Botswana’s agricultural backbone the beef subsector, is threatened by recurrent foot and mouth disease (FMD) outbreaks. The current study was generally carried out to contribute towards better livelihoods of smallholder beef producers through enhanced resilience of their production systems to FMD in North East district, Botswana. Specifically, the study intended to; determine smallholder producers’ perceived risk factors of the 2011 FMD outbreak, determine economic losses, and further determine factors attributed to the losses and finally to determine the role of factors on choice of smallholder producers’ ex-post response to FMD. A multistage sampling technique was used to select 271 producers and were interviewed using a semi-structured questionnaire. Descriptive and inferential statistics, quantile regression and a multivariate probit models were used for analysis. Household heads whose livestock was affected by FMD were aged 55 years on average while those not affected were 58 years old. Affected farm households were from Matsiloje and Matshelagabedi, owned less cattle (21) and less agricultural land (4.43 ha) while those who were not affected were from Tsamaya, had more cattle (31) and more land (4.57 ha). Major five risk factors of FMD in the district were nearness to the border, cordon fence damage, livestock theft, communal grazing and farming in Matsiloje. In terms of economic losses, household farms in Matsiloje incurred more losses (BW151, 492.50/USD14, 796.00) than Matshelagabedi (BWP88, 639.68/USD8, 659.07) and Tsamaya (BWP75, 460.78/USD7, 371.65). Men owned more cattle (30) than women (19) thus incurred more losses. On that note, the government spent BWP11, 532, 500.00 (USD1, 126, 492.86) as compensation to producers. The economic losses incurred were increased by years of schooling, farm experience, market distance as well as the distance to grazing and water areas. In terms of ex-post responses to FMD, a positive effect towards adoption was observed with household size, opportunity cost incurred, frequency of contact with extension officers, training on FMD, market distance, distance to grazing and water areas as well as proximity to other household farms. In light of these results, policies geared towards reducing FMD costs through efficient control measures such as quarantine before stamping out are recommended. More education on FMD and sensitization of ex-post responses to the disease is vital to increase adoption of the same. Thus active involvement of relevant stakeholders, especially agricultural extension providers and the role of collective action are key in eradicating FMD.

Background of the study 
Agriculture is the backbone of most developing countries’ economy and it contributes a high share to gross domestic product (GDP) (Nchuchuwe and Adejuwon, 2012; Tarawali, 2015). Unlike many of the developing countries, Botswana’s economy consisting of a 2 million populace depends primarily on natural resources, most notably diamonds which are responsible for economic growth (USDA, 2015). Contribution of the agricultural sector to Botswana’s GDP has declined drastically over time; from about 40% in 1966 to about 2% in 2014 (Botswana Investment and Business Guide, 2016). Further, the potential of agriculture is limited largely due to the Kalahari Desert effect and persistent droughts since most farmers depend on rain-fed farming. These harsh conditions however, fail to prevent the beef industry from flourishing. 

The beef subsector continues to be Botswana’s largest component of agriculture dating as far back as pre-independence era and supplies the lucrative European Union (EU) market and South Africa (Botswana Investment and Business Guide, 2016). Beef industry contributes about 80% to agricultural GDP share (Mogotsi et al., 2016) and has potential to supply China and the Middle East markets (Botswana Investment and Business Guide, 2016). According to USDA (2015), about 85% of agricultural output draws from livestock production, mainly beef. Further, in 2014, beef exports injected 160 million dollars to Botswana’s economy, second to diamonds which brought 7 billion dollars. 

Concomitant to the successes recorded in the beef industry, numerous crises have been associated with the beef subsector and these include but not limited to; inefficient management, drought, continuous market changes, macroeconomic challenges, competition from other beef exporters and critical livestock diseases particularly Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) and Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia (CBPP) (van Engelen et al., 2013; Masole et al., 2015; Baluka, 2016; Mogotsi et al., 2016). 

Amidst these challenges, FMD which is a trade issue has resulted in export bans. Foot and mouth disease is an acute, highly contagious disease which spreads rapidly in cloven-hoofed animals such as cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and buffaloes (van Engelen et al., 2013; Nampanya et al., 2015a, 2015b; Lyons et al., 2015) and is caused by Foot and Mouth Disease Virus (FMDV) (Chandranaik et al., 2015; Mogotsi et al., 2016). The disease is associated with colossal losses. Literature refers to FMD as an economic disease and a world trade issue, because of the magnitude of economic damage it can cause especially to beef exporting countries (Knight-Jones and Rushton, 2013; Sinkala et al., 2014; Chandranaik et al., 2015). Botswana government development expenditure on economic services to agriculture grows rapidly especially during the FMD outbreaks, which are recurrent in nature and the expenses cover majorly management of the disease. 

