groups occurs. Using the
above factors, three major domains can be identified in the traditional sector:

1. Relatively wealthy farms with a distinct emphasis on livestock. Farms
in this group are significantly involved in market transactions; often
own tractors; plow for others; and haul grain. Relatively large land-
holdings (larger than 10 hectares) are found, but cropping activity is
peripheral to cattle production.

2. Marginal mixed crop and livestock farms. Farms in this group possess
10-40 head of cattle; have fewer constraints to plowing; have a greater
degree of self-sufficiency; and have fewer other constraints. Typically,
these farms are 3-8 hectares in size.

3. Submarginal mixed farms with a crop emphasis. Farms in this group possess
no cattle, or less than 10 head; there is often a need to hire or borrow
traction for plowing; and plowing is often done late. Labor exchange is


frequently involved. A higher percentage of female-headed households
occurs. Lack of seed, low yields, and high failure rate often occur.
Farms are usually a maximum of 3-4 hectares. This group also relies,
to a greater degree, on transfer payments and other income to keep the
household afloat.

It should be noted that the constraints of the physical environment appear
to apply equally to the three domains, consequently, the most important proxy
variables-in terms of recommendation domains-are power source and size of
holding. To a large degree, these two variables allow homogeneous populations
to be identified for further research and development.

Millet is grown more frequently in Francistown Region than in Central Region.
Not only does this reflect a different dietary preference among the people,
it can also be associated with other variables. The people in Tutume District
appear to be a little more developmentally oriented. All farmers in both regions,
regardless of category, face much the same set of constraints.



AD Agricultural Demonstrator
ALDEP Arable Lands Development Program
APRU Animal Production Research Unit
ATIP Agriculture Technology Improvement Project
BAC Botswana Agricultural College
BAMB Botswana Agricultural Marketing Board
CIMMYT International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center
CUSO Canadian University Service Organization
DAFS Department of Agriculture Field Services
DAO District Agricultural Officer
DAR Department of Agriculture Research
DAS Department of Agriculture Supervisor
DLFS Dryland Farming Scheme
DDOM Deputy Director of Mission USAID/Botswana
DOD District Officer for Development
EFSAIP Evaluation of Farming Systems and Implements Project
FAO Food and Agriculture Organization (of the United Nations)
FSR Farming Systems Research
GDO Group Development Officer
GOB Government of Botswana
ICRISAT International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics
ILCA International Livestock Center for Africa
KSU Kansas State University
MCC Mennonite Central Committee
MCI Ministry of Commerce and Industry
MIAC Midamerica International Agricultural Consortium
MOA Ministry of Agriculture
NDB National Development Bank
NIR National Institute of Research
RAO Regional Agricultural Officer
RIIC Rural Industries Innovation Center
SIDA Swedish International Development Agency
SIRO Senior Industrial Research Officer
TGLP Tribal Grazing Lands Project
USAID United States Agency for International Development


Acknowledgements . . . . .

Summary . . . . .

1. Major Constraints . . . .
2. Recommendation Domains . . .

Abbreviations and Acronyms . . . .

List of Figures and Tables . . . .

1. INTRODUCTION . . . . .

1. Goals of the Farming Systems Research Project.
2. Country Context and Development Objectives .


1. Grouping Techniques .
a. Farming Systems Research.
b. Other Techniques .

2. Data Sources . .
a. Documents and Personnel .
b. Sample Block Data .
c. Field Interviews .


1. Districts Considered .

2. Environmental Parameters .
a. Climate . . .
b. Soils . . .
c. Water . . .

3. Survey Block Data . .

a. Units of Analysis .

b. Cattle . .
i. Average Herd Size and
ii. Draft Power .....
iii. Goats . .

c. Crop Information .
i. Sorghum . .
ii. Millet . .

. .

. . .
. . .

. . .
. .
. . .

. . .
. . .
. .

. . .

. . .
. . .

Composition.. .
. . .

. . .

iii. Groundnuts and Sunflowers..











4. Farm Level Interviews . . . . .
a. Introduction . . . . .. .
b. Type of Draft, Access to Draft, and Other Animal Issues
c. Family Composition in Households Interviewed .
d. Family Situation and Food Supply . . .

5. Constraints on Production . . . .
a. Time of Plowing and Planting . . .
b. Plow Condition and Maintenance . . .
c. Draft Animal Constraints . . . .
d. Length of Time Oxen Used for Plowing . .
e. Weed Control . . . . .
f. Other Constraints . . . . .

6. Recommendation Domains . . . . .

. . 23


1. Livestock and Animal Issues . .

2. Agronomic Issues . . . .

3. Agricultural Diversification . . .

4. Geographic and Socioeconomic Issues .
a. Resource Issues . . . .
b. Settlement and Land Use Issues . .
c. Marketing Issues . . .
d. Rural Small-Scale Industry . .
e. Local Food Production . . .

5. Strategies and Procedures . . .

a. Livestock . . . . .
i. Crop Residues . . .
ii. Non-Protein Nitrogen . .
iii. Donkeys . . . .
iv. Poultry . . . .
v. Small Stock . . . .

b. Crops . . . . .

c. Grain Storage . . .


A: Selected Literature Reviewed
B: Persons Contacted . .
C: Field Log . .

D: Summary of Field Level Interviews.

. . . 32

E: Collinson's Recommendations on Methodology
F: Typologies . . . .
G: Selected Agricultural Statistics . .


I ~ t

r I I i i



Figure Page

1 Districts studied. 7

2 Dependence on agriculture. 64

3 Traditional cattle by districts. 69


1 Number of farms per district with land in Central and 8
Francistown Regions of Botswana.

2 Distribution of cattle posts, lands, and village areas in 10
surveyed districts of Botswana.

3 Cattle herd size rank ordered by range (largest to smallest) 11
for sample block types.

4 Source of draft power used to plow fields in surveyed 12
districts of Botswana (percentage of district totals).

5 Type of draft power used to plow fields in surveyed 12
districts of Botswana (percentage of district totals).

6 Number of goats reported sold, slaughtered, and dead from 13
disease by sampled blocks in surveyed districts of Botswana.

7 Percentage of farmers growing principal crops in surveyed 14
districts of Botswana.

8 Percentage of small, medium, and large farms in surveyed 14
districts of Botswana.

9 Total number of nuclear and extended families by family 17
size category on interviewed farms.

10 Method of grain disposal by family structure and family 17
type (given as number of respondents) and average size
of family disposing of grain by various methods.

11 Influence of 1980 plow-planting date on percent of farmers 18
in Central Region obtaining low (<249 kg/ha) and adequate
(>250 kg/ha) yields.

12 Number of respondents indicating various crop heights at 20
initiation of weeding.

13 Production, employment, and other characteristics of 67
Kgatleng households according to (sub) strata.


Table Page

14 Cattle herd composition: Bulls, oxen, cows, tollies, 70
heifers, and calves by district and size of cattle
holding, traditional farms Central Region-1980
agricultural statistics.

15 Summary of traditional livestock estimates with 71
coefficients of variation for Central Region-1980
agricultural statistics.

16 Summary of traditional crop estimates with coefficients 72
of variation for Central Region-1980 agricultural

17 Cattle herd composition: Bulls, oxen, cows, tollies, 73
heifers, and calves by district and size of cattle
holding, traditional farms Francistown Region--1980
agricultural statistics.

18 Summary of traditional livestock estimates with 74
coefficients of variation for Francistown Region-
1980 agricultural statistics.

19 Summary of traditional crop estimates with coefficients 75
of variation for Francistown Region-1980 agricultural



The Farming Systems Recommendation Domain Study reported herein is the
culmination of 35 days of intensive research in Central Region and Francistown
Region of Botswana. Research was carried on according to the general plan
outlined by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) in
the publication entitled Demonstration of the Interdisciplinary Approach to
Planning Adaptive Agricultural Research Programs.... This report provides
initial analyses, background information, and "Recommendation Domains" that will
serve as a framework for initiating work on the Botswana Agricultural Technology
Improvement Project, designed and developed by the USAID and the Midamerica
International Agricultural Consortium (MIAC).

A major theme of the project is FSR, which addresses the total farming
system-production, marketing, consumption, and related socioeconomic problems.
It is hoped that this report, which has borrowed heavily from information already
available in Botswana, will be the basis for structuring and implementing initial
phases of the FSR Project.


The purpose of the proposed FSR Project is to improve the capacity of
the Ministry of Agriculture's (MOA) research and extension programs to develop
and effectively extend farming systems recommendations to the needs of the farmer.
It is anticipated that the establishment and institutionalization of a FSR program
in Botswana will make research activities responsive to small farmer needs, and
ultimately result in higher yields per hectare, increased small farmer production,
and increased small farmer income. The project has three sub-purposes, which will
contribute directly to the institutionalization of a FSR program in Botswana:

(a) to improve the capacity of the Department of Agriculture Research (DAR)
in the GOB's Ministry of Agriculture to develop technologies appropriate
for small farmer needs.

(b) to improve the capability of the extension service to transfer technologies
that can be utilized by small farmers, and strengthen and institutionalize
the linkage between the research and extension departments.

(c) to insure that adequate supplies of seed for major agricultural crops are
available for distribution to farmers.

Over the five-year project life, FSR teams will use various small farm
techniques while working with farmers on their fields. These teams will serve as
the focal point for initiating adaptive FSR activities. Technical assistance
provided at the national level will compliment the work undertaken at the district
level by improving the capacity of the DAR to focus on the problems of small
farmers and by improving the linkage between the Department of Agriculture Field
Services (DAFS) and the DAR.

The initial step in the FSR methodology is to define sets of farming systems
amenable to collective analysis, commonly referred to as "Recommendation Domains."
The team was instructed to undertake a "Domain Study" of the Central and Northeast
Agricultural Extension Regions, using the CIMMYT methodology employed for deriving


recommendation domains for Central Province, Zambia. The ultimate goal of the
study was to define domains that will provide a basis for initiating FSR work
in Botswana.


Botswana is a relatively large, arid to semi-arid, land-locked country where
cattle outnumber people by nearly four to one, and livestock have been-and still
are-of fundamental importance to the majority of Botswanan families today. It
was only in the mid-1970s that the mining sector displaced livestock as the most
important contributor to the Gross Domestic Product; currently, the livestock
sector remains nearly as important as mining and generates nearly 70% of the value
added in the agricultural sector. Efforts to draw on income from mining to
upgrade arable agriculture are based on the importance of arable agriculture as
the single most productive activity-in human terms-as compared to livestock,
which is much more important in earnings.

The oxen-drawn plow is used for cultivation of lands that generate relatively
low yields per hectare, therefore, access to draft power is essential for arable
production. In traditional Tswana society, cattle are of fundamental social
importance and, despite recent social changes, cattle ownership remains a vital
interface with arable agriculture.

Historically, population densities have generally been low and, except for
localized pressure around villages and water points, impact on the resource base
was limited. With a small population and low densities, even the limited area
classed as arable could not all be cultivated using traditional methods. Given
an estimated population growth of 3.2%, the population of Botswana will nearly
double by the year 2000. Consequently, this situation is changing rapidly, and
it is essential that, as Botswanans face the coming decades, a more intensive
program be implemented in the agricultural sector, keeping in mind that the harsh
nature of the physical environment limits many options.

The current National Development Plan (1979-1985) recognizes that agriculture
remains an important sector of the economy. The plan notes that "Despite rapid
urbanization Botswana remains overwhelmingly rural, and the rural population is
expected to increase by more than 100,000 over the Plan period."

Agriculture is the backbone of the rural economy, directly involving
four-fifths of rural households-among them many of Botswana's poorest citizens.
The aims of agricultural policy in Botswana are as follows:

-to help those involved in agriculture to enjoy adequate and secure
-to help create more such livelihoods to meet the demands of a growing labor
force for employment within Botswana
-to reduce Botswana's dependence on imports of agricultural produce,
particularly food
-to raise national income by increasing the value of agricultural production
-to maintain agricultural land for future generations

While considerable progress has been made towards attaining three of these
objectives, the GOB defines social justice as a more equitable distribution of
the benefits of development, including higher incomes. This GOB objective, as

stated, has not been achieved. As viewed by both the GOB and the USAID, the
central problem in creating equitable development in Botswana, particularly
for the rural majority, is the scarcity of opportunities for productive
employment. The magnitude of this problem was outlined in a 1978 report to the
GOB, which described access to productive work opportunities as "desperately
unequal" and estimated current unemployment and underemployment at over 100,000.
This report called for a comprehensive program during the Fifth National
Development Plan period (1979-1985) to create new jobs and increase incomes, with
a focus on the rural areas where the problem is most acute.

The nature and scope of the problem can be traced to a combination of policy
decisions, economic conditions, and ecological factors. While the potential for
productive, income-generating activities in the rural areas of Botswana is limited,
opportunities do exist to increase productivity and income. Officials of both the
GOB and USAID recognize that achievement of these long-term goals will require
increased expenditures and efforts to increase agricultural production by projects
directed toward the needs and problems of specific farmer groups. The GOB is
devoting substantial resources to the implementation of a national ALDEP and
programs directed toward other problems in agriculture. The realization that a
more comprehensive approach is needed makes the FSR Project an attractive option.



a. Farming Systems Research

Working through groups is an effective way to reach large numbers with
limited program resources. Farming Systems Research is designed to reach large
numbers of small farms, using limited manpower and funds, since neither policy
formulation nor research and development programs can be designed for individuals.

To insure that technologies are chosen for development programs that are
appropriate and within reach of the small farmers toward whom the programs are
directed, it is useful to group farmers into target populations. Major factors
leading to variations between farm groups must be identified, and the influences
of these factors on the farm system must be weighed; both spatial divisions
(site-to-site differences) and differences between farms in the same area
(hierarchical divisions) should be identified. There are four major sets of
factors leading to differences in farmer circumstances and contributing to these
divisions: 1) natural, 2) sociocultural, 3) economic, and 4) institutional.
Natural circumstances are relevant only to site-to-site or spatial divisions,
whereas sociocultural, economic, and institutional circumstances are relevant to
both spatial and hierarchical divisions. Any single factor, or group of factors,
may be significant enough to cause major differences in researchable problems and
development opportunities relevant to a given group of farmers.

Numerous techniques have been developed for reaching target groups of farmers.
The most satisfactory approach to identifying groups of farmers with similar
constraints and potential for development is based on their existing farming
systems. Collinson notes, in the Zambia report Demonstration of the Inter-
disciplinary Approach to Planning Adaptive Agricultural Research Programs...
that 1) the farming system is a manifestation of a weighted interaction of natural,
economic, historical, and institutional factors influencing farmers' decisions,
thus reflecting the balance of those factors important in identifying homogeneous
farmer populations; and 2) the existing farming system is the starting point for
development, the base on which productivity improvements have to be grafted.

Movement away from the existing, tried-and-true farming system is taken in
small steps. This is especially true for small farmers with low risk thresholds.
The major task for the researcher is to identify those small steps that are
consistent with the farmers' priorities and risk ceilings and that may ultimately
be profitable; the major task of any FSR program is to pass these on to the farmers.
The choice of possible steps can only be evaluated in the framework of the existing
farming system, which reflects farmers' circumstances, risks, and priorities.

The existing farming system forms a basis on which to group farmers and
identify target populations. In these groups, or Recommendation Domains, the
same research and development effort-based on "new" technology emerging from
research-will be appropriate.

b. Other Techniques

One classification system used in Botswana considers production mix between
crops and livestock as a basis for recommendations for future research or

demonstration work. Data from 1980 Agricultural Statistics (Singh and Kelly)
show that more than 70% of the 80,000 traditional farmers in Botswana have
cattle, nearly 60% raise small stock, and more than 80% produce some combination
of the four basic food crops, i.e., sorghum, maize, millet, and/or beans/pulses
(Litschauer and Kelly, 1981).

Using data from the 1980 Agricultural Statistics, Litschauer and Kelly have
categorized farmers into three groups, based on herd size and land size:

1. For the smallest farmers, i.e., those with 10 or fewer cattle, the
primary interest is on crop production. However, as a result of input
constraints-whether draft power, capital, or other-the average area
planted is 1-2 hectares. Small stock holdings are, at best, a peripheral
production activity.

2. For medium-sized cattle farmers, i.e., those with 10-40 cattle, there is
an indication of mixed production activities. Area planted may range from
2-7 hectares, and the number of small stock held becomes more important
in the overall production picture.

3. For large traditional cattle farmers, i.e., those with more than 40 cattle,
the production picture may be either specialized or mixed. A significant
number of farmers in this size range plant little or no crop land, however,
the area planted with crops tends to be larger than in the previous two
size groupings. A portion of this increase may be due to increased capital
holdings, i.e., tractors, implements, etc., and/or management skills. The
number of small stock held by this group also tends to be larger than those
held by the smaller farmers.

