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|Leiden University catalogue
|The State and its failure to transform African crop production in Botswana, 1930-1939
|Morapedi, Wazha G.
|South African Historical Journal (ISSN 0258-2473)
|This paper discusses attempts by British colonial officials to transform African crop production in Botswana in the 1930s. From the early 1930s, the British colonial officials made some modest and largely insignificant attempts to improve crop production in Botswana. The key issues addressed here are the nature and extent of the initiatives undertaken, such as agricultural shows, co-operator farmer experimental plots and the diffusion of technology. The successes and failures of the programmes and whether these initiatives constituted a departure from earlier policy which many scholars and researchers have dubbed the 'general neglect' of the territory are examined. The paper argues that the major shortcomings of the initiatives were insufficient funding, lack of concerted efforts, the selective nature of the programmes and incomprehensive and unsustainable crop production schemes that would have made a major impact. It gives an overview of the role of the chiefs in agricultural programmes and argues that it was the pastoral sector (cattle) rather than crop production which largely accounted for social differentiation in Botswana. The paper also reveals the regional imbalances that characterized colonial interventions in the crop production sector. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]