n South African Journal of Agricultural Extension - Acceptability of stock reduction in Botswana

Volume 27, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0301-603X
  • E-ISSN: 2413-3221


The problem of overstocking, generally accepted to be the major cause of the degradation of natural resources on the communal rangelands of Botswana, has remained unresolved. Findings from a survey conducted in 1996 amongst a random sample of 132 stock farmers on different types of ranches in the Southern Region of Botswana indicate that various socio-cultural factors place significant constraints on stock reduction. The incompatibility of stock reduction with respondents' culturally conditioned needs, is probably the major hindrance. Resistance to stock reduction also lies in the fact that the problem of resource degradation is not really appreciated, probably because of the clear evidence that stock farmers tend to overrate the condition of their grazing. The general perception that "drought" and not "overstocking" is the major problem and cause of veld retrogression, is a further hindrance and also a symptom of the underlying fatalism that makes change towards more sustainable production very difficult.

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