Botswana is a country which until recently was dependent on cattle and cattle products for export earnings. Most of the country receives low and unreliable rainfall and frequent droughts caused the cattle to die in thousands. There was therefore need to modernize the livestock industry and this was first done by setting up demonstration ranches.
Conditions that have favoured the establishment of demonstration ranches in Botswana
- To teach farmers modern methods of animal rearing e.g. principles of paddock grazing, how to build simple dams and cattle dips e.t.c.
- Government policy to improve on beef production and management.
- Availability of capital to set up demonstration ranches from government and European Economic Community.
- Availability of both domestic and foreign market for beef. Botswana exports most of her beef (meat) to United Kingdom via South Africa Railways.
- Presence of large tracks of land due to very low population density of less than 10 persons per square kilometer.
- Low and unreliable rainfall which is unsuitable for crop production. Animal rearing therefore had to be developed.
- The local breeds were poor and had to be improved.