Kerven (1979c) developed a classification of female-headed households based
on a composite index of consumption needs, level of self-provision or reliance on
cash remittance, and other factors. (See Appendix F for this typology and another
developed for Kgatleng District, based on herd size, amount harvested, and cash


a. Documents and Personnel

The FSR Team was fortunate to have agricultural statistics and other documents
available prior to arrival in Botswana. After arrival, orientation sessions were
held at which a variety of local officials, expatriate volunteers, and technicians
presented information directing the team's attention to important issues and
additional published sources of information (see Appendix B, Persons Contacted).

b. Sample Block Data

Michael Collinson of CIMMYT, Nairobi was in Gaborone when the FSR team
arrived; he consulted with the team about his experience with FSR. Several
sessions were held centering principally on those farming systems variables that
should be investigated. With his advice, a list of variables was selected for
which information existed in the data bank of the 1980 Botswana Agricultural
Statistics. Arrangements were made to obtain sample block data for these
variables from the Division of Planning and Statistics, MOA. The data is referred

to as "block data" in this report because it was gathered through formal interviews
with householders from randomly selected areas within extension districts called
"blocks." Block data was obtained for Mahalapye, Palapye, and Serowe Districts
in Central Region and Tutume District in Francistown Region (see Figure 1). The
team is indebted to Jeff Hinchcliffe, of the Government Computer Bureau, for
programming, and to the MOA's statistician for providing the block data.

c. Field Interviews

The FSR team travelled to the districts that had been selected by the Project
Design Team and for which block data was available. Individuals in 45 compounds
were interviewed and are, hereafter, referred to as "respondents." In selecting
and interviewing respondents, the team was assisted by ADs; their assistance was
arranged by Regional and District Agricultural Officers who were generous of their
time and assistance and gave valuable information during interviews. A factor
somewhat impeding orderly information gathering was the population census, which
commenced on August 1. Due to constraints on the use of a questionnaire, the
team had to rely on unstructured questions asked from memory. This permitted some
advantages, though, such as flexibility in following up on leads that arose at
individual farms; however, it did mean some items were missed, resulting in
incomplete tables of information.



P Isha
(- -I-_--- _-

I -%


.0 WSW -
^ /


Mg Major Commercial Farm Areas

Figure 1. Districts studied.



The Agricultural Technology Improvement Project Design Team chose as target
areas three districts in Central Region and one district in Francistown Region.
Central Region contains a total of 25,100 farms, of which 22,300 have crop land
and 18,400 have cattle. Francistown Region has 10,700 farms, of which 9,700
have crop land and 8,700 have cattle. The districts in Central and Francistown
Regions and the number of farms with land are enumerated in Table 1.
Mmadinare and Tati Districts were not included in the study.

Table 1. Number of farms per
Francistown Regions

Region District

Central Mahalapye



district with land in Central
of Botswana.

Number of Farms
with Land

Total = 22,300

Total = 9,700


a. Climate

Several useful documents describing the climate are available. A study by
D. Sims, Agroclimatological Information, Crop Requirements and Agricultural Zones
for Botswana, is a useful introduction to climatic and adaptive limitations;
another is the Proceedings of the Symposium on Drought, edited by M.T. Hinchey.

The Project Identification Document has a built-in assumption of a degree
of climate stability that is not realistic. Climates like those found in
Botswana are noted for their high degree of variability. Sanford, in the
Proceedings of the Symposium on Drought in Botswana, notes that a drought of
moderate intensity will occur at Mahalapye and Francistown once every two years,
and a severe drought will occur once every five years. While long-range
predictions are risky and should be used cautiously, Tyson, in the same publication
using long-term climatic data, speculated that there are quasi-periodic fluctuations
in rainfall patterns. He suggests that the wet period of the seventies will end
in 1982 or 1983 and be followed by a dry period until about 1992.

Rainfall during the wet season is highly variable from month to month. Low
total rainfall, coupled with drought periods during the growing season and
rapid evapotranspiration rates, seriously limit crop production. The result of
water balance studies at Content Farm, Sebele are given in C.R. Riches, Dryland

Farming Research Scheme (DLFRS) Botswana. Phase III, Incoming Review. March, 1980.

Plowing and planting at the onset of rains in the spring creates a high
demand for labor. Access to draft power at this time is important in determining
the area plowed and planted and the eventual yield. The risk of crop failure is
greater if planting is delayed until January or later.

b. Soils

The soils of eastern Botswana that are suitable for arable crop production
have, for the most part, loamy sand, sandy loam, and clay loam textures. These
fine-textured soils have weak structures and low porosities; they crust easily
under intensive rains and when dry are hard in consistency. Organic matter
contents are low, as are available phosphorus levels.

Soils of North-Eastern Botswana and Their Suitability for Dryland Farming,
by J.H. Venema, describes the soils and the program of soil mapping in that
region. It also contains a valuable bibliography. At the time of publication,
nine mapsheets at 1:50,000 scale were completed-they can be obtained from the
MOA, Division of Land Utilization, Gaborone. The mapping units used "soil
families," which "...are at a level somewhere between the subgroup and series..."
of the U.S. Classification System. Mapsheets are available for Tutume District.

In Central Region, soil mapping is in progress. Some 30-40 mapsheets at a
scale of 1:50,000 have been completed, but have not been published. The area
around Mahalapye has been completed. The original mapsheets may be examined
in the Division of Land Utilization, Gaborone, and a limited supply of
reproductions of the mapsheets are available.

Another publication containing valuable information about the environment
and soils of limited areas is The Irrigation Potential of Soils Along the Main
River of Eastern Botswana..., by A.J.B. Mitchell.

c. Water

Another constraint to arable crop production is limited water supply for
domestic use and for livestock at critical times. Water is needed not only for
planting and plowing, but also for domestic purposes, small stock, and draft
power. Although customary, migration of people from lands to villages may
also be forced on the people by poor accessibility of water during the dry
season. In field interviews, it was found that many households were far removed
from a convenient water source. A large amount of time and labor (female) is
spent in obtaining water. Any policy involving arable production must consider
the availability of water; development policy, in turn, must recognize the
relationship between water availability and crop production. Two basic
references regarding water policy are The Water Points Survey, by L. Fortmann
and E. Roe and Water Use in Eastern Botswana: Policy Guide and Summary of the
Water Points Survey, by E. Roe and L. Fortmann.


a. Units of Analysis

Block data was provided from the 1980 agricultural survey. This data was
obtained from a probability sample using an area frame. Blocks were stratified

according to cattle posts, lands, and village areas. A total of 62 blocks was
contained in the study area. Variables such as cattle-holdings and crop
combinations were mapped and analyzed at the blocks level, using this data to
discern the amount and type of geographical and hierarchical variation present.
The distribution of blocks by districts is shown in Table 2.

Table 2. Distribution of cattle posts, lands, and village areas
in surveyed districts of Botswana.

Block type Mahalapye Palapye Serowe Tutume

Cattle posts 4 4 4 5

Lands 6 6 6 4

Villages 8 6 6 3

b. Cattle

Availability of cattle for plowing is a function of several variables,
e.g., herd size and herd composition. Statistical data was analyzed in a number
of ways to see if any significant geographical or hierarchical differences were

i. Average Herd Size and Composition

The average cattle herd size in Central Region is 52, with only one
district showing an appreciable difference, Palapye with 41. Tutume District
(in Francistown Region) has 47. If different size herds are composed of
different percentages of each sex, then cattle numbers alone may not reflect
the number of animals available for plowing. (There is a reluctance to use a
pregnant cow or one that is nursing a calf for plowing.) Cows make up the
largest percentage of herds in both regions, but are slightly more numerous in
Central Region (43%) than in Francistown Region (38%). The largest herds in
Francistown also have a lower proportion of cows than the smallest herds.
Conversely, oxen comprise a higher percentage of Francistown Region herds (12%).

Another possible source of variation relative to herd size is the type of
settlement. Cattle posts are the areas away from villages where cattle are
kept for part of the year, often tended by a hired man or one of the family.
The lands areas are usually closer to the villages, and may have some families
that stay there year-round. More often the families live in villages and go
to the lands areas only for planting, harvesting, and threshing. Data was
analyzed by settlement type to see if there were any systematic differences.
Table 3 shows the amount of variation (expressed as the range from smallest to
largest herd size) for all sample blocks of each settlement type. With three
settlement types in four districts, there are 12 district-block combinations.
In most cases, the range of variability within each sample block exceeds the
range of variability between types. Thus, there is no compelling reason to
consider type of sample block as a source of systematic variation, either taken


alone or in combination with groupings by settlement type.

Table 3. Cattle herd size rank ordered by range (largest to smallest)
for sample block types.

Maximum Minimum
Block ID Range Extremes District and block type rank* rank**

1018.... 66 (10-76) Serowe Cattle Post 1 1
1007.... 61 (19-80) Mahalapye Cattle Post 2 2
1007.... 52 (3-55) Tutume Cattle Post 3 9.5
3001.... 34 (3-37) Serowe Village 4 9.5
2012.... 19 (6-25) Serowe Lands 5 4.5
3006.... 17 (4-21) Mahalapye Village 6 7
3001.... 16 (2-18) Tutume Village 7.5 10.5
1005.... 14 (4-18) Palapye Cattle Post 7.5 7
2040.... 12 (4-16) Palapye Lands 10 7
2012.... 12 (6-12) Tutume Lands 11 4.5
3002.... 9 (2-11) Palapye Village 12 10.5
2013.... 9 (8-17) Mahalapye Lands 9 3

*Only Mahalapye Lands varies in ordinal position, based on maximum
cattle herd size.
**There is a great deal of variation in minimum size herds across the
regions and block types studied.

While additional livestock figures and analyses could be used as
illustrations, there is no compelling methodological reason to consider either
districts or sample block types as a major focus for analysis. No systematic
hierarchical or geographical variations appear to be present.

ii. Draft Power

The source of draft power, whether owned, mafisaed, hired, or borrowed,
was thought to be of importance (Table 4). Less than half the farmers owned
draft power (regardless of type of draft) in three of the four districts.
Ownership exceeded half (63%) only in Tutume District. Farmers in Tutume
District also hired draft less frequently than farmers in other districts.

Oxen are the most common type of draft power used in all districts,
though in Serowe, oxen and tractors are used equally. Greater numbers of
donkeys are found in Mahalapye and Palapye Districts than in Serowe and
Tutume Districts (Table 5). The type of draft power is a critical variable
when considering the amount of land to be plowed and the timeliness of planting
relative to soil moisture content; thus, ownership of draft, access to draft,
and type of draft are of considerable importance to the types and productivity
of farm systems.

iii. Goats

Goats are used as a source of income and for home consumption (Table 6).
Goat slaughter for consumption is common in all districts and most sample


blocks, with only 13 blocks reporting no goats slaughtered. Analyses of data
on goats sold, slaughtered, and dead from disease reveal an unusually high
death rate due to disease. This is most notable for Palapye and to a lesser
extent for Tutume and Serowe Districts. Although no significant source of
variation occurs relative to domains, there are several important issues
concerning small stock-these will be discussed in the last section of this

Table 4. Source of draft power used to plow fields in
of Botswana (percentage of district total).

Source of draft power

surveyed districts







Owned Mafisa Hired Borrowed

43 11

Table 5. Type of draft power used to plow fields in surveyed districts
of Botswana (percentage of district totals).

Type of Draft Power

Oxen &
Oxen Others

Donkeys Tractors

67 20


56 33

56 12








Table 6. Number of goats reported sold, slaughtered, and dead from
disease by sampled blocks in surveyed districts of Botswana.

Number of goats
fate of goats 0 1-49 50-99 100-199 200+

sold 9 1 4 2 2
slaughtered 2 1 5 6 4
disease 11 3 1 0 1

sold 6 2 7 0 1
slaughtered 1 3 3 6 3
disease 2 4 2 4 4

sold 12 0 2 1 1
slaughtered 6 1 4 5 0
disease 8 2 2 1 2

sold 7 0 1 4 1
slaughtered 4 0 2 3 4
disease 9 0 0 2 2

All 4 districts
sold 34 3 14 7 5
slaughtered 13 5 14 20 11
disease 30 9 5 6 9

c. Crop Information

Sorghum is the most extensively grown crop in all districts (Table 7);
maize is the second most common crop. In Tutume District, millet rivals maize
in abundance and is grown by three-fourths of the farmers. In the other
districts, millet is the least frequently grown grain crop. Cowpeas, the
common pulse crop, are more frequently grown in Mahalapye District (72% of the
farmers) and least frequently grown in Tutume District (35% of the farmers).
The frequency with which millet is grown in Tutume District is probably due
more to dietary preference and ethnic difference than to environmental factors.

Rather arbitrarily, but with some justification, the team divided size of
fields (reported in the block data) into three categories-small, up to 3.0
hectares; medium, 3.1-6.0 hectares; and large, greater than 6.0 hectares.
Table 8 shows the proportion of small, medium, and large fields within the four
districts. Tutume District has the greatest proportion of small fields and the
smallest proportion of large fields; Mahalapye and Serowe Districts are similar
to each other in this regard, while Palapye District has the smallest proportion
of small fields and the largest proportion of medium-sized fields.


Table 7. Percentage of farmers growing principal crops in surveyed
districts of Botswana.







Palapye Serowe

Table 8. Percentage of small, medium, and
districts of Botswana.

large farms in surveyed

Farm size






Small Medium Large

40 28

26 47

44 31

50 38

The block data confirms field observations, indicating that monocropping
is the exception and mixed cropping is the rule. When sorghum, maize, or millet
are monocropped, they usually occupy only a portion (often the smaller portion)
of the land. In Central Region, sorghum-maize-cowpeas is the most prevalent
crop mixture. In Tutume District of Francistown Region, sorghum-maize-millet
and sorghum-maize-millet-cowpeas mixtures are grown more frequently than in
Central Region.

Secondary crops (those less frequently and extensively grown) include
sunflowers, groundnuts, sweet reed, and melons. "Melons" is used here as a
collective term for pumpkins, squash, and watermelons-no distinction is made
in the block data. These crops are grown frequently in Palapye and Mahalapye
than in other districts. They are also grown more frequently at lands areas
than at villages and cattle posts.

i. Sorghum

Sorghum is the most extensively grown crop and is also the one that fails
less frequently, i.e., the harvested area of sorghum accounts for a larger
proportion of the planted area than the other grains. The rate of failure of
the sorghum crop was greater than 50% in only 3 of 50 blocks. On the other
hand, 30 blocks reported greater than 50% failure of cowpeas and 39 blocks












reported greater than 50% failure of maize. It is clear that cowpeas and maize
are high risk crops, either because of the environment or the techniques used
to produce them. Crop failure was less frequent in Tutume District than
elsewhere. This may also be true over periods longer than the one year for
which block data was available and, if so, might be due to greater average
annual rainfall.

ii. Millet

Millet is grown most frequently in Tutume District. All nine blocks in
the district reported farms growing millet, and three blocks reported growing
millet in an average area greater than one hectare. In five blocks, all planted
millet was harvested and, in the other four blocks, 59-88% of the millet was
harvested. In contrast to this, only three sample blocks in Mahalapye District
reported farms growing millet; in one, millet failed completely. Nine blocks in
Palapye District reported farms with millet, but only two had an average area
greater than one hectare. In seven of the nine blocks, all planted millet was
harvested. Only four sample blocks reported farms growing millet, but all areas
were harvested.

iii. Groundnuts and Sunflowers

Small areas of groundnuts and sunflowers are reported in the block data.
Of the five blocks in Mahalapye District reported growing groundnuts, only one
had an appreciable number of farmers growing them on a small area. In Palapye
District, groundnuts were reported in four blocks, only one of which reported
more than one-half hectare planted-none reported any groundnuts harvested.
Two blocks in Tutume District were reported to have planted an average area of
about one-half hectare, however, only one reported any harvest. In all districts,
only seven blocks were reported to have sunflowers grown in them. The number of
farms growing them, and the area planted, was small, but all areas planted were


a. Introduction

The team visited and interviewed operators on 45 farms-26 in Central Region
and 19 in Francistown Region. Seven of the farms were located in Palapye
District, 8 in Mahalapye East, 6 in Mahalapye West, 5 in Serowe, and 19 in Tutume.
Officers of the DAFS, after being told about the team's mission and purpose,
advised and served as guides in locating farms and also helped with interviews.
No formal method of selecting farms was adopted because the team was interested
in observing constraints and understanding issues, rather than sampling for
statistical purposes.

The information gathered from the interviews is reviewed in this section.
Observations made and recorded are summarized in Appendix D and discussed in
Section 5, Constraints on Production; they were also used in the determination
of recommendation domains.

b. Type of Draft, Access to Draft, and Other Animal Issues

Oxen are used more frequently for draft than any other source of traction-
most commonly as a 6-oxen hitch in three spans pulling in tandem. Other


hitches used are 4-oxen in two spans and 8-oxen in four spans. The 4-oxen
teams were only reported in Tutume District. Donkeys are also used for draft,
but to a lesser extent than oxen; only two farmers used donkeys exclusively,
while another used both oxen and donkeys in separate hitches with six animals
in each hitch. The use of donkeys was only recorded in Mahalapye East.
Tractors were used in six instances, four of which were in Tutume District.
In the few cases where both tractors and oxen were used, the oxen were used
on land with stumps, probably to avoid tractor damage and cost of repairs.

Access to, or the availability of, draft power of various kinds is an
important consideration. Of 34 farmers reported using ox-power, 24 owned the
oxen used, 7 exchanged labor for their use, 1 farmer "mafisaed" his oxen, and
2 hired oxen. In the case of tractors, 2 were owned and 4 were hired.
Payment for hired tractors was in cash (12-16 Pula per acre), except in one
instance where labor was exchanged. Of the two farmers using only donkeys, one
owned the animals and the other hired them.

