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Michigan State University (1996)

Socio-economic transformation and the agrarian transition in Botswana

Puso, Mercy Marietta K..

Titre : Socio-economic transformation and the agrarian transition in Botswana

Auteur : Puso, Mercy Marietta K..

Etablissement de soutenance : Michigan State University

Grade : Master of Arts (MA) 1996

Résumé
This paper examines the agricultural and socio-economic transformations that have occurred in Botswana since the colonial period. It gives a historical discussion of how these transformations took place and how they affected the socio-economic status of the traditional cultivator and subsequently the peasant from the colonial era (1895) to present. The following have been identified as some of the forces of change for peasant transformation in Botswana : (a) the legacy of colonialism and the labor migration system ; (b) economic relationships with South Africa ; (c) local history, indigenous institutions and domestic policies ; (d) climatic and demographic variables ; and (e) technology. The nature and the extent of the impact of these factors on the following major factors of production in Botswana was explored : (a) land use as reflected in settlement pattern ; (b) family labor ; (c) cattle ownership and (d) water rights. The study concludes that : (a) Colonial policies, the migrant labor system and current agrarian policies have been the major forces of peasant transformation. (b) In general, participation in the market economy has brought some positive changes in the lives of the peasants, however, serious socio-economic constraints are still prevalent. (c) Different classes of peasantry have emerged based on the extent of adaptation to the market economy and the existing local conditions. (d) Increased dependency by Botswana on the South African economy further curtailed peasants’ capabilities to carry out adequate agricultural production. The study recommends a shift in government policy to address the changing peasant production systems. In particular, the changing settlement patterns and their implications for peasant production should be given due consideration. Options for rural employment creation should be followed aggressively.

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Page publiée le 13 février 2018, mise à jour le 4 avril 2019