This is a case study of a large programme for arable faring in Botswana from 1985 to 1990. The focus is upon the organization of the programme. The study seeks to explain why the programme developed into an ineffective and costly modernization effort. The objective of the programme was to commercialize arable farming in Botswana. However, most participating farmers used it to subsidize their established mode of production, without moving in the direction of a more commercialized system. To explain the failure of the programme the analysis makes use of organizational theory as well as a ruling elite perspective.