Farmers were asked what animals they owned. Twelve of the 26 farmers
visited in Central Region and 2 of the 19 in Francistown Region owned no cattle.
The greatest number reported in Central Region was 46, while four farmers in
Francistown Region said they owned more than 100 head. The numbers of cattle
reported were probably lower than actually owned.

Fewer goats were reported than cattle. In Central Region, 18 of 26
farmers did not own goats,and only one farmer had more than 15 goats. A larger
proportion of farmers in Francistown Region owned goats-16 of 19-and 3 of them
owned more than 15.

All farmers in Francistown Region owned poultry, and 22 of 26 farmers in
Central Region owned poultry. The number of birds owned ranged from 5-25.
Several farmers reported having a few ducks.

c. Family Composition in Households Interviewed

The family groups at 39 of the 45 farms interviewed were classified as
either extended or nuclear types; Table 9 shows the numbers of these families
in three size categories. Nuclear families were more numerous than extended
families and contained fewer members. Six households of the 38 from which
such information was obtained were female-headed households. The proportion of
such households in the group interviewed (16%) was less than the 33% reported
in the 1980 Agricultural Statistics. On many of the farms studied, the women
did much of the farm work and may have been reported as being the head-of-
household in the absence of the men. Several of the families had a husband,
father, or son working in South Africa, or elsewhere, who only returned home
to help with plowing and planting.

d. Family Situation and Food Supply

Respondents were asked if they had sufficient grain for their families to
last until the next harvest (Table 10). Whether the family would sell grain,
buy grain, or have sufficient grain for their needs was categorized by family
type and also by the sex of the head-of-household.

Nuclear and extended families were similar with regard to adequacy of grain


supply at the time of interview. Larger families intended to buy grain more
frequently than smaller families. A large proportion of female-headed
households had an insufficient amount of grain. This circumstance is probably
indicative of the many problems these families face in producing crops and
maintaining themselves. According to the 1980 Agricultural Statistics, 49% of
the farms in Central Region having no cattle were female-headed-a much larger
proportion than that for male-headed farms. Not having cattle to plow-
consequently, having to make arrangements for plowing that very likely led to
later planting and greater probability of low yields-might explain the high
proportion of female-headed households with insufficient grain supplies.

Table 9. Total number of nuclear and extended families by
family size category on interviewed farms.

Family size

Family type




Table 10. Method

<10 10-15 >15

16 6

5 9

21 15

0 22

3 17

3 39

grain disposal by family structure and family type
number of respondents) and average size of family
of grain by the various methods.

Method of grain disposal

Sell Sufficient

Buy Total

Family structure


Family type


Average family size








This section draws on observations made in the field and analyses of
agricultural statistics, as well as discussions with government and volunteer
agency personnel familiar with the agricultural situation.

a. Time of Plowing and Planting

By organizing sample block data into time of planting and yield levels, a
fairly clear trend is evident (Table 11). The average total yield per hectare
for 1980 of the four principal crops (sorghum, maize, millet, and cowpeas) in
Central Region was 226 kg/ha-sorghum constituted 185 kg/ha. Data from
Francistown Region is comparable. The block data in Table 11 show that delayed
planting past some unknown optimum date increased the probability of low yields.
A greater proportion (about 60%) of crops planted before or during November
yielded more than the regional averages. As planting was delayed into December
and later, the proportion of adequate yields decreased. In 1980, only 24% of
the farms planted before or during November, while 36% planted after December
when the probability of low yields was greatest.

Table 11. Influence of 1980 plow-planting date on percent of farmers in
Central Region obtaining low (< 249 kg/ha) and adequate
(>250 kg/ha) yields.

Time of plow-planting

Yield Before November December After
kg/ha November December

<249 3 5 20 20

>250 6 10 20 16

Total 9 15 40 36

Data for other years would be variable, depending on the onset and
distribution of rains, but would probably show similar relationships.
Plow-planting with oxen or donkeys is a slow process and is spread over several
weeks or months. During the process, a portion of the field may be plow-planted
at the optimum time. This slow progress may be a casual means of reducing the
risk of crop failure, which might result from planting the entire crop at an
unfavorable time. However, planting after December-as 36% did in 1980-may be
the result of poor management or the unavailability of draft power.

The problem of available draft, strength of oxen, earliness of plowing and
planting, and the adequacy of implements used are all confounded, but several
points seem fairly clear.

b. Plow Condition and Maintenance

Plows on most farms were examined and found to need new shares in almost


every case; other parts were badly worn or missing. The effect that these
conditions have on the amount of work required to plow by man and beast, and
the condition of the resulting seedbed and seed coverage, can only be
speculated. Improved maintenance of plows should decrease draft, increase rate
of planting, and possibly improve stands of crops obtained. Improved plow
maintenance may be coordinated with a proposal for a rural blacksmith training
program made by the Rural Industries Innovation Center (RIIC) at Kanye.
Eize de Vries of RIIC is experienced with plow maintenance and the manufacture
of plow parts that are not worn by plowing-parts other than the share, land
slide, and moldboard. He was quite helpful with his knowledge and advice.
Rural blacksmithing could provide employment in villages and support for
farmers. The need for handtool repair and manufacture would also be served by
such a program.

The number of implement models available for purchase are limited, and
those available are used on a range of soil conditions. Operating characteristics
of the implements-plowing, planting, cultivating-need to be studied and design
changes suggested to the manufacturers, or new models sought. The single row
planter that is available and subsidized by ALDEP has a seed metering system
that needs modification to avoid grinding seed, to accurately space seed in the
row, and to accommodate seed of different sizes. Operating characteristics of
the cultivator shovels should be studied in conjunction with weed control

c. Draft Animal Constraints

The availability of oxen for plowing is not only a question of ownership,
but also of the distance of the cattle posts from the lands and the foresight
exercised by the owner or herder in having them at hand when plowing becomes
possible. Age, sex, weight, experience, training, and the strength of oxen are
also factors influencing plowing. Respondents frequently complained that oxen
are weak and fractious after the dry season and that plowing goes slowly at
first as a result. This could be anticipated and fodder and grain provided for
them (providing fodder might be more easily accomplished considering current
grain yields).

Fodder may either be pulled as the plants mature (the leaves stripped from
sorghum or maize), or harvested whole, bundled, transported to the threshing
floor, threshed, and shocked. Research on all aspects of such fodder gathering,
including the labor required and the nutritive value of the fodder produced,
is desirable.

Working oxen also require adequate water; this may prove to be a more
intractable constraint than providing fodder. The Institute for Agricultural
Engineering at Salisbury, Zimbabwe has useful information about the nutrition
and management of draft oxen and specifications for yokes to make draft
efficient and comfortable for the oxen.

d. Length of Time Oxen Used for Plowing

The length of time spent plowing during one day may be as much of a
constraint as the availability of draft power. Various farmers said they plowed
only five hours. When asked why, most said that that was as long as they
usually plowed. None referred to the teams getting tired. Admittedly, the


cattle often are in a weak condition after the dry season and considerable time
is necessary to water cattle and allow them to graze, but when asked whether
the cattle get tired, farmers said the cattle could work a second shift, but
they themselves had too many other activities. Plowing rarely occurred after
lunch; it is probably very hot then, but plowing from 4 to 7 pm is a possibility.

Thus, there is, in part, a social basis for draft constraint. Limited
numbers of strong cattle only work part time because of daily routines of the
family labor force.

e. Weed Control

Weeding is accomplished by hand hoeing. The operation is often begun after
all, or a major part, of the crop is planted, a process that extends over a
month or six weeks. One weeding was the common response to the question of how
often or how many times weeding was done. Since the operation takes so long to
complete, many weeds are much taller when they are finally killed than when the
operation commenced. Table 12 gives the respondent replies regarding height of
crop at initiation of weeding. With limited moisture and soil nutrients weed
competition is a serious problem and requires more attention.

Table 12. Number of respondents indicating various crop heights at
initiation of weeding.

Number of
Crop height respondents

up to 6 inches 6

6-12 inches 12

12-18 inches 6

18-24 inches 4

With regard to who actually does the weeding, most husbands assured that
they were busy tending cattle. In 12 of the 32 farms that gave information, the
wife did the weeding alone. In another 12, she was assisted by other women or
children from within the compound or family. In five cases, the man helped.

Two weeds were pervasive-Cynodon dactylon and Striga spp. An estimated
60% of one field observed was covered with Cynodon-it had been under cultivation
only five years. Another common weed, called konkorus by the respondents, was
believed to be Xanthium stramonium. "Blackjack," Bidens pilosa, was another
common weed. Oftentimes, weeds were referred to simply as grass.

f. Other Constraints

While the team did not systematically ask all respondents to list the major
constraints, they were asked to come up with a large number which were common,
and a few which were mentioned by only a few people.


The most common problem mentioned was bird damage (by 14 respondents).
Where lands were far away, the person sent to scare birds had a long walk to
the field to be there at daybreak when the birds arrived, and had to stay
until dusk or arrange for another family member to be there.

Cattle invading fields was the second most frequently mentioned
(by 9 respondents). Some farmers had put up wire fences. Others had tried
brush fences, only to have cattle push through them. The tradition of claims
for cattle damage to crops to be settled in kgotla (the headman's court) was
breaking down in several cases. In one instance, the cattle owner was a very
wealthy person against whom lands people did not want to raise complaints.
In other instances, people were afraid complaints would be lodged against
their own cattle when they brought them for plowing. A few mentioned that
they might need to borrow a few head to fill out their span (draft team) in
case theirs fell sick or were not available. Several respondents hoped to
arrange loans to buy fences.

Related to cattle invasion was the threat of other wild (grazing) animals.
Kudu were mentioned by two, impala by one, and wild animals in general by
another. Some of these had leaped or knocked down fences; others had simply
walked into the fields.

Jackals were reported to attack goats by two respondents. Chickens and
porcupines also were reported to damage crops. One guest technician outside
the area studied (in Kanye) mentioned that baboons had torn up his garden.
He was chagrined that they had not bothered to eat what they uprooted-they
simply vandalized it.

With regard to animal diseases, only one respondent reported problems,
and this was with parasites in his goats. The high goat mortality rate
(reported elsewhere) suggests a greater problem than indicated by the farmers.

Flower-eating beetles (Mylabris spp.) were mentioned by seven people with
regard to cowpeas or beans. In several cases, the entire crop was destroyed.
In other cases, a few pails full were salvaged. Root or stalk borers were
mentioned by a few, and on five farms the presence of stalk borers was verified
in the fields. In most of these cases, the stalk was also invaded by stalk
rot. Stalk rot in the lower internodes was found in two additional fields
where there was no evidence of borers. Head smut was a problem in four
instances. Other virus or plant disease probably existed on the more distant
fields,which were not visited due to time limitations.


The study was simplified by several classifications and findings-especially
useful was the study of Litschauer and Kelly on Traditional Versus Commercial
Agriculture in Botswana. Two distinct sectors are recognized in Botswana-
commercial and traditional. Commercial farms, largely freehold, represent 0.4%
of the total farms and were excluded from the study.

The major sources of variation encountered in traditional farms were in
those management variables that influence resource allocation and the farming
system. Five sources of variation are particularly important in accounting for
the differences in arable activity in Central and Francistown Regions:


1. Access to draft power; ownership and number of cattle, donkeys, and
tractors; need to hire and exchange labor (closely correlated to other

2. Major staples: sorghum, maize, beans, and millet-the major crops
represent major resource uses and exert a major influence on the
farming system.

3. Degree of commercialization: market orientation, livestock, crops,
remittances, and sale of other products.

4. Size of crop area.

5. Household characteristics: male- or female-headed, plow condition, and
other general household characteristics.

In the traditional sector, most farms are engaged-to a degree-in some
form of mixed production, and some overlapping of groups occurs. Using the
above factors, three major domains can be identified in the traditional sector:

1. Relatively wealthy farms with a distinct emphasis on livestock. Farms
in this group are significantly involved in market transactions; often
own tractors; plow for others; and haul grain. Relatively large land-
holdings (larger than 10 hectares) are found, but cropping activity is
peripheral to cattle production.

2. Marginal mixed crop and livestock farms. Farms in this group possess
10-40 head of cattle; have fewer constraints to plowing; have a greater
degree of self-sufficiency; and have fewer other constraints. Typically,
these farms are 3-8 hectares in size.

3. Submarginal mixed farms with a crop emphasis. Farms in this group possess
no cattle, or less than 10 head; there is often a need to hire or borrow
traction for plowing; and plowing is often done late. Labor exchange is
frequently involved. A higher percentage of female-headed households
occurs. Lack of seed, low yields, and high failure rate often occur.
Farms are usually a maximum of 3-4 hectares. This group also relies,
to a greater degree, on transfer payments and other income to keep the
household afloat.

It should be noted that the constraints of the physical environment appear
to apply equally to the three domains, consequently, the most important proxy
variables-in terms of recommendation domains-are power source and size of
holding. To a large degree, these two variables allow homogeneous populations
to be identified for further research and development.

Millet is grown more frequently in Francistown Region than in Central Region.
Not only does this reflect a different dietary preference among the people,
it can also be associated with other variables. The people in Tutume District
appear to be a little more developmentally oriented. All farmers in both regions,
regardless of category, face much the same set of constraints.



Consideration of the data obtained from various sources given in the
previous section and the observations made in the field suggest expansion of
present research programs and initiation of new ones. Questions that arose as
a result of the team's experience and suggestions for investigations are
given in this section.


a. Thirty-nine of 45 farmers visited use livestock to plow. Almost every
farmer stated that plowing is delayed as much as two weeks while
animals are allowed to graze on the first green grass to improve their
physical condition. A minimum of supplemental feed before the rains
should keep animals in proper condition to work two weeks earlier in
the plowing season. How can supplemental feed be economically furnished
to the animals?

b. Many farmers interviewed said that plowing is delayed because there is
no water at, or near, the lands area. There may be an economical way
to solve this problem.

c. Many farmers apparently do not take advantage of the numerous animal
health programs available through the MOA. Perhaps this can be

d. Most donkeys are thin, rough-haired, and apparently in poor physical
condition at the beginning of the rains. They would also benefit from
supplemental feed.

e. Farmers without animals would benefit from any program that would keep
draft animals in better condition at plowing time, since their lands
would also be plowed earlier in the season.

f. The annual death rate for goats (aside from those slaughtered) appears
to be very high on the traditional farms (over 30% according to the
1980 agricultural survey (APRU Annual Report, 1979, page 139). Several
farmers said that young "kids" often die for no apparent reason. Health
programs are available, but apparently are not well utilized.

g. Only 7% of the farmers in Central Region feed bonemeal and salt to
their animals. In Francistown Region, the figure is only 4% (Ag. Field
Services Annual Plan 1981-82, P.T. Nelson). Where is the snag in this
practice that every livestock producer in Botswana should follow?

h. Under certain conditions, animal manure is an excellent source of
nitrogen for ruminants. The possibility should be investigated in

i. In the near future, some progressive small farmers may wish to intensify
production of poultry, goats, or pigs. Researchers should check the
possibility of using locally available, low cost materials for the housing
and confinement of small stock.


j. Many yokes and harnesses appear to be ill-fitted and in poor repair.
This reduces animal efficiency during plowing.

k. The plow share and landslide of almost every plow were badly worn.
This increases drag and reduces efficiency of the plowing operation.

1. The Palapye Development Trust appears to be doing an excellent job
of demonstrating good management of animals, crops, and machinery on
the small farm. Perhaps more demonstrations of this type can be


Average yields of crops are dishearteningly low. Some of the factors that
limit crop yields under traditional methods have been studied and these efforts
should be carried on and refined. The extent to which pests limit yields under
common management is not known.

Inadequate weed control seems to be largely responsible for low yields.
Weed investigations might include the following:

1. Frequency and time of weeding-and labor required
2. Studied of weed populations
3. Ecology and physiology of individual weed species
4. Influence of tillage and crop sequence on weed population, including
the parasitic ones-Striga and Alectra

Insects also reduce yields. Prominent among the insect pests mentioned
in the interviews are the sorghum stalk borers and the aphids and beetles that
suppress the yield of cowpeas. Undoubtedly, there are many more. Insect
investigations might include the following:

1. Insect populations on crops
2. Life cycles of common damaging insects
3. Agronomic practices that may avoid fostering populations of damaging
4. Measures for controlling threatening insects-biological and chemical

Prominent among diseases of the leading crop-sorghum-are stalk rots,
head smuts, and downy mildew. In addition to the efforts of plant breeders to
develop varieties with resistance or tolerance to these diseases, investigations
might include the following:

1. Seed treatment with fungicides for control of head smuts
2. Study of the ecology and physiology of the diseases
3. Study of agronomic practices to reduce incidence and severity of
disease infestation, such as crop sequence, time of planting, and
disposal of crop residues

If the role of the pests in suppressing yields can be reduced and yields
increased, the availability of nutrients might become a more important limiting
factor. Available phosphorus levels in the soils are low, as are the organic
matter contents. Fertility investigations might include the following:


1. Methods and rate of applying phosphatic and nitrogenous fertilizers
to crops
2. Adaptation of soil testing procedures and correlation with field
3. Role of intercropped legumes in enhancing grain yields
4. Nutrient depletion under continuous cropping
5. Utilization of wood ashes, animal manures, crop processing residues,
kitchen wastes, and composts made from these materials as a means of
enhancing soil nutrients
6. Evaluation of soil micronutrient content

The present method of establishing crops and all contingencies of that
process need study, including the nutrition, training, and organization of the
oxen, inspanning of oxen, maintenance of plows, time of seeding, and seed

It is common practice to plant over a period of up to two months. Sometimes
this is due to the amount and sequence of rains and the occurrence of propitious
circumstances for planting. Sometimes this is due to procrastination or an
inability to organize the plowing operation. There appears to be a conviction,
as well as some evidence, that early planting is desirable. Considering the
unpredictability and variability of rainfall, the optimum time for planting
may vary from year to year and may be known only after the season has passed.
Deliberate delay of planting should be investigated. Obtaining or developing
grain varieties with shorter maturities and planting them in December (or whenever
turns out to be later than usual), after preparation of the seedbed, may be
advantageous. It would allow time for more than one tillage operation, which
would result in a firmer seedbed, improved germination and emergence of crop
plants, and reduced weed population. Although shorter-maturing varieties have
reduced yield potentials, they are advantageous in some environments; greater
plant density may be obtained, which compensates for the reduced yield potential.
Obtaining varieties to fit this method of management would be a concern.

