Most of the farmers in Botswana benefit from government support through the provision of subsidised agricultural inputs.
Hence, estimating the cost of production in agriculture is not only essential for the benchmarking of individual farmers but also to improve the efficiency of public policies and to better guide private investments through sound profitability assessments.
In this context and through its accelerated technical assistance plan for Africa, the Global Office (GO) is assisting Botswana to collect, compile and measure Agricultural Cost of Production (AgCoP) for livestock and crops such as maize, sorghum and millet. This is happening thanks to several missions and technical assistance activities, targeting officers responsible for data collection and surveys, as well as analysts in charge of the compilation of AgCoP indicators from Statistics Botswana and the Ministry of Agriculture.
A mission was undertaken from 30 October 2017 to 3 November 2017. The main objectives of the mission were to: discuss the recommendations to better collect AgCoP data for small-medium holders (traditional farmers) and commercial farmers and how these recommendations could be incorporated into the existing questionnaires; provide technical trainings on specific components of AgCoP statistics, including the main measurement concepts for cost of production, measuring the cost of farm inputs, and estimating labour costs, depreciation costs, land costs and rents. Different data collection and survey strategies were also discussed.
The GO and national partners also agreed on the planning of the remaining activities up to the end of September 2017: the development of a separate AgCoP questionnaire, the re-designing/re-structuring of the record books used for commercial farmers, the delivery of training on the use of a data compilation tool developed by the Global Strategy that will be used to compile cost of production indicators and, lastly, conducting the proposed AgCoP stand-alone pilot-survey.
The objective being that the newly developed AgCoP questionnaire, the calculation procedures and methodologies developed throughout these technical assistance activities provide the basis for the measurement, at full-scale, of agricultural costs of production in Botswana for the following years.