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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Drought, Dutch Disease and Controlled Transition in Botswana Agriculture
Author:Love, R.
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies
Geographic term:Botswana
agricultural development
agricultural policy
diamond mining
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Development and Technology
Drought and Desertification
Economics and Trade
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/2637120
Abstract:The rapid expansion of diamond production in Botswana during the 1980s places the country into that category of economies where the growth of other sectors can be examined only with reference to the impact of the 'booming sector'. Parallels with the impact of North Sea gas exploitation on nongas sectors of the Dutch economy in the 1970s, which came to be known as 'Dutch disease', are evident. This article shows that, principally through exchange rate movements, the exceptional growth of the mineral sector in Botswana created relative price disadvantages in the agricultural sector and that these were positively correlated to output. To focus on the irregularity of rainfall patterns alone is thus to relegate the importance of economic and political factors in accounting for low agricultural productivity in Botswana. In its role as beneficiary of most of the domestic revenues from mineral exploitation the government has, however, adopted a discriminatory expenditure pattern, favouring livestock development over arable production. This serves to facilitate the transition by a traditional dominant group of cattle owners to a contemporary capitalist class of commercial farmers and industrialists. The projection of the interests of the elite to what are claimed to be more generalized social benefits of a market economy for the community at large, provides legitimacy for this pattern of State intervention. Ref., sum.