Some work with fallow has been done at Content Farm, Sebele and should be
continued. While climatic data suggest that fallow efficiencies are too low
to justify the practice (on the basis of stored moisture, there may be other
advantages. Fallowing land may help reduce weeds, increase available nutrients,
and prepare the soil for earlier planting. The number of tillage operations
with fallow would be greater, but tillage effort at planting would be reduced
and seedbed condition improved.

Cowpeas and jugo beans are the commonly grown pulses. Yields are low
because of the incidence of diseases and insects damaging the crops. Other
pulses, such as mung beans, pigeon peas, and chickpeas, should be investigated,
taking advantage of work done on the latter two by the International Crops
Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics. Since cowpea foliage is used
in the local diet, it might be helpful to study the response of cowpea varieties
to defoliation.

Melons-including squash, pumpkin, and watermelon-are widely grown and are
an important part of the diet in-season. Any varietal trials, cultural methods,
and pest control measures that may be necessary should be investigated. Variety
and sufficiency of the diet may be increased by improvement of drying and storage
techniques used for preserving squash and pumpkin.


Native plant materials provide part of the local diet, although how much
it provides is not known. More information about which plants are consumed,
and what the possibilities are of increasing the food supply by establishing
plantations or orchards,would be useful. The protection and propagation of
existing sources and their improvement by selection is another possibility.

Destumping of lands is expensive and laborious. It is usually done with
axe and shovel. Simple mechanical means, appropriate for the power sources
available-men, beasts, and tractors-should be devised.


The team visited a small-scale gardening project that was started as an
income-generating activity in a Selibe Phikwe self-help housing project. After
a 5-year effort, five commercial plots were in operation. This is a long-term,
slow process in a country with extremely costly water and little tradition of
vegetable production. Further expansion of this project would have to take
water availability into account. The farmers there were planning to relocate
closer to a river, given the high cost (about 80 Pula per plot per year) when
the city ceased to cover the water cost (at a subsidy of 60 Pula, 75%).
Recovery of waste water would make this a possible activity for some families
near such potential sources. Use of low-water crops is a further prospect.
Many school gardens use small plots as demonstration areas. Greywater from
school kitchens could be harnessed for use on these areas and eventually expand

A German volunteer has started a beekeeping program with 80 simple hives
designed after those used in Tanzania-mud-covered boxes with simple top frames.
There appears to be a considerable market for the honey, which is sold locally,
as soon as it is collected. A manual on honey production is available.

Such projects would not only permit greater local earnings, but they would
also keep money within the local area that might otherwise leave. Local
recycling of such funds has a multiplier effect that further stimulates local


There is a relatively extensive and growing body of .information on Botswana.
Despite this, there are numerous gaps that remain to be filled.

a. Resource Issues

As Garrett Hardin points out in his article "The tragedy of the commons,"
when the use of a natural resource is vested in no individual or group, the
ultimate ruin of the resource is virtually assured. The travels through Central
and Northeast Regions and the interviews with a number of farmers have made it
quite evident that land use patterns are undergoing considerable change. Some
fields have been developed recently (within the last five years), while others
have been used for long periods of time. Most land appears not to have been
cultivated, at least in recent times, and numerous former fields are in various
stages of reverting to bush. Observation suggests that a dynamic situation
involving changing land use is present in the area studied.

Numerous questions come to mind that merit investigation. Why are fields


abandoned? Does field abandonment mirror changes in soil fertility, bush
encroachment, or increasing weed problems? Are certain areas gaining or losing
importance, in terms of arable and grazing land? What are the farmers'
perceptions and attitudes relative to the changes in land use? How do tenure
and changing social structure link to land use change? Growing land scarcity
and changes in land use have numerous implications and need to be understood
in terms of arable activity. It is likely that these changes will impact on
the lower end or poorer part of the traditional sector.

Commonly, resources (soil, water, geology, grazing, etc.) are considered
separately and managed individually, as is evident in the governmental structure
of separate departments and ministries. In the environment, though, resources
are not so conveniently separated, nor can exploitation be confined to a single
resource. This is perhaps of greater significance in a country such as Botswana
where periodic droughts multiply the effects of imbalances in the fragile

In the event of a series of dry years-inevitable in Botswana-the over-
extended system could collapse catastrophically. Long-range planning is
necessary, not only to carefully control single resource use, but also to
anticipate repercussions due to the interrelatedness of resources if ecologic
and economic disaster are to be avoided.

Given the pattern of villages, lands areas, and cattle posts, it is
imperative that one thinks spatially, and in system terms. Historically,
crop and livestock activities were kept spatially separated. In recent years,
settlement patterns have been undergoing major changes with more people
residing at the lands, and mixed arable-livestock activity is becoming a normal
practice. Litschauer and Kelly, in their study Traditional Agriculture in
Botswana, estimate that three-quarters of the farmers practice some kind of
mixed farming operation today. Because access to draft is of fundamental
importance to the arable sector, the relationships or linkages for use of these
animals need to be understood relative to the total system.

Interviews and observations in the field raised numerous other questions
that need to be explored. It is obvious that overgrazing is a problem around
water points and in some land areas. A common complaint expressed during
interviews was crop damage or loss due to livestock. The movement of people
and livestock must be understood. Where is grazing pressure greatest and
lightest? What areas have the heaviest crop damage due to livestock? How are
drift fences affecting cattle movement and crop damage? Does herd movement vary
from normal to drought years? Is there more timely access to draft if cattle
are kept at the lands? How does grazing pressure affect cattle condition?
Could improved management of grazing and use of field crop residue late in the
season provide oxen in better condition at the critical time of plowing? What
cattle movement takes place as the plowing season approaches and at the critical
time of plowing? How are these movements planned? If draft power and the
condition of animals are major constraints (and there is little doubt that they
are), then the spatial pattern and movement of people and their animals must be

b. Settlement and Land Use Issues

Another area important in understanding spatial relationships to changing


land use is the settlement hierarchy and the linkages involved in this system.
Increased crop production requires provision of services (health, education,
water, etc.) in rural areas, input supplies, markets, and other infrastructure.
Critical population thresholds for various services need to be identified.
Higher order services, such as marketing facilities, must be provided in
larger settlements. What are the populations at the lands and which areas have
people returning to the villages? To understand the settlement hierarchy,
numerous aspects must be investigated in order to provide the necessary range
of services required by the farming household.

c. Marketing Issues

The Botswana Agricultural Marketing Board (BAMB) has expanded rapidly since
the mid-1970s; today, marketing depots and agencies are available to farmers in
Central and Francistown Regions. Generally speaking, most farmers for the main
lands areas are within 40 kilometers of a depot.

At present, prices set by the BAMB and MOA are tied to prevailing prices
in South Africa. Despite the growth of the BAMB, the amount of local trade
and the numbers of local markets remain significant. Little is known about the
extent and operation of local markets. Although some farms are basically self-
sufficient, a majority of farmers contacted in the field either buy or sell
locally. Lack of market information, and of transportation and selling facilities,
in local areas may represent a basic economic constraint to the majority of small
traditional farmers.

d. Rural Small-Scale Industry

The implements used on many of the farms visited could be upgraded
substantially. Sharpening of plow shares (which would reduce draft needs) could
be done through local blacksmith shops. As such shops gain in expertise (possibly
with training from the Kanye implements and small industries program), those parts
of the implements currently imported from South Africa and Zimbabwe could be made
locally. Assembly already takes place at Botswana cooperative union, but late
arrival of parts and missing pieces have set this process back. Local manufacture
would permit stockpiling of locally made parts, thus reducing expenses for a wide
variety of imported parts. This should permit larger inventories of the more
limited number of imported parts. Having local shops provide skilled replacement
and repair would also permit more local adaptation of equipment for other uses,
e.g., smaller shares on plows to be used by smaller spans or for plowing at drier

e. Local Food Production

One way to consider who benefits from local-level food production within
Botswanan communities is from the standpoint of keeping down the cost of labor
by providing much of the family maintenance cost within the village, rather than
labor cost having to be met entirely from wages in an urban context. While
overall food provision from local production, in many cases, is only about half
of consumption needs, an increase in agricultural productivity would have other
benefits. The difference in standards of living and concomitant cost between
urban and village families is quite large. The cost of providing urban services
should be weighed against the cost of modest improvements to rural areas.


The general trend seems clear-Botswana is moving rapidly toward a
position of greater resource scarcity. While this project's focus is primarily
on the arable sector, the important linkages between livestock and arable land
are of fundamental importance in understanding the system. Additionally,
changes in lands use are not only bound up with changing resource evaluation,
but also intimately linked to the changing settlement patterns.


a. Livestock

i. Crop Residues

Animal Production Research Unit (APRU) studies (Annual Report 1979, pp. 97-101)
have shown the potential feeding value of fodders from sorghum, millet, and maize.
This is especially true for crop residue gathered early in the harvest season.
The whole stalk-including grain-could be harvested and carried from the field
for preservation; grain could be separated from fodder later, when labor is more
available; and fodder could be stacked and fed prior to plowing.

The fodder could be selectively fed to draft oxen to keep them in better
condition when they are needed for draft. Because of the climate, fodder should
retain a high percent of the nutritive value contained at harvest. The APRU
calculated that traditional fields of sorghum, millet, or maize would furnish
approximately 208, 238, and 307 days of feed, respectively, for one livestock
unit per hectare. Thus, six draft oxen could be fully supplemented 30-40 days
prior to plowing. Limited amounts of fodder could be supplemented over longer
periods of time if that seemed advisable. Farmers not owning oxen could profit
by feeding their fodder to small stock (goats and sheep) or perhaps by selling
it to someone else. In either situation, harvesting the whole plant would remove
borer-infected stalks from the field. It would also give the farmer the option
to decide which animals consumed his crop residue.

ii. Non-Protein Nitrogen

Urea has been used as a source of supplemental nitrogen in the APRU studies
(Annual Report 1975 and 1979) with rather disappointing results. Since urea is
a relatively low-cost source of nitrogen when compared to legume meals or
animal by-products, and since newer technology has been developed for its use in
ruminant feeds, use of urea should be reevaluated. Urea can be combined with
grain under high pressure and high temperature to form a product called Starea,
which is approximately 70% C.P. and 65% TDN; the possibility of urea toxicity is
greatly reduced in this product. Most grains and grain by-products can be used
in the process, and supplemental phosphorus (in the form of bonemeal or dicalcium
phosphate) may be added. Starea could be used as a supplement for young stock
or cows under drought stress and as a limited supplement for draft oxen. The
idea fits well with the suggestion in the Australian study which outlines
establishment of a production facility for animal block feed as a hedge against
drought (Proceedings of the Symposium on Drought in Botswana, M.T. Hinchey, ed.).

Planning would be needed to fit the use of crop residues and Starea into the
farmer's animal-handling schedule. Perhaps supplemental feeding could be done
when animals are water; perhaps it could be done every other day or every third
day (the ruminant animals have a slow food passage), or even once per week.


Animals located away from the farm would present a different problem than
those kept nearby.

iii. Donkeys

Do donkeys profit from supplemental amounts of phosphorus? How much?
Would supplemental fodder also be of value to donkeys?

iv. Poultry

Almost every farm has poultry. A poultry improvement program is ongoing
(Agrifacts D/1/2). Both live and frozen poultry are imported. There is a
place for improved poultry production on the small farm. The Palapye Development
Trust is considering including poultry in their program.

v. Small Stock

Goats, being ruminants, could also utilize both fodder and Starea in times
of stress. Studies suggested for cattle above could also include goats.

Many times it is easier to change the animal around which development
efforts are organized than it is to change the social relations surrounding
currently preferred animals. Respondents reported having sold goats for as
much as 30-40 Pula, thus, goats would seem to provide good income potential
for many small farmers. Perhaps more emphasis should be placed on goat
production. If so, attention should be given to the problem of high goat
mortality rate in order to increase efficiency and profitability.

b. Crops

Planting and tillage are inextricably bound together as a result of the
common method of planting by plowing and incorporating seed that has been
broadcast on the surface. This situation may change if methods of culture
change to increase yields sufficiently to make planters and cultivators
economical. Because of present methods, the type and source of draft are
important and have been discussed in Section 4b.

Other important considerations are the design, operation, and maintenance
of plows used. Those examined were in poor repair and had a variety of faults-
worn shares, rounded points, worn landslides and moldboards, broken or absent
depth control wheels, shares for wider plows fitted to narrow ones, protruding
heads of share bolts, and loose shares. All of these faults contribute to
increased draft, arduous labor when plowing, and less effective work.

The present planting method-plowing two furrows 20-35 meters apart,
broadcasting seed on the area in-between, and then plowing out the land so
created-raises a series of questions. What is the distribution of the seed
within the furrow (distribution laterally and depth in the soil)? What percent
of the seed germinate and emerge? What is the eventual plant population? Since
most farmers save seed from year to year, a related issue is seed quality. As
one farmer said, when asked his source of seed, "From my father and my grandfather."
Some farmers select better heads and ears of sorghum and maize (those with larger
grains), which may result in improved seed germination and seedling vigor, but
does not influence the genotype.


By employing the usual method of planting, the soil is left in a loose,
porous condition, precisely that which allows rapid evaporation of soil
moisture. Unless subsequent rains follow at short intervals, seedling
emergence and seedling vigor may be reduced, consequently reducing the final
plant population. Compaction of the surface soil by some type of roller
after planting (provided it does not promote crusting or reduce infiltration
rate below some critical level) might improve soil-seed contact and reduce
evaporation so as to improve seedling emergence.

The common broadcast-plowing method of planting is slow when the plowing
is done with oxen and slower yet when done with donkeys. Estimated rates of
broadcast-plowing are 1.2-1.5 acres per day (0.5-0.6 hectares per day) for
oxen and 0.7-0.8 acres per day (0.3 hectares per day) for donkeys. Given the
nature of the rains, the planting process may be accomplished in two weeks, or
it may take longer than two months. This procedure has implications for
other crop management practices, i.e., weeding, insect control, bird scaring,
and harvesting.

Common practice is to weed the field once with hand hoes. While plowing
and planting are often done by men assisted by women, weeding is usually
done by women occasionally assisted by men. Chopping out weeds with hand hoes
from a somewhat randomly distributed population of crop plants consumes a
great deal or labor and takes anywhere from a month to three months or may
never be completed. The process is usually started when the crop plants are a
foot (30 centimeters) or more tall (seldom shorter), at which time the weeds
may be taller than the crop plants. This circumstance-early competition of
crop plants and weeds for nutrients, water, and light-limits eventual yield.
Any system of tillage and planting that speeds up planting, but is not
accompanied by a means of increasing the rate of weeding, may only increase
weed competition unless additional labor is devoted to weeding, which may not
be possible. With the current situation, weeding earlier and weeding a second
time would be desirable. This might be encouraged by extension demonstrations
and an aggressive program of informing farmers. It may be protested that labor
for more intensive weeding may not be available, but considering the size of
fields and the available labor force, it appears that it would be possible for
many families.

The method of planting a mixture of crops over a period of several weeks
or months also results in a long period of time when bird scaring is necessary;
early mornings and evenings are the critical times and it may be necessary to
do this over a period of a month or more. Any technique that increases the rate
of planting so that the labor spent bird scaring or harvesting is reduced would
be desirable if the rate of weeding could be increased. This suggests the use
of planters and cultivators, which is possible for the more affluent, but not
for a substantial number of farmers.

The grains within a field do not mature uniformly, thus harvesting requires
separate or repeated operations; if delayed, damage from disease, insects,
cattle, and wild animals is probable. The yield and rate of failure for
cowpeas grown in mixed culture is startling; causes of failure given are usually
insect damage (particularly by flower-eating beetles, Mylabris spp.) and poor
stands (this may be due to poor seed quality, unfavorable conditions of the
seedbed, or climatic conditions at the time of planting). Weed competition-if
weeding is delayed until the grain plants are 30 centimeters tall--is intense


and (while this was never given as the reason for failure) must be a contributing
cause. Yields of cowpeas are usually smaller (relative to their potential yields)
than that of the accompanying grain crops. The yield/seed ratio for cowpeas is
small; to increase the yield and reduce the risk, some more intensive methods
of cultivation should be considered. Grown as a sole crop with hand planting
and frequent weeding, yields may be increased if insects are controlled. The
same is true for other pulses-yields and yield/seed ratios are low.
Production goals or anticipated production by subsistence farmers may be low
and the present method or culture may be acceptable. Improvement of weed control
in the mixed crops, it may be speculated, would lead to increased yields of
cowpeas grown in a mixture.

