Livestock Systems

Competitive smallholder livestock in Botswana

Project code
AUD 1,372,153
Research program manager
Dr Anna Okello
Project leader
Derek Baker, International Livestock Research Institute
Commissioned organisation
International Livestock Research Institute
SEP 2012
DEC 2015
Project status
Share this page


This project explored the potential of enhancing the competitiveness of smallholder livestock production in Botswana using 20 case studies of three types (cooperatives, agricultural management associations and borehole syndicates) of collective action groups.

Livestock production and marketing is crucial for Botswana’s rural smallholder livelihoods and remains a key cultural activity. The smallholder sector produces most of Botswana’s meat, 70-80% of agricultural gross domestic product, and also uses significant land and water resources.

This project focused on analysing constraints of production systems and identifying likely drivers of improvements in the smallholder livestock sector of Botswana, providing specific recommendations on improving livestock marketing systems to enhance smallholder participation in regional and international markets.  A concerted effort was made in animal health, providing an early impetus to further research by identifying priorities among diseases and recommending change in delivery systems. 

Project outcomes

  • Defined smallholder livestock production systems and identified the factors affecting their productivity, and assessed their competitiveness.
  • Aimed to understand and improve conditions for market participation and value addition in markets for livestock, livestock products and inputs.
  • Strengthened agricultural education and extension capacity.
Key partners
Botswana College of Agriculture
Botswana Institute for Development Policy Analysis
Department of Agricultural Research, Ministry of Agriculture, Botswana
AusVet Animal Health Services