The country incurs huge control costs from movement restrictions, culling and slaughter, vaccination, wildlife controls and restricted market access (Baluka, 2016; Knight-Jones et al., 2016; Tago et al., 2016). The trade bans, owing to the FMD endemic, reduce producers’ and rural dwellers’ proceeds who solely depend on beef farming as a livelihood activity. It is therefore the responsibility of producers and other relevant stakeholders to quickly exterminate the disease once detected. This ensures compliance with the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and the European Commission (EC) standards which give a directive that beef from FMD-infected countries or zones cannot be exported to non-infected zones, such as the EU (Knight-Jones, 2015; OIE, 2015; Knight-Jones et al., 2016). 

A number of FMD incidences have been recorded in the past decade and a half in Botswana. The FMD outbreak in 2003/04 was quickly controlled by stakeholders including the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) under the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) (van Engelen et al., 2013). However, FMD outbreaks of 2007 and 2011 were not brought under containment easily and led to temporary loss of access to the EU market. Loss of international market meant loss of foreign exchange for the country and smallholders who depend on the revenue for survival. 

Two major ways of FMD spread in Botswana have been documented. In Ngami land and Chobe district areas (Northern part), the disease is prevalent because of the presence of buffaloes and the region is a common tourist site (van Engelen et al., 2013; Thomson et al., 2013a, 2013b; Eygelaar et al., 2015). These habitually cross veterinary cordon fences coming in contact with livestock. The movements exacerbate the spread of the disease, thus the northern part is labeled a red zone. North-East District (Southern part) which is in the FMD free, EU export zone experiences FMD hits as a result of spill-over effects from the nearest border, leading to trans- boundary outbreaks (Knight-Jones et al., 2016; Mogotsi et al., 2016). According to Legesse et al. (2013) and Baluka et al. (2014), these trans boundary diseases have no respect for boundaries and can be responsible for an epidemic in the borders of another country. Banda et al. (2014) noted that FMD outbreaks in SADC region occurred round about the same time and had the same serotypes of FMD. 

North-East District (NED), which encompasses zone 6 and 3c veterinary zones, depends on agriculture as the dominant activity. Livestock keepers in the district have been susceptible to FMD over some time. In a span of a decade, the district recorded two outbreaks (in 2002 and 2011), the recent major one being in 2011. As a result of the 2011 outbreak, the government had to spend over USD 3 million as compensation to producers who lost their cattle to the disease, for restocking, and other logistics (OIE, 2015). Reimbursement is usually expensive for the government which on the other hand has also been deemed incommensurate to market prices by producers given that is done irrespective of the age, breed or condition of the animal with exception to dairy cattle. According to Mogotsi et al. (2016) 47, 578 cattle and 25, 232 small ruminants in the containment zone of zone 6 were all stamped out and did not make it to the EU because of the health standards. 

Statement of the problem 
Foot and mouth disease is an economically and socially distressing disease in Botswana’s beef value chain, which has been on the rise since year 2000, with recent outbreaks recorded in 2011, in FMD free, export zones. This has resulted in the loss of the EU export market due to market restrictions on movement of FMD infected livestock. Therefore, producers are hindered from taking advantage of lucrative market opportunities and ultimately loss of livelihood by smallholder producers. Though recent outbreaks occurred in 2011, currently little has been documented on producers’ perceived risk factors to FMD outbreak. Economic losses in North East district following the last outbreak are poorly understood as well as the factors determining them. Further, smallholder producers’ ex-post response to FMD is not clear let alone the role of socio-economic and institutional characteristics on the choice of the ex-post responses. Therefore, the current study was geared towards filling these knowledge gaps.

For more Agricultural & Applied Economics Projects Click here
Item Type: Kenyan Topic  |  Size: 78 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Search for your topic here

See full list of Project Topics under your Department Here!

Featured Post


A hypothesis is a description of a pattern in nature or an explanation about some real-world phenomenon that can be tested through observ...

Popular Posts