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Accueil du site → Doctorat → États-Unis → 1982 → CATTLE HUSBANDRY IN THE COMMUNAL AREAS OF EASTERN BOTSWANA

Cornell University (1982)

CATTLE HUSBANDRY IN THE COMMUNAL AREAS OF EASTERN BOTSWANA

BAILEY, CHARLES RAY

Titre : CATTLE HUSBANDRY IN THE COMMUNAL AREAS OF EASTERN BOTSWANA

Auteur : BAILEY, CHARLES RAY

Université de soutenance : Cornell University

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 1982

Résumé
This study is about cattle husbandry in the semi-arid, unfenced, and communally held rangelands of eastern Botswana. People keep cattle for a variety of reasons, among them the use of cattle draft power in arable agriculture, the sale of cattle to meet immediate cash needs, home consumption of meat and dairy products, and the accumulation of wealth. Since the last major drought in 1965/66, the cattle population of Botswana has approximately doubled and now poses a potential threat to the long-run carrying capacity of the country’s rangelands. The open-access nature of the range removes any individual incentive to limit stock numbers or to systematically rotate animals among different grazing areas. Although cattle are the best means for exploiting the water and land resources of eastern Botswana, only half of all rural households hold cattle. This study was undertaken to gain a better understanding of the use and management of two of Botswana’s major natural resources—land and water—for the production of cattle. The analysis proceeded on two levels : (1) the aggregate effects of individual decision making on range condition and water resource management and development, and (2) the effects on individual herds of cattle holder herd management. Empirical data were gathered through a series of questionnaires and open-ended interviews carried out with 245 cattle holders in twelve communities in eastern Botswana during 1979/80. Stocking rates were found to be substantially higher than those recommended by government range ecologists. Cattle holders appeared to be building up their herds to take the fullest advantage of the forage produced by a succession of good rainfall years. Water was not a constraint on growth in herd numbers. Water availability did vary seasonally and from place to place, but not enough to shift cattle and allow the range to recover from local grazing pressure. Cattle holders required at least 35 to 40 animals to plow with a full team of oxen. Net revenue in cash and kind reached an initial maximum in herds of between 41 and 50 head.

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Page publiée le 21 février 2015, mise à jour le 12 décembre 2018