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Type Journal Article - Livestock Research for rural development
Title A survey of traditional small stock farmers in Molelopole North, Kweneng district, Botswana: Demographic parameters, market practices and marketing channels
Volume 16
Issue 12
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2004
URL http://lrrd.cipav.org.co/lrrd16/12/nsos16100.htm
Marketing of small stock in Botswana is a sub-sector that has a potential to help diversify the economy and alleviate poverty in rural communities. The aims of this study were to characterize the traditional small stock farmers in Molelopole North, Kweneng district, Botswana, determine their market practices, as well as their marketing channels. Fifty small stock farmers were randomly sampled and interviewed orally in the area of study. A formal questionnaire was used to collect information on demographic parameters, market practices and marketing channels. Procedure Frequency in Statistical Analysis System was used to analyze the data.

Approximately, there were equal males (52%) and females (48%) farming with small stock. The majority of these farmers (96%) were aged 31 years and older, married (66%) and with either primary (26%) or no education (46%). Most farmers (88%) did not keep any records and weighing before selling was not done (0%). Most farmers (96%) rather preferred using subjective conformation assessment to bargain for prices. Selling was largely through both individual sales (92%) and butchers (34%), which were the most favoured markets because they are relatively cheap and easily accessible. Botswana Meat Commission, which used to be popular, was almost not utilized (4%). Some marketing channels such as co-operatives and auction sales were not used at all (0%). The majority of small stock farmers (76%) had little knowledge about market forces and quality of their livestock and this limited their ability to choose the right marketing channel based on sound economic decisions which would increase their income.

All stakeholders should develop appropriate policy instruments to improve small stock enterprises, through training farmers in production, modern management practices and marketing strategies and also develop adequate markets and marketing channels. Such policies should address issues relating to efficient production, timely selling, regular marketing, quality produce and organized market outlets including premium niche markets.

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