Livestock Research for Rural Development 20 (10) 2008 Guide for preparation of papers LRRD News

Citation of this paper

Gender ownership patterns of livestock in Botswana

O I Oladele and M Monkhei

Department of Agricultural Economics, Education and Extension, Botswana College of Agriculture, University of Botswana, Gaborone
oioladele@bca.bw         oladele20002001@yahoo.com         mmonkhei@bca.bw

Abstract

This paper examines gender ownership patterns of livestock in Botswana. This is predicated on the fact that there is need for empirical analysis of women ownership of livestock and that intervention for agricultural development such as Arable Lands Development Project is being subjected to livestock ownership. Secondary data were used for this study and were compiled from the Agricultural census and statistics generated by the Ministry of Agriculture in 2007. Data were subjected to analysis with the SPSS 13, using proportions, ratios, t-test and one way analysis of variance to show if significant differences exist in the ownership of livestock among female farmers.

 

Results show that women are most prominent in goat ownership and the ratio of male to female ownership of cattle holdings is 3 to 1 but the ratio of population of animals owned by male to female is 5 to 1. In terms of ownership across location in the regions, women in Central region own more cattle, goats, sheep, donkey and chicken than other regions, while women in Maun region own more horses than others and women in Gaborone region own more pigs than others. Generally, Central and Southern regions are more prominent for cattle, sheep, donkey and chicken ownership. Significant differences exist between male and female ownership of cattle, goats, sheep, donkey and horses. However, no significant difference exists between male and female in terms of ownership of chicken and pigs. One -way analysis of variance to show that a significant difference exists across regions among women in terms of livestock ownership (F = 9.28, p < 0.05) with goat ownership having the highest mean score (33099.67).

 

It is therefore important that these ownership patterns are given proper consideration in policy formulation for livestock development and that through ownership patterns, location specific interventions could be implemented.

Keywords: animal holdings, animal population, Botswana, draught power, male: female ratio


Introduction

Over 70 percent of Botswana’s population lives in rural areas and earns a living from agriculture. Because of the dry climate and low population density, livestock production dominates agricultural activities and is a very important socio-economic activity (World Bank 2001). The cattle industry is the principal sector with a major contribution to beef export to the EEC market. In Botswana, livestock ownership is an important household asset because they are significant in maintaining the livelihoods of their keepers by providing food, draught power, manure, skin, hide, cash, security, social and cultural identity, medium of exchange and means of savings (Mrema and Rannobe 1996). Also lack of alternative investment opportunities in rural areas has promoted investment in livestock (Chernichovsky et al 1985; MFDP 1991). The production systems involve the farming households with male –headed, female –headed and sometimes child-headed household due to the impacts of HIV/AIDS.

 

Women involvement in livestock production is a long-standing tradition all over the world, and there is growing recognition of women contribution to agricultural production but, livestock ownership patterns differ widely among ecological zones, and socio-political systems (Niamir 1990). Mullin (1995) reported that women provided 46 percent of agricultural labour, produced approximately 70 percent of food and did at least half of the tasks involved in raising animals although these contributions are often underestimated or, worse, ignored. The term "gender" refers to a social construction rather than a biological condition, although it has been used interchangeably with sex, within the academic fields of cultural studies, and the social sciences (Reddy 2005).  Gender is a socio-economic variable used to analyze roles, responsibilities, constraints, opportunities and incentives of people involved in agriculture (Poats 1991 and FAO 1998); part of the gender analysis procedure is the determination of women’s ownership of assets within the households. CTA (2002) reported that the power of traditional gender structures as rooted in the legal environment perpetuates women’s lower status and a strong disincentive for ownership of assets and productive resources. The perception of these cultures implies that with marriage all the belongings of the woman, including her, revert to the ownership of men.