At the present level of management and with the climatic conditions that
constrain crop production, it is difficult to estimate to what extent soil
fertility limits crop yields. Manure and fertilizers are infrequently used.
The cattle management system does not concentrate manure near or on the arable
lands. Although manure contains weed seed, composting will reduce the content
of viable seeds. The labor needed to do this, and the inconvenience of
transporting manure or compost to lands in significant quantities, suggests
that its use may be limited to minimal quantities from small stock and poultry
enterprises applied to limited areas for intensive garden-type, crop production.

Use of fertilizers at present levels of management may not be economically
justified, but with improved management they will probably become necessary and
profitable. How and when to apply the fertilizers (particularly phosphatic
fertilizers) will be a problem.

Varieties of sorghum, maize, and millet have far more yield potential than
can be realized under present management. Breeding for specific insect or
disease resistance appears to be the most useful direction crop breeding
programs may take, even if incorporation of the particular resistance may
reduce yield potential. The breeding of earlier maturing varieties should
also be considered.

c. Grain Storage

In most developing countries, a large percentage of stored grain is
damaged or destroyed by insects, rodents, and mold. Thus it would seem
advisable to investigate storage methods and storage problems in Botswana.
Two methods of grain storage were observed. In Tutume District, grain is
stored in 4-sided rectangular granaries constructed of earth and cow dung
on posts or a pole frame that elevate the storage compartments above the
ground. Within each granary are 6-8 compartments containing, when full,
about three bags of grain. In other districts, granaries are similar to the
residences, with the grain stored in bags piled on the floor or elevated by
means of posts and a pole frame. Traditionally, the grain was stored in
large baskets elevated above the floor on a pole frame, but bags appear to
be replacing the baskets.

Grain kept for seed is usually (though not always) treated with wood
ashes to reduce insect damage. The same is done with grain for consumption,
but less frequently. Grain treated with wood ashes is washed before processing
for consumption. There are recommendations from the MOA for using malathion
to protect stored grain. Undoubtedly, there is insect damage to stored grain.


One man assured the team that he could keep grain for two years without damage,
while, in another case, one-year-old maize was found to be infested with




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Ammin, Vic



Bailey, Charles
Bergye, Lenora
Bettles, Fiona
Benke, Roy
Buck, Nick

Cambell, Ron
Chetty, Roy
Collinson, Mike
Cooney, Gerry

Dyson, Hudson-Nevill

Eldridge, David

Field, Ted
Findley, David

Gulubane, Bodulogo
Gunter, Helen
Garcia, Richard
Gaadingwe, Steve

Haggblade, Steve
Hitchcock, Bob
Hinchcliffe, Jeff
Hope, Jim



Kerven, Carol
Kjaer-Olsen, Pia
Klein, Doug
Koitsiwe, Ephraim
Kostiuk, Nadia
Kgotiele, Rapula

Leichaur, Paul
Lightfoot, Clive
Legwaila, G.M.

Cornell Univ.

Coop. Hous. Found.




Agric. Research


World Bank

Central Station


Agric. Economist
Rural Sociologist

Self-Help Housing

Rural Industries


Soil Surveyor

Nat. Migration Study
Permanent Secretary

Asst. Agr. Officer
Palapye Trust

Rural Industries
Senior Pro.
Group Dev. Officer
Agr. Exp. Station

Agr. Officer
Econ. East Africa
Agr. Exp. Station

Nat. Migration Study
ATIP Design Team
DAS-Mahalapye East

Agr. Census
DAO-Mahalapye East

Ithaca, NY
Selebi Phikwe

Selebi Phikwe













Manyodave, M.
Mabongo, Brian
Malley, Cindy
Motsiri, A.
Modiakgotla, Elijah

Nkwe, Tebago
Nafziger, Leroy
Nyddzi, Victor

Odell, Marcia

Pedzani, Lizzi
Pelemeir, John
Pillara, K.

Rantsuda, Isaac
Remmelzwall, Arie
Riches, David

Sigwele, F.J.
Sugget, Roy

Tuebner, Paul
Tredlen, Auden

Vries, Eize de

Willems, Leroy & Sherri
Wotho, Edison
Wallace, Moss
Waterman, Mike



Synergy Inst.






Mochudi Brigade

Agr. Census
Agr. Information

FSR Counterpart
Palapye Brigade
Rural Industries

Livestock Research

Visiting Prof.

Soil Survey
Agr. Exp. Station

Soil Survey


Machine Shop

Palapye Trust














FSR Team-Botswana, 1981

We left Gaborone at 0845 on July 18 in a Toyota Corona and a Toyota Corolla
(Saloon cars) and headed for the district agricultural show at Bobonong. After
driving 443 km, we arrived at the show at 1600 and were met by Mr. Stephen Gaadingwe,
the Regional Agricultural Officer (RAO) for Central Region. Our party included
Mr. Elijah Modiakgotla, Ms. Tebago Nkwe, Mr. Van Withee, Mr. Charles Bussing,
Mr. James Converse, and Mr. Berl Koch.

The show was surprisingly large. Livestock had been removed, except for
3 bulls, the poultry, and 2 donkey hitches. The seed and vegetable show was
quite varied and large. Arts and crafts booths were interesting, as were the
educational exhibits, both commercial and government.

We left the show at 1730 and drove to the Bosele hotel at Selibe Phikwe.
On the road one wheel hit a stone and went flat. At the hotel, we visited
with a Danish veterinarian with World Bank and ILCA, a Cornell dairyman with
FAO (?), a range management man from Sebele (ex-patriate), and Richard Hitchcock.

On Sunday, Ron Campbell from International Cooperative Housing Association
showed us their project in Selebi Phikwe. We visited with 3 of their cooperators.
One lady had an excellent poultry project. We also met Lenora Bergye, horticulturist
with the Mennonite Central Committee.

We departed Selebi Phikwe after lunch and drove to the Botsalo hotel in
Palapye. Stephen Gaadingwe was waiting for us there and helped us check into the
hotel. He also made arrangements to supply us with a Toyota land-cruiser for the
week. On Sunday evening, we called on the Wittem's at the Palapye Trust.

Monday morning, July 20, at 1030 we headed south from Palapye accompanied by
Mr. Ndabambi, DAS-our driver was Bodulago Gulubane. At 1100, we stopped at
target farm-the road to this point was reasonably good.

Farm Visit No. 1 (Gootau Area):

The farmer was in town so we talked with a daughter-in-law (18) and a son (14).
We estimated farm size at 7 acres-they produced red sorghum (some white), bambera
beans; maize, squash, and melons. They had approximately 50 chickens (one hen was
slaughtered for cooking while we were there). We also saw 3 goats (in milk). We
were told they had 33 cattle on the other side of the "Foot and Mouth" (F&M) fence,
plus 13 cows. We were told they hired plowing (because of fence) using an 8-ox team
at a cost of 5 Pula/acre (?). Weeding was done with a hoe by women and children.
They had no bird problem this year. The plowshare was obviously worn and very dull.

Farm Visit No. 2:

Some 5 or 6 km down the road we visited another farm (across the F&M fence) in
the Gootau area. The farmer's wife did most of the talking. Farm size was
estimated at 15 acres. They had 12 goats and 14 cattle. She said they borrow
cattle at plowinq time and use a 6-ox hitch-they used 4 oxen on the sled. They were
threshing sorgh heads were well stacked on wooden frames. They raised some maize


also, plus many melons. No grain had been sold as she was not pleased with the
price (10 Pula/70 kg bag). We ate lunch under a tree at Kerala and then proceeded
to farm No. 3.

Farm Visit No. 3 (near Kerala):

This was a very large farm (maybe 60 A) and seemed atypical to us. The farmer
said he plowed for 22 days. He said he uses a 6-oxen hitch. He had 3 milking
cows-was vague about total cattle numbers. There were 30-40 chickens about. The
wife said they eat chickens one time per week (?). They raise jugo beans, sorghum,
sunflowers, and melons (had not survived). He said he has 48 bags of sorghum stored
and still had 18-20 bags to thresh. He had harvested 29 bags of maize-sells to the
Botswana Marketing Board. There was a grapevine in the compound.

Farm Visit No. 4:

Estimated to be about 12-15 acres, the farmer said he had 20 cattle. We saw
about that many, including 3 young calves (6 mo-1 yr). We also saw a calf about
2 weeks old dying, apparently of pneumonia. There were 2 muscovy ducks in the
yard plus many baby chicks (3 or 4 broody hens).

On the way back to Palapye, we stopped to see the cistern at the end of the
threshing floor on the ministry demonstration farm. We also stopped in Gootau
village where there was a canal and a squeeze chute. We arrived back in Palapye
at 1730.

At 1830, we went to the Wittem's (Mennonite Central Committee) for dinner,
where we had a very nice dinner and a very profitable evening discussing their
project in some depth.

JULY 21, 1981, TUESDAY

Jim Converse left the hotel at 0800 to drive to Gaborone where he planned to
collect statistical data covering certain parts of the 1980 Agricultural Survey.
We left our hotel at 0800 and went to the Agricultural Office where we met
Mr. Ndabambi, DAS. After looking at maps and discussing strategies, we headed
towards Francistown. At the Bobonong intersection, we took that road to Tamasami
where we watched several herds being watered. From there we turned right towards
Mataposane, until we decided to visit a farm.

Farm Visit No. 1:

The farm unit next to the road looked to be about 5 acres. No one was home
so we walked to the farm of a neighbor nearby. He had 3 buildings and 4 chickens.
His farm was 12-15 acres. He used oxen to plow and had 15 cattle, including
9 cows. He borrowed cattle at plowing time. Last year he fed 50 kg of bonemeal-
salt mix to 15 cattle. He does not plan to feed any this year. He said 6 of his
9 females calved recently (this year). He milked cows from January to May. He
said 2 cows gave 5 liters of milk at first. Calves suckle in pm, but are separated
from cows at night; in am, calves are allowed to suckle a bit, then milk is taken
from the cow. The farmer has cattle vaccinated for black leg, abortion disease,
and foot and mouth disease. His agriculture agent sees him every 2 or 3 months.
His biggest need (he says) is for a sure way to eliminate stumps from fields. He
also would like to fence his farm.

Next we stopped at Morimi village and had a long visit with the headman. He


said everyone in the village plows-usually the men plow, but women and children do
other field work. He estimated 10 women led households in Morimi. Farmers travel
1-1 hours to their lands. Farmers need a plow repair shop (all plows are worn).

Schooling is almost non-existent. Health services are new and limited
(animal health services are better). He said he wants people to stay in the
village, but many are staying on the lands. He also wants a drift fence for

Farm Visit No. 2:

An elderly farmer stopped by so he was interviewed. He has
plow. He borrowed oxen and plow, which he pays for with labor.
relatives in bad seasons, but he only has a wife to worry about.
raise enough sorghum to carry over until next year.

no oxen and no
He relies on
He did not

Farm Visit No. 3 (near Tamasami):

Farm appeared to be nearly 40 A. The farmer raised sorghum, maize, millet,
squash, and cowpeas (cowpeas were destroyed). He has mixed cropping and he broad-
casts seed. Water comes from the village, 1.3 miles away. He has 8 oxen, but only
uses a 6-oxen hitch. His plow was dull and in very poor repair. He does not feed


We left the Botsalo hotel at Palapye at 0800 and drove to Mahalapye where we
met Mr. EphraimKoitsiwe, DAS East. After a discussion over maps in his office, we
drove towards Taupye.

Farm Visit No. 1:

Van, Chuck, Tebago, and Ephraim visited a farmer some 8 km from Mahalapye.
Elijah and I visited two nearby farmers. Van has notes on their farmer;,
He owned no cattle, had donkeys plus a cart and a plow with which he did custom
work for others. He also had his own arable farm and his operation was inventoried.

Our first farm was headed by a
2-3 acres-and she owned no cattle.
plowing at 6 Pula per furrow (about
of sorghum and 2 pails of cowpeas.
from the farm.

widow with 6 daughters. It was a small farm-
She did have 2 chickens and 5 ducks. She hired
12 meters by 100 meters). She harvested 2 bags
She and one daughter are working part-time away

Farm Visit No. 2:

This farm
in Mahalapye.
a donkey cart.

was also operated by a woman. Her husband works for telecommunications
She had 8 chickens, 8 ducks (1 hen with 11 ducklings), 3 donkeys, and
She is looking for another donkey and will then do her own plowing.

She hired plowing on a field she has used for 11 years, but does not own
(2-3 acres). She paid 12 Pula per furrow for tractor plowing-she weeds one time
with a hoe. She raised sorghum (2 varieties), cucumbers, and cowpeas (broadcasts
seed-mixed). Harvest was poor and she raised only 2 bags of sorghum.

At Taupye, we met the AD who helped us find other farmers. He completed his
certificate at BAC in 1969(?). He said he has been at Taupye for 11 years.


Farm Visit No. 3:

The AD accompanied Van and me to visit a farmer who is apparently one of the
large operators. He has a 6-ox team and a 6-donkey team, and he farms about 13
acres. He raised sorghum (10 bags), maize (3 bags), cowpeas (4 bags), jugo beans
(1 bag), and melons.

He buys new seed each year. He weeds once when plants are small (wife and
children). He broadcasts seed, but does not mix crops. He has an ALDEP loan
and a new plow, planter, and cultivator for next year (plans to row-crop one
half of his acreage next year).

Farm Visit No. 4:

We then proceeded to the compound of another farmer who had 3 goats and
3 cattle. He borrows crop land, hires plowing (10 Pula per acre) and works
part-time for others. He raised sorghum (3 bags), cowpeas ( bag), and melons-
his maize failed and animals ate his cowpeas. He broadcasts mixed seeds.

Chuck, Tebago, and the AD interviewed two other farmers (Chuck has the
detailed notes). We ate a picnic lunch at the compound of the AD.

Farm Visit No. 5:

As we returned towards Mahalapye, we visited another farmer. Chuck and Van
have detailed notes concerning the interview with the farmer. Elijah and I
interviewed his daughter-in-law on the threshing floor. She was threshing millet
as her radio played. She had two containers of sorghum fermenting (sprouting)
so she could make beer. There were pumpkin seeds and squash seeds drying for next
season. There were many melons and gourds. Her husband was preparing a herb
concoction for a calf with diarrhea-the calf looked healthy.

We returned to Mahalapye to visit the research substation-there are 4.7 ha
of land. They have one tractor with 2-bottom plow and cultivation plus a 3-section
harrow and various hand tools. Two plots were plowed since April. Storage space
and office space is minimal.

Next we visited the nearby training center and the MOA demonstration garden
area next to the student housing area. Crops were being irrigated by kitchen
waste water and they looked very good-included were carrots, beets, and cabbage.
From there we returned to the hotel at Palapye where we arrived at 1700.

Jim Converse returned from Gaborone at 2100 with Dart of the information he
went after. He was very optimistic about obtaining more information after August 1.
Data he is receiving should add greatly to the accuracy of our conclusions and


The driver, Bodulogo Gulubane, met us at the hotel and we proceeded to
Mahalapye-arrived at the Agriculture Office at 0930. We met with the new DAO West,
Mr. G.M. Legwaila, and the old DAO West, Mr. Mbigiwa, while the driver and Elijah
went to the shop to repair one flat tire. The AD from Kalamare, Mr. A. Motsiri,
also joined our discussion group.

We also examined the many Extension publications in the office. Some were


taken along for later reference. The group studied maps available, discussed
differences identified in various areas, and finally decided that we would spend
our time in the Kalamare area. Mr. Motsiri agreed to accompany us to visit some
of his farmers to the north and east of Kalamare.

At 1215, we arrived at Kalamare and stopped at the office of the village
Headman. He was away on business. We then drove out of the village and stopped
under a large tree where we ate a picnic lunch.

After lunch, we again divided into two teams and proceeded to visit farmers
in the area. Van, Elijah, and Chuck as a team visited 3 farms. Jim, Tebago,
Mr. Motsiri, and I also visited 3 different farms as a team.

Farm Visit No. 1:

There were 3 houses in the compound. We talked to the wife-laundry was
hanging on the line. She and her husband are farming about 12 acres-they have
5 children. They had cattle and goats, but all died in the big drought. She
has 15 chickens. This year they harvested 8 bags of sorghum, 1 bag of maize, and
many melons. Her jugo beans and other beans were destroyed by beetles. She said
they have 2 plows (badly worn). She said they have exchange labor with their
neighbor to pay for plowing, and they plow with two 8-oxen teams. It takes one
week to plow. They weed only once, starting when plants are 8-10 inches high;
they had to scare many birds this year. Grain is stored in bags. Her husband is
the local acrpenter (makes benches, yokes, etc). They have a shallow well which
is dry now so they carry water from the river (2-3 km).

