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Abstract

This paper attempts to examine and revisit the trends in agricultural productivity in Botswana. Using secondary data from six regions of Botswana for the period 1979 to 2012, we estimate components of total factor productivity (TFP) using the Färe-Primont index. Estimates of technical change and changes in technical efficiency, scale efficiency and mix efficiency are obtained. The results show that the annual TFP has declined gradually over the period, predominantly due to a decline in technical efficiency and a slight decline in mix efficiency and scale efficiency. The regions with a significant proportion of arable agriculture performed worse than those that specialise in livestock production, thus confirming the comparative advantage of extensive livestock production in semi-arid countries such as Botswana. This study shows how the finer decomposition of TFP into different measures may assist in the identification of the main drivers of productivity and associated policies.

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