Botswana is a landlocked nation in the middle of Southern Africa. It is one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world, with a population of just over 2 million and a land mass of 566,730 square kilometres.
Botswana is one of Africa’s success stories. It is the continent’s longest continuous multi-party democracy; has one of the highest standards of living and gross national incomes in Africa; and has the fastest sustained economic growth in the world, averaging 5% per annum over the last decade. It also has high levels of unemployment, income inequality, and rural poverty, and the second highest HIV/AIDS rate in the world.
Severe drought caused by El Niño has left 40,000 people in need of emergency assistance. The water shortages have also reduced cattle heads (by 12%) and cereal harvests (by 70%); the 2015/16 crop deficit stood at 88%.
Livestock and cropping systems for disadvantaged farmers