 

Men’s ownership rights over animals are guaranteed by a near universal set of inheritance rules that are gender biased and rooted in religion and patriarchal kinship systems (Dahl 1987).  Okitoi et al  (2007) reported that ownership of rural poultry is shared among the family members but is predominantly by women and children in western Kenya. FAO (1998) reported that in Tanzania, the animals belong to the husband and even in case of divorce, the wife cannot take the animals with her. However, in Pakistan, women continue to own the animals they brought as a part of their dowry. They can decide by themselves what to do with them, but if they want to sell livestock, then they need men’s agreement (FAO1998; Reddy 2005). In Ethiopia, Yisehak (2008) noted that men owned more cattle, sheep, goats and equine; while small animals like chicken were mainly owned by women.  This was also reported by Nsoso et al (2005) for the Kgatleng district of Botswana.

 

Presently in Botswana, the Arable Land Development Project (ALDEP) which aimed at raising production of food grains by small farmers and to make the economy less dependent on imported food was targeted around  cattle ownership because the number of cattle was taken as an indicator for access to draught power and a proxy for wealth in communities. Draught power is the single greatest non-physical or non-climatic constraint to arable farming in Botswana because of the bearing it has both on the total area a farmer can plough/plant in a season and on the timeliness of those operations. Access to draught power was therefore used to categorize the traditional arable farmers. On the basis of cattle ownership (except those with more than 40 head of cattle) farmers within the target group were ranked (MoA 2007). Anecdotal evidences suggest that this classification is likely to marginalize women farmers. Based on the foregoing, it is important that an analysis of gender ownership patterns of livestock in Botswana, such that women ownership of livestock will be  subjected to empirical analysis and portray women farmers in the best position to benefit from development programmes and reveal proactive suggestions for their benefit.

 

Methodology 

The study was carried out in Botswana which is located  on latitude 24 45S and longitude 25 55E  with a land area of 582,000 squares kilometers at the south of the Equator and dissected by the Tropic of Capricorn, Botswana is in both the eastern and southern hemisphere. This landlocked country is positioned in southern Africa (Figure 1).  


Figure 1.  Map of Africa showing Botswana

Secondary data used for this study were compiled from the Agricultural census  and statistics generated by the Ministry of Agriculture in 2007. The data on number of livestock holdings and population of livestock owned by male and female farmers were also compiled. The data were then subjected to analysis with SPSS 13 using proportions, ratios and one way analysis of variance to show if significant differences exist in the ownership of livestock among female farmers.

 

Results and discussion

Table 1 shows the number of holdings and population for 7 types of livestock reared in Botswana. The number of holdings and population of animals were compiled on regional basis and these were gender disaggregated. The results show that women are most prominent in goat ownership.

Table 1.  Livestock ownership based on gender across regions in Botswana

Livestock


 