Farm Visit No. 2:

Three partly completed houses were in the compound. We interviewed the farmer.
His wife had gone to the river for water. There were 12 in the family, six male
children and four female. This was his first harvest on the farm. He had lived
here before, but had been away for 8 years while his brother worked the farm; he
harvested 7 bags of sorghum, 2 bags of beans, and a bit of green maize. He works
for others to pay for plowing, broadcasts seed (mixed), and weeds when plants are
ankle-high (he helps his wife). Grain is stored in bags and is treated with ashes.
Birds were a serious problem. He has two children in school; he owns 10 cows, but
will sell one to buy grain (think she will bring 120 Pula). He has 18 goats, but
no chickens and no plow.

Farm Visit No. 3:

There were 3 houses in the compound and there was a laundry clothesline. We
talked to the wife; her husband is a tractor driver and also does odd jobs. There
are 12 people in the compound-her eldest child is 26. They farm 12-14 acres. We
saw the field-it was almost free of weeds, and there was no evidence of borers in
the stalks. She harvested 40 bags of sorghum, 7 bags of maize, 2 bags of beans,
1 bag of jugo beans, and a few melons. The beetles destroyed her mung beans. She
hopes to trade some grain for cattle. The husband plowed with the tractor. She
has 10 cattle and hopes to plow with cattle next year. She has 40 chickens and
4 goats. She said she cooks chicken often, three children are in school. She
saves her own seed.

At 1505, we collected the other members of our group and returned to
Mahalapye, where we spent some time looking at possible housing in the area.
At 1715, we arrived back at the Botsalo hotel, where we met Stephan Gaadingwe.


He had dinner with us and reviewed our experiences in his area.

JULY 24, 1981, FRIDAY

We left the Botsalo hotel at 0815 in the Ministry land-cruiser and drove to
Serowe where we arrived at 0905. Our first contact was DAO Mr. Moaro. He gave
the group a general picture of agriculture in his area and pointed out several
items of interest while looking at the maps of the area.

We finally decided to visit with some farmers in the Mogorosi area to the
southwest of Serowe. Next we met with Dr. Ramuzwai (FAO soil survey) and discussed
his work. He also said that the detailed map of the Mahalapye area is finished and
should be reproduced within one year. He followed the FAO system with certain
modifications. He made the observation that soils in the area are variable and
marginal, but he felt soils in the Mahalapye area offer the greatest potential for
arable farming, both in quantity and quality. John Hobbs, Land Resources Officer,
was away from Serowe, therefore, we did not meet with him.

At 1100, we left Serowe on the road to Mogorosi. The DAO, Mr. Moaro,
accompanied us. Our first visit was with a farmer 12 km out of Serowe. His
compound was situated on a small rise which gave us an excellent view of the overall
lands area looking towards Mogorosi.

Farm Visit No. 1:

The farmer has been on the land 5 years. He worked in the mines for 14 years
prior to that. There were 2 houses in the compound, with anotherunder construction.
The farmer gathers and sells wood and thatching grass. He had branding irons hanging
from a tree. His plow was badly worn-said he used the plow share only 2 years.
He had plowed 5-6 acres using a 6-ox team. He also owned 10 donkeys, 11 cattle,
and 20 chickens-his goats died. He listens to the radio, but cannot follow the
advice of the farm editor because he has no cultivator, planter, or harrow. The AD
has never called on him, but he takes cattle to the crush for vaccination. His
harvest included 7 bags of sorghum, 1 bags of millet, 1 bag of maize, 1 pail of
beans, 1 pail of jugo beans, and many sweet melons. He broadcasts seed mixed.
Water is carried one mile.

Farm Visit No. 2:

Elijah, Chuck, and I made up one team (Van, Tebago, Jim, and the DA visited
two other farms as a team; Van has complete notes), and we visited a compound
with one house plus one under construction. The farmer said they had lived there
only one season. He works on odd jobs and is a brickmaker. His wife was weaving
a basket. There are 7 in the family-one child working in Serowe, two are in
school. He borrows a field-hired 7 acres plowed with tractor (10 Pula/A). He
broadcasts seed (separate crops). He harvested 6 bags of sorghum. The maize and
cowpeas failed. His wife weeded once; grass was very bad as were the birds.

At our next step, the family had gone to a funeral. A daughter-in-law was
at home, but she did not want to talk to us.

Farm Visit No. 3:

There were two houses in the compound. A daughter and three younger children
were at home. Eleven are living in the compound. Two sons are working in South
Africa and one in Serowe. The father was also working in Serowe. They planted


about 9 acres and harvested 9 bags of sorghum, bag of maize, 1 pail of jugo
beans, and many melons-their cowpeas failed. They hired tractor-plowing
(12 Pula/A) because all their cattle are female. Seeds were broadcast (separate
crops) and females do the weeding. They had a very worn plow on the floor.
They were making beer, which she sells for 5 thebe/cup. They had 11 chickens,
but no goats.

We ate lunch under a tree by the road and then returned to Serowe where
we met with Jim Hope, GDO, for a general discussion. He then directed us to
a gathering area where we watched some groups doing traditional dancing.

We returned to the Batsalo hotel at 1700. It should be noted that in
5 days, we were carried approximately 900 km in the land-cruiser so kindly
furnished to us by the RAO-Central District.


We left the hotel at 0830 and crossed over the highway to visit the Palapye
Development Trust demonstration farm, under the guidance of Mr. Leroy Willems.
Out on the field, we discussed their layout of plots and general crop pattern.
Work-oxen and donkeys were grazing. All animals were in good condition-better
than most we had seen on farm visits. We saw the sheep and goats only from a

At the farm headquarters, Mr. Garcia's yard, we were able to examine the
various tools and harnesses. They were working with ALDEP machines. They also
had a corn sheller and a decorticator. A catch cistern had been built and a
threshing floor will soon be constructed. We also carried away the annual
report of the trust project.

At 1000, we departed from the Batsalo hotel and drove to Francistown,
where we arrived at the Grand hotel in time for a late lunch.

JULY 26, 1981, SUNDAY

We left the Grand hotel at 0840 and drove to Tutume where we arrived at the
district office at 0958. Mr. Isaac Rantsuda, AD, and Mr. F.J. Sigwele, DAO, were
there to meet us. We proceeded to Mr. Sigwele's home where we discussed the
district and its problems. Miss Pedzai, AD, also joined the discussion for a
few minutes.

After much discussion, it was established that removal of stumps may be
the number one constraint. Access to draft power for plowing is probably
number two. We made arrangements to return to Tutume at 1100 on Monday and
to visit some farms under the guidance of Isaac Rantsuda.

We stopped along the highway for a picnic lunch on our way back to the
Grand hotel, where we arrived at 1400. After a slight break, we convened in
Van's room to organize our data collected last week and to plan our strategy
for next week.

JULY 27, 1981, MONDAY

At 0830, we met with the RAO at Francistown, Mr. Rapula Kgotlele, to
become better acquainted with his region as he sees it. With maps, we covered
the various arable farming areas of his region and discussed similarities,


differences, and constraints or problems. From the discussion, it appears that
the number one problem is stump removal (mopani tree). Problems number two and
three are availability of draft power and "better communication (rodds)."
Mr. Kgotole was not sure which should be ranked number two-he did stress that
the ALDEP program is being promoted.

We left his office at 0930 and headed for Tutume (approximately 100 km)
where we arrived at 1100 and met Isaac Rantsuda and the DAS, Mr. Tema. They
accompanied us to an area 7-10 km southeast of Tutume near the highway to visit
some farmers. Since we had no 4-wheel drive vehicle, we could not venture far
from the highway.

The group divided into two teams (Isaac, Van, Jim, Tebago, and another
AD in one team and Elijah, Chuck, Mr. Tema, and me in the other). Van has
complete notes covering the farms visited by his group. Notes of the second
group are briefly reviewed below.

Farm Visit No. 1:

There were 6 houses in the compound. The wife and her daughter were
repairing the roof on one side. They stopped work to talk to us. There were
8 persons in the household. The eldest son is 33 and 3 sons are in South Africa.
They do remit some money home. The family owns 20 cattle; land area is 7-8 km
away and was not seen. They plow with 6 oxen and a single farrow plow. Last
harvest they had 8 bags of sorghum, 4 bags of maize, 2 bags of millet, and
1 bag of groundnuts. They broadcast their seed; millet was sown separately, but
others were mixed. They also had 9 goats and 15 chickens. Problems included
grass, birds, cattle, jackals, and porcupines. We saw our first Kahliriya-type
granary. They save their seed (in ashes). The AD sees them several times a
year. They carry water from the river.

Farm Visit No. 2:

The compound contained 8 houses and 4 granaries; there were 8 persons living
in the compound and 2 away (one in South Africa). They had 20 cattle, 4 goats,
and 20 chickens. They farm approximately 20 acres (7 km away) and they plow
with 2 plows (6 oxen on each). They broadcast seed and mix sorghum with millet.
Witch weed is a serious problem. They did not consider birds to be a serious
problem this year; cattle, jackals, and porcupines damaged their crops. They
had grain in 4 granaries. They carry water from the river.

Farm Visit No. 3:

There were 2 houses and one granary in the compound-three adults and 5
children were there. There was an excellent wood fence around the compound;
they had a wire clothesline, and there was a new wheelbarrow behind the granary.
They had 12 cattle, 3 goats, and 6-8 chickens. They harvested 3 bags of sorghum,
2 bags of maize, 1 bags of millet, and many melons. They plow with a 6-ox
hitch. Seed is broadcast, crops are mixed. Their number one problem is stumps.
The land area is 7 km away. They save their own seed. They carry water from
the river. They have over 40 acres, but only plowed a part of it this year.

Farm Visit No. 4:

There was one house in the compound and a good granary which was empty.
The household is headed by a lady (her husband left with another woman when the


children were small). She has 3 school-age children to care for. She exchanges
labor for ox-power to do her plowing, therefore, her crop was planted. She
planted sorghum, maize, and millet. Her crops were almost a complete failure.
She has 4 chickens, but no goats and no cattle. Her mother lives nearby and
will support her through next harvest by selling a cow. Mother will also furnish
seed so she can plant next year.

We ate a picnic lunch and then returned to Francistown where we arrived
at 1530. Late in the afternoon, I spoke with the owner of the Grand hotel who
is quite optimistic about the future growth and development of Francistown.
He also noted that he is involved in a housing development area near town.
Three and four bedroom houses are being built. Some will be available for
long-term lease next year. He promised to furnish me with details and
business addresses.

JULY 28, 1981, TUESDAY

The team worked at the Grand hotel on Tuesday, since all ADs in Tutume
District were occupied. We did see the RAO and learned that he had arranged
for a 4-wheel drive pickup to go with us to Tutume on Wednesday and possibly
on Thursday, if necessary. Most of the day was devoted to extracting specific
information from the reams of data Jim brought back from Gaborone last
Wednesday. We also spent time summarizing the data we had collected over the
past 10 days.


We left the hotel at 0840 in one of our cars and the Ford pickup furnished
by the RAO and headed for Tutume, where we arrived at 1000. Mr. Isaac Rantsuda
and Mr. Edison Wotho were waiting for us with a second pickup truck. Van, Tebago,
and Chuck went with Isaac as one team. They departed at 1020 for the Magapatona
area. They have a detailed report of the six farmers they interviewed during
the day. Jim, Elijah, and I joined Edison as a second team. We departed at
1020 for the Senete village area where we met AD Monyodzwe who joined us for
visits to six different farmers.

Farm Visit No. 1:

We met our first farmer as he watered cattle nearby in the river (some 50
head varying in age and all in good flesh). Ten persons live in his compound
(3 are working away). He has more than 100 cattle (sells 12 per year), 5 goats
(jackals killed more than 60), and 12 sheep. He plowed about 30 acres and
harvested 7 bags of millet, 5 bags of sorghum, 30 bags of maize, 3 bags of jugo
beans, 1 bag of cowpeas, and many melons. He uses oxen for draft power (4 oxen
on a plow), and he has 3 plows working at the same time. He may sell millet
and maize to the marketing board this year as he has no transport and it costs
2 Pula per bag to move grain to Francistown. It is 10 km to his land and
29 km to his cattle post. He needs water at the cattle post and at the lands.
He hires labor for weeding, but it is hard to get. He has problems with grass
and with witch weed.

Farm Visit No. 2:

We next visited a farm headed by a woman (her husband left her). There were
2 houses and 1 granary in the compound. Eleven persons live in the compound. A
son is working in South Africa. She plowed 8-10 acres with her own oxen (4-oxen


hitch). She owns 6 cattle, 9 goats, and 24 chickens. Last harvest she had
2 bags of millet, 1 bag of maize, bag of sorghum, 1 bag of cowpeas, 2 buckets
of groundnuts, 3 buckets of jugo beans, and some melons. Her crops were
broadcast-seeded, separately. She needs to buy grain before next harvest and
will sell goats and chickens to finance the purchases. It is 8 km to her field
and 20 km to her cattle post. Her most urgent need is help to fence her fields.

Farm Visit No. 3:

There were 3 houses and 2 granaries in this compound. The farmer had
worked in the mines for 12 years, but has farmed on the present farm for 5 years.
The land board allocated him 100 acres, but he only plowed 8 acres this year.
He harvested 6 bags of millet, 5 bags of sorghum, 8 bags of maize, 5 bags of
groundnuts, bag of cowpeas, and 1 bag of jugo beans. Plowing was done with
his own 4-oxen team, seed was broadcast, and crops were raised separately. Most
of his crop area was stumped. He said he removed his own stumps. Cattle damaged
his crops. He would like to fence his plow land. Water is carried 3-5 km.

Farm Visit No. 4:

After eating a picnic lunch, we proceeded to visit a large compound
(6 houses and 2 granaries). Thirteen persons live in the compound and 2 are
working away (1 in Gaborone and 1 in South Africa). The family has lived in
this compound since 1965. They have 74 cattle, 3 goats, and 10 chickens. It
is 10 km to the cattle post and 1 km to the farm land. They plowed 5 acres
this year (2 plow teams of their own) and harvested 2 bags of millet, 5 bags of
maize, 3 bags of sorghum, bag of beans, and some sweet potatoes, pumpkins, and
melons. They will have to buy more grain. That will be financed by selling
thatch grass and maybe some cattle. Crops are sown broadcast and mixed. Water
for the house comes from a nearby "spring." Cattle are watered 8 km away at
the river.

Farm Visit No. 5:

This was a large compound (14 houses and 6 granaries) with a John Deere
model 1120 tractor sitting in the yard. Some 30 people live in the compound
and they plowed 20 acres last year. Some plowing was done with the tractor, but
areas with stumps were plowed with oxen (4-oxen hitch). They harvest 4 bags of
regular millet, 2 bags of finger millet, 5 bags of sorghum, 6 bags of maize,
bag of jugo beans, and bag of groundnuts. Cropland is nearby, but the
cattle post is 23 km away. They have more than 240 cattle, 15 goats, and many
chickens. It will be necessary to buy grain. That will be financed by selling
cattle. Planting is by broadcasting either mixed or separate. The farmer said
it makes no difference. He did note that tractor-plowed land produces more than
ox-plowed land. The tractor is apparently used primarily for transporting goods
on the road. He does use some kraal manure in the fields.

Farm Visit No. 6:

This was another large compound (houses and several granaries). There are
about 30 persons living in the compound. No one is working outside. Last year
the farmer plowed 10 acres using 2 plows (4-oxen teams). He harvested 2 bags of
millet, 3 bags of sorghum, 12 bags of maize, 1 bag of jugo beans, bag of
cowpeas, 3 buckets of groundnuts, and many melons and pumpkins. They will sell
cattle to buy extra grain. They have more than 100 cattle, 6 goats, and 50
chickens. Water for the compound is carried from the river (10 km). They have


2 donkeys and a cart to carry water. The family has lived in this compound
since 1946. Their biggest problems are (1) water supply and (2) weeds such
as witch weed.

We reassembled at the office of the DAO in Tutume at 1630 and departed to
Francistown, where we arrived at 1800. Over dinner in the hotel, we decided
to spend Thursday and Friday working with data collected in the field and also
data Jim brought from Gaborone. We wish to thank everyone in Francistown
Region for the assistance they gave us, and we apologize for the inconvenience
we caused them.

On Saturday, August 1, we will return to Gaborone to complete our project.

