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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Agrekon
Title An empirical analysis of factors affecting the productivity of livestock in southern Botswana
Volume 44
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2005
Page numbers 99-117
URL https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/6522776.pdf
This study attempts to identify factors responsible for differences in the productivity of
cattle managed by private and communal livestock farmers in the southern region of
Botswana during 1999/2000. Sample survey data are used to estimate the parameters
of a block recursive regression model. Some of the equations postulated in the model
are estimated with two-stage least squares (2SLS) to account for likely correlation
between endogenous explanatory variables and the error term. The results show that
(a) respondents with secure land tenure (private farms) and larger herds use more
agricultural credit than do those who rely on open access communal grazing to raise
cattle; (b) secure tenure and higher levels of liquidity from long-term credit and offfarm
wage remittances promote investment in fixed improvements to land; (c)
liquidity from short-term credit and wage remittances supports expenditure on
operating inputs; and (d) herd productivity increases with greater investment in
operating inputs and fixed improvements, and is therefore positively (but indirectly)
influenced by secure land tenure.
It can be inferred that government should (a) uphold private property rights to land
where they already exist; (b) privatise open access grazing to individual owneroperators
where this is politically, socially and economically feasible; and (c) where
privatisation to individuals is not feasible, government should encourage users to
convert the grazing into common property by subsidising the transaction costs of
defining user groups and the boundaries of their resources, and of negotiating and
enforcing rules limiting individual use of common property. This first-step in a
gradual shift towards private property might be followed by a conversion of usergroups
into non-user groups organised along the lines of investor-owned firms where
members exchange use rights for benefits rights.

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