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Agricultural development and the distribution of water resources in Kgatleng District, Botswana


  • Ellen Hillbom


During Botswana's four decades of high levels of growth the agricultural sector has lagged behind, with smallholder productivity being especially poor. This paper applies an equity perspective: its main claim is that one important explanation for the current lack of agricultural development is the unequal distribution of agricultural resources. It takes into account both the national institutional structure, which promotes widespread inequality, and the distribution of boreholes and water resources on the communal grazing range in Kgatleng District. It argues that ever since the first administrative effort to develop water resources in the 1920s the country's official policy and legislation has directly or indirectly favoured the large-scale farmers over the smallholders and, further, that customary property rights principles have supported the process that has led to today's institutional inequality.

Suggested Citation

  • Ellen Hillbom, 2010. "Agricultural development and the distribution of water resources in Kgatleng District, Botswana," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 27(3), pages 413-427.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:deveza:v:27:y:2010:i:3:p:413-427
    DOI: 10.1080/0376835X.2010.498951

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    agricultural development; equity; water; Botswana;


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