Between 1966 and 2003 the contribution of the agricultural sector to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) dropped from 40 % to 2,5 %. This decrease is partly due to the increasing contribution from Botswana’s successful mining industry to the GDP and partly due to recurrent droughts. Despite the decrease, 50 % of the population are still reliant on the agriculture sector as a source of food and income. Botswana exports livestock and imports a significant part of its cereal requirements from South Africa.
As with many southern African cultures, livestock agriculture is a fundamental element of life for the Batswana people. Crop and livestock production are practiced at both the traditional (subsistence) and commercial level in Botswana. These types of agriculture differ in the use of the final product, land tenure and use of technology.
Today Botswana is seriously overstocked with cattle – with serious consequences for the groundwater level and groundwater quality. For details consult the Groundwater Quality page of the Water Quality chapter in the River Basin theme.
The cattle and beef industry is very important in Botswana.
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