botswanaBotswana is a landlocked country located in southern Africa. The country’s topography is flat and up to 70% of its area is covered by the Kalahari Desert. Drought and desertification are two major environmental problems. The capital of Botswana is Gaborone. With a geographical area of 224,607 miles but with a population of slightly over 2 million people, Botswana is one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world. The country has been facing a severe problem of HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Context

Context

Administratively, Botswana is divided into nine districts, which are further sub-divided into 15 councils, mostly district councils and some town councils. Botswana is a success story in Africa due to its sensible development policies, good macro-economic management, lack of corruption, and so far sustained democracy. Since gaining independence in 1966, the country has shown extremely fast economic growth, changing its economic status from one of the poorest countries to a middle income nation. Botswana is the biggest producer of diamonds in the world. It is also said to have hitherto unexploited reserves of gold, uranium and copper. However, the government is keen to diversify its economy base rather than depending entirely on income from diamonds.  The climate of Botswana varies from semi-arid to sub-tropical and the rainy season is short. Summers are hot, and the dry season quite windy and dusty.

The agriculture sector of Botswana is dominated by cattle rearing and subsistence farming, but it suffers from erratic rainfall and soil erosion. Rain-fed farming is the norm. Agriculture supplies food to only half of the population. Presently, the contribution of agriculture to the GDP is barely 3 per cent, and about 80 per cent of that comes from the livestock sub-sector. Only about 0.4 per cent of the total land area is cultivable, and the average farm size is 2.3 hectares. Sorghum and maize are main crops but groundnut, beans, sunflower and millet are also grown. The national policy on agriculture prepared in 1991 is being reviewed in light of a number of initiatives including the Millennium Development Goals, the Dar-es-Salaam Declaration on Agriculture and Food Security, and the Maputo Declaration. Botswana is a member of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Key Statistics and Indicators

Indicator

Value

Year  

Agricultural land (sq km)

Agricultural land (% of land area)

Arable land (hectares)

Arable land (% of land area)

Arable land (hectares per person)

258,520

45.61

250,000

0.44

0.12

2009

2009

2009

2009

2009

Fertilizer consumption (kg per hectare of arable land)

NA

-

Agriculture, value added (% of GDP)

Food production index (2004-2006 = 100)

Food exports (% of merchandise exports)

Food imports (% of merchandise imports)

2.50

113.72

2.23

10.45

2011

2010

2011

2011

GNI per capita, Atlas method (current US$)

7,470

2011

Literacy rate, adult total (% of people ages 15 and above)

Literacy rate, youth female (% of females ages 15-24)

Literacy rate, youth male (% of males ages 15-24)

Ratio of young literate females to males (% ages 15-24)

Ratio of female to male secondary enrollment (%)

84.47

96.94

93.60

103.57

106.30

2010

2010

2010

2010

2009

Mobile cellular subscriptions (per 100 people)

Internet users (per 100 people)

142.81

7

2011

2011

Population, total

Population density (people per sq. km of land area)

Rural population

Rural population (% of total population)

Agricultural population (% of total population)*

Total economically active population

Total economically active population in agriculture*

Total economically active population in agriculture (in %

    of total economically active population)

Female economically active population in agriculture (% of

     total economically active population in agriculture)*

2,030,738

3.54

779,502

38.38

41.61

1,036,754

317,000

30.57

56.46

2011

2010

2011

2011

2010

2010

2010

2010

2010

Sources:The World Bank; *Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations FAO 

 

Acknowledgements

  • Authored by M. Kalim Qamar (February 2013)
  • Edited by Burton E. Swanson 

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