Regions

Number of Holdings owned

Animal Population owned

Male

Female

Male

Female

Cattle

Southern region

5965

1950

149927

32690

Gaborone region

4166

1233

138710

23811

Central region

7284

2537

324958

63593

Francistown region

2305

873

66299

17754

Maun region

3579

1456

108092

27191

Western region

1497

353

121584

15590

Total

24796

8402

909570

180629

Male Female Ratios

3:1

5:1

Goats

Southern region

5236

2136

93407

28989

Gabaorone region

3795

1587

75271

25732

Central region

7165

3525

198342

67815

Francistown region

2285

1251

51420

20242

Maun region

3667

2283

105029

44309

Western region

1366

395

63231

11511

Total

23514

11177

586700

198598

Male Female Ratios

2:1

2.9

Sheep

Southern region

1996

497

25251

4760

Gabaorone region

1124

326

12026

3123

Central region

2064

660

28947

7504

Francistown region

667

211

6218

1525

Maun region

725

219

14308

3575

Western region

492

93

22281

3276

Total

7068

2006

109031

23763

Male Female Ratios

4:1

5:1

Donkey

Southern region

4093

1205

38017

9599

Gabaorone region

2719

930

23745

5609

Central region

6047

2633

49965

19262

Francistown region

1310

555

8176

3200

Maun region

2861

1147

14997

9128

Western region

1375

339

11211

2664

Total

18405

6809

146111

49462

Male Female Ratios

3:1

3:1

Chickens

Southern region

5580

2486

70962

27217

Gabaorone region

4251

1853

57808

28499

Central region

6803

3602

91869

43013

Francistown region

2478

1468

37817

19948

Maun region

2899

2045

34707

21566

Western region

1115

376

10672

3119

Total

23126

11830

303835

143362

Male Female Ratios

2:1

2:1

Horses

Southern region

845

164

3316

526

Gabaorone region

741

159

2079

370

Central region

1057

148

4795

590

Francistown region

220

49

869

168

Maun region

1287

313

5319

1226

Western region

1089

195

5275

854

Total

5239

1028

21653

3734

Male Female Ratios

5:1

6:1

Pigs

Southern region

17

1

65

1

Gabaorone region

76

29

551

292

Central region

61

17

509

121

Francistown region

14

6

226

17

Maun region

6

6

54

24

Western region

1

0

1

0

Total

175

59

1406

455

Male Female Ratios

3:1

3:1

The total number of goat holdings and population was the highest among the 7 types of livestock examined. Also, the ratio of the number of holdings and goat population is 2 to 1 and 3 to 1 respectively. MoA (1991) noted that for smallholder farmers more investments are made in the small stock sector as over 80% of the small stock, 70% of which are goats, are in the hands of traditional farmers. Women, own more goats than their male counterparts who have more resources and can afford to own cattle (Mrema and Rannobe 1996). Ownership of goats by the poorer sector of farmers is encouraged by the government through a number of projects/policies and programmes.

 

The ratio of male to female ownership of cattle holdings is 3 to 1 but the ratio of population of animals owned by male to female is 5 to 1. It then implies that in terms of number of holdings, the disparity is not as wide between male and female as the cattle population. MFDP (1991) reported that cattle ownership is highly skewed with 10% of the population owning 60% of the national herd in 1990 and 40% of the population not owning any cattle.

 

The most intriguing result here is the ownership of chickens where the ratio of number of holdings and chicken population is 2 to 1 each for male and female farmers.  The trend of disparity in ownership for donkey, horses and pigs are very similar in terms of number of holdings and animal population. It is therefore important that interventions that will promote ownership among women are introduced.

 

In terms of ownership across location in the regions, women in Central region own more cattle, goats, sheep, donkey and chicken than other regions, while women in Maun region own more horses than others and women in Gaborone region own more pigs than the others. Pig ownership may be due to the urbanization effect as there are more consumers in the city than other areas. Also, the impact of  the diversity of people in the area could be responsible for this, such that city people hold less the taboos against pig consumption. Generally, Central and Southern regions are more prominent for cattle, sheep, donkey and chicken ownership, Central and Maun regions for goat, Maun and Western regions for horses and Central and Gaborone regions for pigs. The implication of the ownership pattern is that location specific interventions could be implemented.

 

Table 2 presents the t-test analysis showing differences in number of holdings and animal population owned by men and women farmers across the regions. The number of holdings and population for each of the 7 types of livestock considered in this paper were compared for male and female farmers.

Table 2.  t-test analysis showing differences in number of ownership of animal holdings and population by male and female farmers  across the regions

Livestock

Parameters

Groups

No. Regions

Mean

Std. Deviation

Std. Error Mean

t

df

p

Cattle

Holdings

Male owned

6

4132

2186

892

2.88

10

.016

 

Female owned

6

1400

775

316

 

 

 

Population

Male owned

6

151595

89769

36648

3.25

10

.009

 

Female owned

6

30105

17547

7163

 

 

 

Goats

Holdings

Male owned

6

3919

2075

847

2.16

10

.056

 

Female owned

6

18623

1060

433

 

 

 

Population

Male owned

6

97783

52979

21629

2.79

10

.019

 

Female owned

6

33100

20166

8233

 

 

 