Respectfully submitted,

Bussing, Withee, Converse, and Koch



Farm Number 1 1 2 3 4 1 5 | 6 7

Item Palaove Palapye PalaDye Palaoye Palapye Palaove Palaove
1. Type of draft ox ox ox ox ox ox ox
8-ox team 6 or 8-ox 6-ox team 6-ox team 6-ox team
2. Access to draft hired owned owned own and borrowed owned
(2.5 p/ha) mafisa

3. Sorghum (ha-bags) 2.8- 6-10 6-23 -21
5.2-6 6*-6
4. Maize (ha-bags) 0.3- 7-29 -1

5. Cowoeas a little a little failed cattle ate
not inter-
6. Millet -2

7. Melons yes failed

8. Planting broadcast broadcast broadcast broadcast broadcast

9. Mixed/Separate separate separate mixed mixed mixed
10. Grain movement must buy waiting to sell sorghum, sell sorghum; must buy must buy must buy
sell at maize, and buy corn
right price jugo beans
10-A. mine remit. odd obs
from son

11. Goats 3 <10 0 0 0 2

12. Poultry-chickens 50 1. 0 12 k) 0 10
(2 ducks) 15 (1 duck) 0 10
(2 ducks)

13. Cattle 46 0 15 0 8
behind fence 6 cows=
9 calves
14. Jugo Beans -0.5 some some

15. Household
a) Number of 6 11 9 2 6

b) Other family- nuclear extended extended none nuclear

c) Male/Female head male male male male male male

oerotrudinc borrowed
16. Condition of bolts; nap
plow share/mold-

17. Weeding-who board takes 3 mo.; female; does husband and wife (once)
hires some over 3 ma. wife
help period; hoe
a) Height of no info. no info. 1'
crop; time
b) Main weeds:
i. Stryga

ii. Konkorus

iii. Cynodon

iv. Other

18. Storage in bags in hanging bags on
basket platform
19. Other pests no birds this borers; stalk borers heavy bird destroyed by
year; stalk rot damage; cattle
rot; borers; chickens
smut also a


I~ mlmpr o t In I ii I 12 I 13 I 14 1 15

Item IE. Mahalaove E. Mahalapve E. Mahalaove E. MahaIave E. Mahalaove E. Mahalaove E. Mahalaove E. Mahalaove

1. Type of draft donkey donkey tractor ox ox ox ox & donkey ox
2-pair 8-ox team 6 of each
2. Access to draft owned hired hired owned borrowed owned owned mafisa
(6 p/furrow) (12 p/furrow)
3. Sorghum (ha-bags) -16 1.0-2 1.0-2 5-10 20-15 -20 1-3
2 varieties
4. Maize (ha-bags) -1 failed failed -3 yes failed ate green

5. Cowpeas -1 2 pails 2 pails -4 -1 3 pails failed

6. Millet -3

7. Melons yes yes yes yes yes yes

S. Planting broadcast broadcast broadcast broadcast broadcast broadcast broadcast broadcast
and row
9. Mixed/Seoarate mixed mixed mixed separate mixed mixed mixed and
10. Srain movement sell 4 B. must buy must buy must buy must buy none none must buy
10-A. odd jobs odd jobs husband sell cattle odd jobs odd jobs

11. Goats 0 0 <10 0 6 0

12. Poultry-chickens 30 2 1 >10 20 23 <5
(5 ducks) (8 ducks,
11 ducklings)
13. Cattle 0 0 3 48 40+ 5

14. Jugo Beans yes some -2 none

15. Household
a) Numoer of 8 12 7 9 11 7

b) Other family- nuclear extended nuclear extended extended extended

c Male/Female head male female male male male male male

16. Condition of (3) poor new borrows double tool bar;
plow furrow 2 plows;
pilow planter
17. Weeaing-wno wife and woman woman wife woman and husband and
husband; one child; does husband and
husband one not finish wife
time (one time)
a) Height of 2' 6" (one ti
crop; time 2 1
b) Main weeds:
i. Stryga yes yes yes

ii. Konkorus yes yes yes yes

iii. Cynodon yes

iv. Other yes yes

18. Storage bags on bags bag-malathion bags
o I kids, duiker
19. Other pests birds onids,
S____________ birds.


Item W. Mahalaove W. Mahalaove W Mahalaove W. Mahalaove W. Mahalaove W. Mahalapve
1. Type of draft ox ox-2 plows ox ox ox tractor
8-ox team 6-ox team 6-ox team

2. Access to draft owned mafisa-labor owned labor owned husband
exchange exchange drives for
2nd team owner (labor
3. Sorghum (ha-bags) 4-12 4-8 4-2 8-7 exchange)
3-5.5 3.5-40

4. Maize (ha-bags) 0.8-1 -0.5 little 1-7
(ate green)

5. Cowpeas -1 some -2 2-2 -3 0.3-2

6. Millet yes

7. Melons yes yes yes few

8. Planting broadcast broadcast broadcast broadcast broadcast broadcast

9. Mixed/Separate mixed mixed mixed separate

10. Grain movement sell sorghum must buy must buy must buy must buy sell sorghum,
trade for
10-A. beer sell 1 cattle odd jobs

11. Goats <10 0 0 0 4

12. Poultry-chickens >10 15 17 18 >10 40

13. Cattle 40 0 10 10 10 10
died in
14. Jugo Beans 0
15. Household
a) Number of 11 7 13 12 7 12

b) Other family- extended nuclear extended nuclear nuclear nuclear
extended/nuclear (oldest 23) (oldest 28)

c) Male/Female head female male female male male male

16. Condition of worn owns 2: one very poor borrowed borrowed
plow lacking share
other bolts
17. Weeding-who protrude women
women takes 2-3 wks females

a) Height of 12" boot (15") 12-15" 12" 12-15"
crop; time
b) Main weeds:
i. Stryga yes yes yes

ii. Konkorus yes yes none

iii. Cynodon yes yes yes

iv. Other yes

18. Storage bags uses ash bags in bags

19. Other pests beetles on beetles; Insects; a few birds, beetles on not many
cowceas; birds cattle less than cowpeas birds; no
cattle impala usual sign of stem
kudu virus
smut I


I 18

aF nn Number


aF rm Number

1. Type of draft ox tractor tractor tractor ox, 2 plow
6-ox team 8-oxen 6-ox team

2. Access to draft owned hired hired hired mafisa-2
(25 p/ha) (30 p/ha) owned-5

3. Sorghum (ha-bags) 3-8 2.8-6 4-6 3.2-9 1.2-18
4. Maize (ha-bags) 1-1.2 failed failed 0.4-50 kg

5. Cowpeas 1 pail animals failed 1 pail
6. Millet 1-1.5 only
7. Melons some yes melons died yes no

8. Planting broadcast broadcast broadcast broadcast broadcast

9. Mixed/Separate separate separate mixed separate mixed

10. Grain movement must buy must buy must buy must buy

10-A. sell wood; husband does remittance sell thatch
sell thatch odd jobs Serowe
South Africa
11. Goats
died 0 15 0 0
12. Poultry-chickens 20 0 10 11 15

13. Cattle 11 0 0 females 0

14. Jugo Beans beetles ate 1 pail
15. Household
a) Number of 8 7 6 11 20

b) Other family- nuclear nuclear nuclear (?) extended
extended/nuclear (mother,widow
c) Male/Female head daughter's
male male female male male

16. Condition of good bolts, poor
plow flush

17. Weeding-who man helps; wife women man helps
takes 1 mo.

a) Height of 6" at outset 8-10" knee high 8-10"
crop; time
b) Main weeds:
i. Stryga no

ii. Konkorus yes

iii. Cynodon yes no lots

iv. Other grass only

18. Storage in bags

19. Other pests birds-
queyla, birds
cattle in


item Serowe Serowe Srowe Serowe Serowe


Farm Number


11. Goats

12. Poultry-chickens

13. Cattle

1i. Jugo Beans

15. Household
a) Numoer of

b) Other family-

c) Male/Female head

15. Condition of

17. Weeding-who

a) Height of
crop; time
b) Main weeds:
i. Stryga

ii. Konkorus

iii. Cynooon

iv. Other

18. Storage

13. Other pests

_ utume uturme t e I utume utume t Tuti i T, ,





Type of draft

Access to draft

Sorghum (ha-bags)

Maize (ha-bags)






Grain movement



0 ?


6-ox team








maize and
millet mixed;















ox-2 Plow
5-ox team








maize and
millet mixed;
sorghum and
maize mixed




















5 (?)














must buy






Tutume Tut TutLrra
I -














good; bolts
flush; good
18", I month


ash used







must buy








wife does

a little






maize and
millet mixed
sorghum and
maize mixed;

must buy

odd jcbs







bolts flush;
depth wheel
rusted uo





also ground





must buy

Sell cattle







m ale







birds and

hl .

I --

Item Tutume Tutume Tutume Tutume Tutume Tutume
1. Type of draft ox-3 plows ox ox ox-2 plows John Deere ox
4-ox team 4-ox team 4-ox team 4-ox team; 1120; 4-ox 4-ox team
herds help to team
2. Access to draft run plow
owned owned owned owned owned owned
3. Sorghum (ha-bags) 12-5 8 to 10-0.5 8-5 2-3.5 8-5 4-3

4. Maize (ha-bags) -3 -1 -8 -5 -6 -12

5. Cowpeas 5 bags -0.5 -0.5 -0.5
also ground- also ground- also ground- also ground-
6. Millet nuts nuts nuts nu
-4 -2
-7 -2 -6 -2 +2 baas
7. Melons yes yes yes finger millet
yes yes yes
sweet potato, yes
8. Planting pumpkin (pumpkins)
broadcast broadcast broadcast broadcast broadcast broadcast
9. Mixed/Sepate separate separate separate mixed mixed and mixed
separate (no
10. Grain movement sell maize must buy none must buy must buy must buy
and millet
10-A. maybe to BMB sell goats sell cattle; sell cattle sell cattle
lacks trans- & chickens sell grass; sell grass
11. Goats port husband help
(12 sheep) 9 9 3 15 6
5(had 70,
12. Poultry-chickens jackals ate)

many 24 20 10 many 50
13. Cattle ; ,+ ,
3. Cattle sells 12/yr. 6 90+ 74 240 100
14. Jugo Beans
-3 3 pails -1 -1
15. Household
a) Number of
people 10; 3 now 11 9 13 32
work away husband in
b) Other family- S. Africa
extended/nuclear extended extended
nuclear nuclear nuclear extended
c) Male/Female head
male female male female male male

3 ox-2 very 3 disc dull
16. Condition of good (did not share worn; did not see worn, 1 good;
plow see, but rich bolts flush tractor plow
man) worn
17. Weeding-who wife and wife
hires her only wife wife & lads women

a) Height of 6", 1.5 mo. 20", 1.5 mo. 8" 6", 1.5 mo.; 6", 2 months 18"
crop; time this year
spent first time
b) Main weeds:
i. Stryga this year yes
first time
ii. Konkorus yes

iii. Cynodon yes

iv. Other pubo grass ngalale shamamheba shamamheba & blackjack blackjack,
(mention) grass digitaria grasses
18. Storage
sells to
19. Other pests rainfall,
birds; no birds cattle no birds animals
cattle borers,
birds, smut




aF rm Number


Item Tutume Tutume I Tutume Tutume Tutume
1. Type of draft tractor tractor ox ox ox
(disc plow) (disc plow) 4-ox team 4-ox team

2. Access to draft borrowed owned owned
father owns owned from uncle

3. Sorghum (ha-bags) 4-0 10-25 3-0 -0.5 1.6-2

4. Maize (ha-bags) -3 failed .- failed failed

5. Cowpeas -1 -1 -0.5

6. Millet -4 6-27 failed failed

7. Melons' yes yes

8. Planting broadcast broadcast broadcast broadcast broadcast

9. Mixed/Separate mixed separate mixed separate mixed

10. Grain movement none sell sorghum, must buy must buy must buy

10-A. plow; haul sell chicken; remittance
grain work

11. Goats 0 110 4 12 <10

12. Poultry-chickens 10 >10 8 18 >10

13. Cattle 36 195 0 37 10

14. Jugo Beans

15. Household
a) Number of 27 7 5 12 5

b) Other family- ; nuclear extended extended extended

c) Male/Female head male female male male

16. Condition of disc plow one plow worn

17. Weeding-who hired women women women

a) Height of 12" 2' 2.5' 8"
crop; time
b) Main weeds:
i. Stryga yes yes

ii. Konkorus yes

iii. Cynodon no yes

iv. Other annual many weeds grass grasses
(mention) grasses

18. Storage bags

19. Other pests borers, insects water, cattle
beetles on destumping cattle,
cowpeas birds, smut


Farm Number

42 1 43

i 45



Notes for KSU Target SRNP Mission

1. What you can expect from Ag. Stats. Printouts. Fairly confident
(80%) you will get printouts at block level in the table format
already set up for Ag. Survey 80 publications. There are two
programmes, Jeff Hinchcliffe in Government Computer Bureau is
running one asap, he will submit this for clearance to Chief
Statistician before turning it over, he suggests Tuesday might
be feasible (21 July). Should there be hitches I have suggested
to David N. that pressure is put onto Vic Amann, Chief Ag. Ec.
Ministry of Agriculture, and that David does this.
You will get a lot more information than asked for. It will all
be for the 3 proposed project districts in Central and 1 in
Francistown Regions, but the range of information will be greater
than asked for. This may be useful but to avoid 'getting lost'
in data suggest you focus on agreed parameters initially and
then use to develop ideas or themes. Jim has the code sheets
for parameters, depending on the titling of the printout tables
you may need the District and block codes from Shigh in Ministry
of Agriculture. .You will also need to liase with him to key the
blocks into the maps (he probably has the blocks on 50,000 sheets).
I would aim to key the blocks to the maps asap. You don't need to
wait for the data to do this. Then review the blocks 'in geographic
order' i.e. marching across the map spreading out fanlike as you go.
You will be looking for bimodality in the distributions of the
parameters for each block. Bimodality in the likely key sources of
variation, which seems to be herd size as a proxy for many other
variables distinguishing richer from poorer farms.
2. Likely Target Groups. It seems pretty clear that the two areas
are geographically homogenous with the exception of a change from
sorghum, as the main starch staple, to millet, in parts of Francistown
region. Test the use of the block data in detecting this transition
as a pilot run, it will help you to see 'what happens' and guide
you what to look for in other parameters. It also seems pretty clear
that 'size of herd' as a proxy for availability of draft power, area
cultivated, etc. is a key distinguishing variable for hierarchical
differences. It may be that there is a geographical linkage with this,
and large herd owners are found more consistentlyin some areas.
It needs looking for. A major question is where to draw the lines.
Lightfoot suggests that farmers with less than 30 animals will have
draft access problems. Test this out wherever possible. He would
draw 3 groups (1) 30+--access to their own draft power, therefore
relatively independent in planting decisions. (2) 1-30--all need to be
in a draft pool, therefore are to a greater or less extent dependent on
obligations to others. (3) 0 animals, will still have their lands
ploughed but likely to have less leverage and may take low priority
and therefore be particularly disadvantaged in timing and therefore
result. Probe the validity of this division, (maybe one needs to be
operating two teams to feel one can be independent of the insurance that
draft pooling offers, and a much larger herd size is therefore necessary


before you feel confident enough to opt out of draft pooling. Maybe the
social pressures are strong enough to hold even fairly large farmers in
draft pooling, at least with one team, so they only have freedom of
decisions with extra draught capacity--this kind of discussion will help.
The District figures suggest that somewhere between 100-150 herd size
arable farming becomes relatively unimportant activity for some rich
farmers. This may form the basis for a further division.
On the basis of this kind of thinking we might end up with 4 hierarchical
divisions and 2 geographical--8 groups in all. However, from the
general discussion in AID office yesterday it seemed that the Tutume
District farmers were a bit special in other ways, more criteria
might arise there.
3. Field Work. Initially sit down with maps and the District Level
figures with the DAO or RAO. Look for clues as to differences in the
district figures and go through the process I described with the
RAO/DAO, seeking out what he sees as geographical variations in the
farming system. Get him to describe what farmers do in specific
identified locations which are identifiable for him on the map and
are at extremes of his Region/District. Pick up clues from him which
will be verifiable from the block data, once available. Discuss
herd size--with respect to the divisions differentiating ease of
access to draught power--as a proxy for other important variables.
Also check out how he, and others, field the household cycle is governing
herd size. (New, young farmer ten animals therefore small, old
established farmer plenty of animals, large). Check whether he feels
herd size differences are geographically related.
4. Farm Visits. Absorb what you get from DAO/RAO, and from other people with
good review of local situations, develop the present hypotheses on
target group--before you embark on farm visits. Then structure your
visits to test out the hypotheses.
I would say split into 2 teams with 1 social 1 technical man in each.
Aim to visit 3-4 farms per team per day for 3-4 days. Leave late
afternoons free to compare notes and consolidate field impressions.
Try to cover the relevant districts of the region in a grid, reaching
as many parts as you can. At the same time, try to catch representatives
of each hypothesised target group. Screen each respondent initially to
find out which target group he is in, then you will have hypotheses
about what to expect from him. Probe closely contradictions which seem
to arise.
Before you set out to cover an area try to quiz the local agricultural
man about variations. (In central you may want to catch the 3 DAO's
as a starter, get a programme worked out with them, naming AD's to
take you to different parts, then quiz the ADs, using maps, about
variability in that part before moving onto farms. Build up hints to
be followed up in the block data.
5. Farm Interviews. Having located your farmer in a provisional
target group, and as the map or air photo (?). Some areas useful to
cover are listed.
(1) Probe whether the proxy of herd size, area cultivated, cash
availability, draft pool dependence, etc. seem to hold.
(2) Probe on the major variables which we are going to miss
from the printouts; type of draft power used, ownership
of draft, hired or borrowed, timing of cultivation relative
to other farmers in the area, age of operator to test out
the household cycle thing.
(3) Where relevant probe the draft pooling phenomenon--both the


access to draft side and the insurance side from sharing the
crop. (If the man has zero contribution to the pool, does he
enjoy the insurance of drawing crop from others fields, or
are the zero animals people disadvantaged in this way?)
(4) Probe year to year changes in area cultivated, and cropping
pattern (Bad year--next year does sorghum go up and maize down
and corollary.)
(5) Probe survival over the dry season--human food, animal feed,
sources. Storage, cash purchase?? Are crop residues important.
(6) Probe labor hire, by whom, of whom, for what. Look at it with
those who hire in, and those who hire themselves out--(Should
be a proxy of herd size again).
(7) Probe, delicately--last thing on the farm--for major cash sources.
I am sure you will have many other issues.
6. Return to Ag. Stats. Printouts. I hurried a bit out on item 1. We
asked for 38 parameters. We are not sure what we will get because
many more tables have been made than MOA have published. But, we will
get all that have been made--once it ploughs them all out. We-Jim and I
estimate you will definitely get 23 of the 38 parameters asked. Of the
38 you may miss the following important ones which appear on the
questionnaire, because no info has yet been published. (Though we
may not have seen all publications).
-Type of draught power
-Ownership of draft power
-Total area cultivated (you will get area of 4 main crops-a very
close proxy for this--as a 24th parameter)
-Age of householder
-Time of first-cultivation.
Hinchcliffe will printout his first programme giving some ? 50 tables.
He has another programme, which, given clearance of the first, he
should be pushed to run. I guess that both programmes must cover the
full questionnaire.
Finally, again, I urge you to be selective based on the original choice
of parameters, and particularly those relevant to hypothesised
variations likely to cause target groups. There will be a mass of
data and one could easily drown in it!


