Due to its important economic and social role, the government of Botswana places a high priority on the beef cattle industry. The production of beef cattle in the country is dominated by smallholder households, dispersed across large areas. These household production systems are thought to feature low productivity and take-off, limiting smallholder income. Sparse populations and geographical dispersion also result in high transaction costs and a disconnection with market features.
This Small Research Activity (SRA) outlines a study by an international research partnership comprising of officials from ACIAR, the government of Botswana and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI). It will be carried over a period of two and half months to produce a needs assessment for smallholder cattle research in Botswana. As there are significant parallels between the Australian and Botswanan beef industry challenges, the potential for cross-learning is substantial. Although the Australian experience is highly relevant, this SRA will establish the research needs for Botswana through a whole-chain approach to inform further ACIAR research in the region.