Sheep

Holdings

Male owned

6

1178

692

282

2.85

10

.017

 

Female owned

6

334

209

85.5

 

 

 

Population

Male owned

6

18171

8703

3553

3.89

10

.003

 

Female owned

6

3960

2022

826

 

 

 

Donkey

Holdings

Male owned

6

3067

1791

731

2.40

10

.037

 

Female owned

6

1135

808

330

 

 

 

Population

Male owned

6

24352

16523

6745

2.23

10

.049

 

Female owned

6

8244

6124

2500

 

 

 

Chickens

Holdings

Male owned

6

3854

2104

859

1.95

10

.079

 

Female owned

6

1972

1072

437

 

 

 

Population

Male owned

6

50639

28913

11804

2.06

10

.066

 

Female owned

6

23894

13041

5324

 

 

 

Horses

Holdings

Male owned

6

873

373

152

4.49

10

.001

 

Female owned

6

171

85.3

34.8

 

 

 

Population

Male owned

6

3609

1846

754

3.88

10

.003

 

Female owned

6

622

374

153

 

 

 

Pigs

Holdings

Male owned

6

29.2

31.4

12.8

1.42

10

.185

 

Female owned

6

9.83

11.2

4.55

 

 

 

Population

Male owned

6

234

241

98.6

1.45

10

.177

 

Female owned

6

75.8

115

47.0

 

 

 

The table reveals that significant differences exist between male and female ownership of cattle holdings (t = 2.88, p < 0.05) and population (t = 3.25, p< 0.05); goats holdings (t = 2.16, p < 0.05 ) and population ( 2.79, p< 0.05); sheep holdings (t = 2.85, p < 0.05) and population (t = 3.89, p< 0.05); donkey holdings (t = 2.40, p < 0.05) and population (t = 2.23, p < 0.05) and Horses holdings (t = 4.49, p < 0.05) and population (t = 2.06, p < 0.05).  The trend of the ownership as shown above could be attributed to the prevailing culture and inheritance patterns found in the study area. Also, Mrema and Rannobe (1996) reported that ownership of goats by women farmers is encouraged by the government through a number of projects/policies and programmes that discriminate between men and women in terms of cattle ownership. However, no significant difference exist between male and female ownership of chicken holdings (t = 1.95, p > 0.05) and population (t = 2.06, p > 0.05) and pigs holdings (t = 1.42, p > 0.05) and population (t = 1.45, p > 0.05). The non significant difference in the ownership of chicken and pigs for men and women may be due to the fact that chicken ownership is not a socially acceptable indicator of wealth in the study area and that there is a general apathy for pig production due to religious and cultural taboos. 

 

In Table 3, the ownership of livestock across regions by women was subjected to One -way analysis of variance to show differences across regions. 

Table 3.  One -way analysis of variance showing differences in the ownership of livestock across regions by women

 

Sum of Squares

df

Mean Square

F

p

Duncan Multiple Range Test

Groups

N

Mean

Between Groups

7.4E+ 09

6

1.2E+09

9.28

0.00

Pigs

6

75.8a

Horses

6

622 a

Within Groups

4.6E+09

35

1.3E+08

 

 

Sheep

6

3960 a

Donkey

6

8244 a

Total

1.2E+10

41

 

 

 

Chickens     

6

23894 b

Cattle 

6

30105 b

 

Goats

6

33100 b

The F value (F = 9.28, p < 0.05) shows that a significant difference exist in livestock ownership with goat ownership having the highest mean score. It then implies that the ownership pattern of pigs, horses, sheep and donkey among women across the regions is not significantly different, the variations in the number of holdings and population notwithstanding. In the same vein, the ownership of chickens, cattle and goats are not significantly different. However, ownership of chickens, cattle and goats as a group is significantly different from ownership of pigs, horses, sheep and donkey among women across the regions.

 

Conclusion 

 

References 

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Received 3 June 2008; Accepted 22 June 2008; Published 3 October 2008

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