(from Mike Collinson, July 17, 1981)




From Kerven, C. (1979).


Figure 2 presents a typology of female-household's dependence on agriculture,
according to five variables of the household head; i) cattle ownership,
ii) employment status, iii) marital status, iv) availability of extended family
or household labour, and v) remittances received by the household head. As
these variables alter in relation to each other, the degree of dependence on
agriculture is altered. Household types at the top of the scale have the
greatest degree of dependency on agriculture, while those at the lowest end
have no dependency on agriculture.

Variable i: Cattle Ownership

The Households are grouped into three categories of cattle ownership.
"High" would be a herd over 50, assumed to be the number needed to live off
the sale of cattle, or a commercially-viable herd. "Medium" is a herd from
8-50, 8 being the number needed to provide a span of oxen for successful
ploughing. "Nil" is any number less than 8, since it is assumed that a
household cannot rely on cattle for direct or indirect (ploughing use)
regular income if the herd is smaller than 8, although irregular "emergency"
costs could be met by the sale of a beast. The costs of maintaining such a
small herd are also greater than the income from such a herd.

Variable ii: Employment Status

Four categories of employment status are given; wage-employed, self-employed,
unemployed, and unemployed seeking work. Wage and self-employment categories
are ranged according to income (high, medium, and low). This is done in order
that the contribution of cash income earned through employment can be set
against income derived from agriculture.

Variable iii: Marital Status

Four types of marital status are considered here; single, married (de facto
head), married (deserted), and widowed. The difference between single and
widowed is often the likelihood of cattle ownership, since a widow can inherit
from her husband, whereas a single woman is less likely to inherit from her
father. A "married" woman who is de facto head is assumed to have a stable
marriage, in which the husband assumes some responsibility for the support of
his wife and children; this is compared to the situation of a married woman
whose husband has effectively deserted her (i.e. does not visit or send

Variable iv: Extended Family and Household Labour

This variable refers to the availability of labour, either within the
female-headed household, or from extended family members. It is assumed that





Type I

-cattle ownership high
-no rural extended family labour

Type II

-cattle ownership nil
-unemployed seeking work
-rural extended family labour
-no remittances

Type III

-cattle ownership medium
-employed (med/high income)
-married (de facto head)
-rural extended family labour

Type IV

-cattle ownership medium
-self-employed (medium income)
-married (deserted)
-rural extended family labour
-no remittances

Type V

-cattle ownership nil
-self-employed (low income)
-no rural extended family labour

Type VI

-cattle ownership nil
-employed (medium income)
-no rural extended family labour
-no remittances


major source
of income









Type A

-cattle ownership high
-household labour
-no remittances

Type B

-cattle ownership nil
-household labour
-no remittances

Type C

-cattle ownership medium
-employed .(medium high)
-married (de facto head)
-no household labour

Type D

-cattle ownership medium
-self-employed medium income
-household labour
-no remittances

Type E

-cattle ownership nil
-married (deserted)
-household labour

Tyoe F

-cattle ownership nil
-no household labour
-no remittances

in some cases there will be no available labour, either because household
members are absent or too young to perform the tasks, or because the
extended family network does not offer its labour to the female-headed
household. The latter can occur for a number of reasons.

Variable v: Remittances

Remittances here refers to money and/or goods sent into the female-headed
household by absent members, or other family who do not reside with the
female head (e.g. boyfriends, parents, etc.). Thereis a distinction made
between remittances and transfers of cash and money made within a community,
such as hand-outs to extremely dependent family members who live in the
same village. Remittances are assumed to originate outside the community
resided in by the female head.


From Opschoor, J.B. (1981)

Toward a Stratification of Rural Households

For various reasons, it is unsatisfactory to only distinguish between
farmers with and without cattle. A more appropriate stratification incorporates
levels of cattle holding, and even non-agricultural activities of the household.
One such attempt distinguishes 3 strata (Opschoor, 1981 in preparation):

I households with (a) 40+ cattle, and/or (b) harvests of 2+ bags per
member in a good+year, and/or (c) with core members holding permanent
jobs earning P50 per month. This stratum contains 31% of all rural
households in Kgatleng;

II households with 0-40 cattle but not otherwise qualifying for I;
34% of all households;

III households without cattle and either (a) ploughing (26% of all
households) or (b) non-ploughing (9%).

Table 13 shows some of the characteristics of the various (sub)strata.
Stratum I households include the larger, commercial cattle owners as well as
the most effective crop farmers. These can manage reasonably to extremely
well. Stratum II households have herds of vulnerable size in times of drought,
they plough less and with noticably less success. They cannot manage even
in a normal year unless they sell cattle or supplement their incomes from
non-agricultural sources. Stratum III cannot survive on agricultural activity
alone and does not.

Obviously, IIIa households are confined to the mixed farming areas, and
so is the arable activity of the I households. But whose cattle are grazing
there? By far most of the Stratum I herds are kept in cattle post areas,
accounting for 93% of their cattle; the remaining 7% graze in mixed farming
areas and typically belong to the much smaller Ib or Ic herds. Contrarily,
most II-herds are kept permanently at the lands accounting for 40% of all
Stratum II animals. Over 80% of all herds found permanently in the mixed
farming areas, are Stratum II herds (and in fact, the smaller ones of that
stratum); almost 80% of all cattle one sees there belong to farmers from that
Stratum. Spatially mixed farming is therefore, a strategy that is typical of
the less well-to-do and poor farming households in Eastern Botswana. It
figures: these households would indeed find it relatively difficult to pay
for badisa, they would have an interest in fairly close management of their
small herds, they would begin to be able to plough with their own draft
power, and much less inclined to opt for hired tractor draft power, they are
not syndicate members, etc. Circumstances do force them to keep their cattle
at the lands.

How does this affect their long-term prospects? This question must be
looked into from two perspectives: that of (the inequality of) access to
environmental and economic resources, and that of the (inequality of) impact
of present policy-making.


Table 13:

Production, Employment and Other Characteristics of Kgatleng Households According to (Sub) Strata

Strata: N Average Average Average % syndi- % tractor % house- % house- % house- % house- % house-
herdsize area No. of cate owners hold with hold hold hold hold
1980 ploughed bags members education employ- with with without
1980 1978 beyond ing employees employees senior
(_acres) _Form 3 _in town in S.A. male
1. Upper Stratum
(a) household with
>40 cattle 26 78.9 14.8 7.8 42.3 11.57 26.9 46.2 34.6 15.4 23.1
(b) household producing
,2 bags per member 26 15.4 14.0 20.5 19.2 3.8 7.7 26.9 42.3 7.7 7.7
(c) households with
senior members with
regular income of
PP50/maonth 10 7.4 6.8 .3 10.0 2.0 2.0 80.0 30.0

2. Middle Stratum
household with
cattle, but not in 1 68 19.1 10.6 3.6 2.9 -- 4.4 10.3 45.2 20.6 17.6

3. Lower Stratum
(a) households without
cattle producing
42 bags per
member 52 -- 5.7 1.8 44.2 15.4 26.9
(b) households without
cattle, not
ploughing 18 -- -- -- -- -- -- -- 44.4 -- 44.4

Access to Environmental Resources

It has been shown that most Stratum II herds are kept in the mixed
farming areas, and but some of the Stratum I cattle. In terms of grazing
pressure, animals from herds in different strata are in unequal positions.
The mixed farming areas in Kgatleng can be estimated to be approx.
160,000 ha (out of Kgatleng's 760,000 ha.) containing roughly 108,000 ha
of grazing, with another 75,000 ha of pure grazing nearby. Estimates vary,
but between 20% and 30% of all cattle graze in that area, leading to a
grazing pressure of 4.5-11.4 ha/LSU in the mixed farming areas. In the
grazing areas, the grazing pressure ranges from 8.2 ha/LSU upward. It appears
that cattle in the mixed farming zones may find themselves living in less
grazy conditions.





Total Cattle: 956,000

Total Cattle: 348,000

FIGURE 3: Traditional Cattle by Districts


TABLE 14: CATTLE IIElID COMPOSITION hulls, Oxen, Cows, Tollies, Hlelfers and Calves by Districts and
Size of Cattle IloldinU, Traditional Farms Central Hceglon -
1980 A!ricultural Statistics

lulls Oxen Cows. Tollies Ielfers Calves Cattle
Number (000) -

Mahalapye 4.5 42.0 140.3 29.3 34.9 61.0 312.0

Ia aldpyc 3.0 19.4 70.9 17.3 20.1 30.3 161.0

Scrowe 4.5 36.1 119.5 36.2 32.3 56.4 285.0

lmadinare t4.4 17.9 84.2 20.1 30.6 40.8 198.0

I0TAL 16.4 115.4 414.9 102.9 117.9 188.5 956.0

1111) SIZE

I 10 .2 1.7 7.0 1.1 2.5 3.7 16.2
II 20 .9 7.2 20.2 4.1 6.0 10.2 48.6
21 30 2.1 11.0 32.5 9.2 8.4 17.0 80.2
J3 40 1.5 12.4 35.8 10.4 10.3 18.8 89.2
41 50 1.2 8.4 23.4t 6.2 6.3 13.1 58.6
51 60 1.3 9.7 27.4 8.1 8.7 12.1 67.3
61 .- 00 3.1 22.1 74.9 17.3 17.6 29.2 164.2
101 150 3.0 19.9 83.8 15.7 25.1 35.3 182.8
151 3.1 23.0 109.9 30.8 33.0 49.1 248.9

1IOIAL 16.4 115.4 41) 4.9 102.9 117.9 188.5 956.0

TABLE 15: Summary of Traditional Livestock Estimates with Coefficients
of Variation for Central Region 1980 Agricultural
Coefficient of
Category Traditional Variation


Cattle farms
Total cattle
Home slaughter

Sheep farms
Total sheep
Males one year & over
Females one year & over
Males under one year
Females: under one year
Home slaughter

Goat farms
Total goats
Males one year & over
Females one year & over
Males under one year
Females under one year
Home slaughter

Mule/Donkey farms
Horse farms
Chicken farms


115, 400










1 .

* Ia .


TABLE 16: Summary of Traditional Crop Estimates with Coefficients
of Variation for Central Region 1980 Agricultural
Category Traditional o ration
of Variation
Number Percent

Farms with land 22,300 7.9
Farms with crops planted 21,300 10.6
Total land area (hectares) 105,900 9.6
Total area planted (hectares) 91,000 10.2
Total area harvested (hectares) 63,900 12.2

Farms 20,400 8.3
Area planted (hectares) 50,700 10.4
Area harvested (hectares) 45,100 11.8
Total production \metric tons) 8,335 / 10.9
Average production (kg/hectare) 137 9.6

Farms 16,300 9.4
Area planted (hectares) 23,200 11.4
Area harvested (hectares) 9,200 20.2
Total production (metric tons) 1,305 34.8
Average production (kg/hectare) 142 .25.5

Farms 2,100 23.3
Area planted (hectares) 2,300 36.6
Area harvested (hectares) 2,000 12.3
Total production (metric tons) 310 31.6
Average production (kg/hectare) 155 27.2

Farms 12,500 10.0
Area planted (hectares) 9,600 11.9
Area harvested (hectares) 4,400 20.0
Total production (metric tons) 530 18.1
Average production (kg/hectare) 120 21.1

FOUR CROPS:(Sorghum, Maize,
Millet & Beans):
Farms 21,300 10.6
Area planted (hectares) 85,300 10.1
Area harvested (hectares) 60,700 12.2
Total production (metric tons) 10,140 11.2
Average production (kg/hectare) 173 9.7

TABLE 17: CATTLE IIERD COMPOSITION Bulls, Oxen, Cows, Tollies, Heifers and Calves by Districts and
Size of Cattle Holding, Traditional Farms Francistown Region -
1980 Agricultural Statistics

Bulls Oxen Cows Tollies Ileifers Calves ta
Number (000) -

Tati 2.9 20.3 61,6 22.5 26.1 30.6 164.0

Tutume 3.2 24.4 71.2 22.6 25.9 36.7 184.0

TOTAL 6.1 44.7 132.8 45.1 52.0 67.3 348.0


1 10 .2 2.6 6.1 2.3 3.1 2.9 17.2
11 20 .6 4.8 11.4 4.0 5.3 5.6 31.7
21 30 .5 4.0 10.1 2.6 3.6 6.0 26.8
31 40 .5 3.2 8.2 2.8 2.4 3.4 20.5
41 50 .2 .9 2.3 1.0 .9 .9 6.2
51 60 .9 5.5 15.9 4.0 5.2 5.5 37.0
61 100 .9 8.6 21.6 8.7 10.7 13.4 63.9
101 + 2.3 15.1 57.2 19.7 20.8 29.6 144.7

TOTAL 6.1 44.7 132.8 45.1 52.0 67.3 348.0

, U; I

TABLE 18: Summary of Traditional Livestock Estimates with Coefficients
of Variation for Francistown Region 1980 Agricultural
Coefficient of
Category Traditional Variation
Number Percent
TOTAL FARMS 10,700. 9.1

Cattle Farms 8,700 10.4
Total cattle 348,000 22.4
Bulls 6,100 19.9
Oxen 44,700 20.1
Cows 132,800 22.7
Tollies 45,100 23.6
Heifers 52,000 22.5
Calves 67,300 24.1
Births 82,000 22.4
Deaths 42,000 18.2
Sales. 29,600 32.2
Purchases 5,200 31.4
Home slaughter 2,300 21.0

Sheep farms 2,200 26.3
Total sheep 10,000 32.7
Males one year & over 1,000 33.1
Females one year & over 6,500 30.1
Males under one year 1,200 40.2
Females under one year 1,300 44.6
Births 4,400 31.3
Deaths 4,300 45.3
Sales 600 40.7
Purchases 200 100.0
Home slaughter 600 61.6

Goat farms 7,100 12.3
Total goats 73,000 14.8
Males one year & over 6,300 19.3
Females one year &. over 38,600 14.3
Males under one year 12,600 9.6
Females under one year 15,500 21.2
Births 36,100 16.7
Deaths 26,900 15.9
Sales 2,200 26.9
Purchases 1,500 30.7
Home slaughter 4,100 23.8

Mule/Donkey farms 2,200 29.0
Mules/donkeys 12,000 26.4
Horse farms 450 100.0
Horses 1,800 100.0
Chicken farms 10,000 9.0
Chickens 129,000 12.1


TABLE 19: Summary of Traditional Crop Estimates with Coefficients
of Variation for Francistown Region 1980 Agricultural
Category Traditional o i n
of Variation
Number Percent

Farms with land 9,700 10.6
Farms with crops planted 9,300 11.2
Total land area (hectares) 44,200 13.7
Total area planted (hectares) 37,000 13.6
Total area harvested (hectares) 26,100 14.2

Farms 9,200 11.3
Area planted (hectares) 14,700 13.6
Area harvested (hectares) 13,300 14.1
Total production (metric tons) 2,190 17.8
Average production (kg/hectare) 165 15.8

Farms 8,800 11.6
Area planted (hectares) 11,500 14.9
Area harvested (hectares) 5,600 17.4
Total production (metric tons) 655 20.9
Average production (kg/hectare) 117 23.5

Farms '6,100 16.4
Area planted (hectares) 6,100 17.2
Area harvested (hectares) 4,800 18.8
Total production (metric tons) 870 25.2
Average production (kg/hectare) 181 21.6

Farms 4,400 14.3
Area planted (hectares) 3,300 20.2
Area harvested (hectares) 1,700 28.5
Total production (metric tons) 215 35.7
Average production (kg/hectare) 126 43.3

FOUR CROPS: (Sorghum, Maize,
Millet & Beans):
Farms 9,300 11.2
Area planted (hectares) 35,600 13.7
Area harvested (hectares) 25,400 14.2
Total production (metric tons) 3,930 17.3
Average production (kg/hectare) 155 15.3


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