Agriculture in Botswana is practiced primarily to feed the country, rather than for export. Yet agricultural production is not sufficient to meet domestic demand. Botswana's agricultural exports totaled US$114.2 million in 1998, while agricultural imports for the same year totaled US$348.4 million. Though the majority of people in Botswana practice agriculture (80 percent), it contributes only 4 percent to GDP and accounts for only 15.6 percent of formal employment.
Environmental factors have determined the kinds of crops and animals that can be raised in the country. Much of Botswana is part of the Kalahari Desert, with a dry and drought-prone climate. The primary crops are corn and wheat, which are grown in the wetter eastern parts of the country. The drier parts of Botswana are suitable for non-intensive cattle raising, similar to the western United States. Botswana's only important agricultural exports are meat and animal hides.