Southern African Agriculture and Climate Change: A Comprehensive Analysis - Botswana

"Botswana has a semi-arid climate, characterized by warm winters, hot summers, low rainfall, and high evapotranspiration. The country is prone to frequent droughts, lately occurring every two years rather than once every four years, as in the previous decade. Only 5 percent of Botswana’s area is suitable for cultivation and less than 1 percent is cultivated. The major staple crops, sorghum and maize, are mostly grown in the eastern region. While the contribution of agriculture to GDP has declined to about 2 percent over the past decade, agriculture remains the mainstay activity for the rural economy, employing 30 percent of the workforce. The small-scale farmers who work 80 percent of the country’s planted area produce just 38 percent of the total crop harvest. In addition to being less productive, small farms are more susceptible to the effects of drought, as they lack modern farming technologies and irrigation equipment."