Historic note
 Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Introduction and network shop...
 Keynote presentations
 Animal traction project experi...
 Summaries of small group discu...
 The wrap-up
 List of participants and addre...
 Abbreviations and acronyms
 Closing speech
 Cable from USAID/Togo
 Voice of America news cable
 Animal traction project invent...
 Information sources on animal...
 Documentation center
 Networkshop program
 The design and testing of improved...

Group Title: FSSP network report - Farming Systems Support Project - no. 1
Title: "Animal traction in a farming systems perspective"
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00055268/00001
 Material Information
Title: "Animal traction in a farming systems perspective" a Farming Systems Support Project networkshop, March 3-8, 1985, Kara, Togo
Series Title: FSSP network report
Physical Description: 187 p. : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Poats, Susan V
Farming Systems Support Project
Publisher: Farming Systems Support Project, International Programs, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Place of Publication: Gainesville Fla
Publication Date: [1985?]
Subject: Draft animals -- Africa   ( lcsh )
Animal traction -- Africa   ( lcsh )
Animal traction -- Congresses   ( lcsh )
Draft animals -- Congresses   ( lcsh )
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Bibliography: Bibliography: p. 131-160.
Statement of Responsibility: prepared by Susan V. Poats et al.
General Note: English and French.
General Note: "AID-PN-AAV-681."
Funding: Electronic resources created as part of a prototype UF Institutional Repository and Faculty Papers project by the University of Florida.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00055268
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida
Resource Identifier: aleph - 001044533
oclc - 18423853
notis - AFC7379

Table of Contents
    Historic note
        Unnumbered ( 1 )
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Title Page
        Title Page
        Page 1
    Table of Contents
        Page 2
    Introduction and network shop overview
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        An overview of FSR/E and a conceptual framework for the networkshop
            Page 7
            Page 8
            Page 9
            Page 10
    Keynote presentations
        Page 11
            Page 11
            Page 12
            Page 13
            Page 14
            Page 15
            Page 16
            Page 17
            Page 18
        Animal traction research and extension in Africa: An overview (P. Starkey and B. Kanu)
            Page 19
            Page 20
            Page 21
            Page 22
            Page 23
            Page 24
            Page 25
            Page 26
            Page 27
            Page 28
        Report on CIMMYT networkshop on draught power and animal feeding (S. Russo)
            Page 29
            Page 30
            Page 31
            Page 32
    Animal traction project experience
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Sierra Leone (P. Starkey and B. Kanu)
            Page 35
            Page 36
        The gambia (S. Owens)
            Page 37
            Page 38
        Burkina faso (V. Barrett)
            Page 39
            Page 40
            Page 41
            Page 42
        Senegal (A. Faye)
            Page 43
            Page 44
            Page 45
            Page 46
        Togo (K. Apetofia and A. Westneat)
            Page 47
            Page 48
            Page 49
            Page 50
        Field trip reports
            Page 51
            Page 52
            Page 53
            Page 54
            Page 55
            Page 56
            Page 57
        Map of togo
            Page 58
        Map of field trip sites
            Page 59
        Summary of field trip reports
            Page 60
            Page 61
        Projects involved in animal traction in togo
            Page 62
            Page 63
            Page 64
            Page 65
            Page 66
    Summaries of small group discussions
        Page 67
        Profitability of draft animal use
            Page 67
            Page 68
            Page 69
            Page 70
            Page 71
            Page 72
            Page 73
            Page 74
            Page 75
        Feed resources and animal feeding (S. Russo)
            Page 76
            Page 77
            Page 78
            Page 79
            Page 80
            Page 81
        Methodologies for on-farm experimentation with animals (J. Oxley)
            Page 82
            Page 83
            Page 84
        Management of technology (J. Lichte)
            Page 85
            Page 86
            Page 87
        Monitoring and evaluation (J. Lichte)
            Page 88
            Page 89
            Page 90
    The wrap-up
        Page 91
        Comments on the networkshop by the resource persons
            Page 91
            Page 92
            Page 93
            Page 94
            Page 95
        Workshop evaluation
            Page 96
            Page 97
            Page 98
        Future networking activities
            Page 99
            Page 100
    List of participants and addresses
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
    Abbreviations and acronyms
        Page 105
        Page 106
    Closing speech
        Page 107
        Page 108
    Cable from USAID/Togo
        Page 109
        Page 110
    Voice of America news cable
        Page 111
        Page 112
    Animal traction project inventories
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
    Information sources on animal traction
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
    Documentation center
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
    Networkshop program
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
    The design and testing of improved livestock technology for mixed farms (H. Zandstra)
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
Full Text


The publications in this collection do
not reflect current scientific knowledge
or recommendations. These texts
represent the historic publishing
record of the Institute for Food and
Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
the Institute and its staff. Current IFAS
research may be found on the
Electronic Data Information Source

site maintained by the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service.

Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
of Florida

C -',.~

in a farming systems perspective

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Farming Systems Support Project
Network Report No. 1 A

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MARCH 3 8, 1985


Prepared by:

Susan V. Poats
John Lichte
James Oxley
Sandra L. Russo
Paul H. Starkey

Farming Systems Support Project
International Programs
Institute of Food and Agricultural
3028 McCarty Hall
University of Florida
Gainesville, Florida 32611 USA

Office of Agriculture and
Office of Multisectoral Development
Bureau for Science and Technology
Agency for International Development
Washington, D.C. 20523 USA

The Farming Systems Support Project (FSSP) is a Cooperative Agreement between
the University of Florida and the United States Agency for International
Development, Cooperative Agreement No. DAN-4099-A-00-2083-000, Project
Number 936-4099.

The networkshop coordinators, resource persons, participants and the
Farming Systems Support Project express their appreciation to the Direction
Regionale de Developpement Rural and the USAID Mission in Togo for hosting
the "Networkshop on Animal Traction in a Farming Systems Perspective".
Their willingness to host the networkshop is further indication of their
support for the development and extension of animal traction technology for
West African farmers. We thank the Togo Animal Traction Project Staff for
their support and participation during the networkshop, for the use of
their office equipment to meet our secretarial needs, and especially for
their help in making the arrangements for our field trip. Our appreciation
is also extended to the many projects, including Togo Animal Traction,
which provided vehicles and drivers for the field trip.

The Hotel Kara provided us with a comfortable workshop setting and
succeeded in meeting all of our many special requests. We express our
thanks to the hotel managers and staff for their hospitality and
assistance. We would like to thank the Prefecture of Kossah for
officiating at the closing of our networkshop. We owe a special thanks to
the Conference Management Bureau for providing excellent translation
services throughout the networkshop. Finally, we would like to thank all
of the farmers, extension agents and project managers visited during our
field trip. We hope the results of our networkshop will ultimately prove
useful to you in your efforts to successfully adapt and use animal traction

Table of Contents




Group One.
Group Two.
Group Three.

Group Four.
Group Five.



An Overview of FSR/E and a Conceptual Framework
for the Networkshop

Systems Experience Related to Livestock H. Zandstra
Animal Traction Research and Extension in Africa:
An Overview P. Starkey
Report on CIMMYT Networkshop on Draught Power and
Animal Feeding S. Russo

Sierra Leone P. Starkey and B. Kanu
The Gambia S. Owens
Burkina Faso V. Barrett
Senegal A. Faye
Togo K. Apetofia and A. Westneat
Field Trip Reports
Map of Togo
Map of Field Trip Sites
Summary of Field Trip Reports
Projects Involved in Animal Traction in Togo

Preconditions for Successful Adoption P. Starkey
Feed Resources and Animal Feeding S. Russo
Methodologies for On-Fam Experimentation
with Animals J. Oxley
Management of Technology J. Lichte
Monitoring and Evaluation J. Lichte

Comments on the Networkshop by the Resource Persons
Workshop Evaluation
Future Networking Activities

List of Participants and Addresses
Abbreviations and Acronyms
Closing Speech
Cable from USAID/Togo
Voice of America News Cable
Animal Traction Project Inventories
Information Sources on Animal Traction
Documentation Center
Networkshop Program
The Design and Testing of Improved Livestock
Technology for Mixed Farms H. Zandstra









This is a report on the FSSP Networkshop on "Animal Traction in a
Farming Systems Perspective", which was held March 4-8, 1985 in Lama Kara,
Togo. The report is divided into six sections. The first provides an
overview, background and summary of the networkshop and outlines the five
major themes of discussion for the five-day program. Section II contains
major background presentations including a summary of the systems
experience to date related to livestock, an overview of animal traction
research and extension in Africa, and a presentation covering the
highlights of a previous networkshop in Swaziland, sponsored by The
International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), which also
focused on animal traction and forage requirements. Section III reports on
the field trip to visit several animal traction projects in the Lama Kara
region and the country reports made by the non-Togolese networkshop
participants. Section IV summarizes small group discussions on the five
major themes. Section V gives the wrap-up and concluding statements by
networkshop facilitators and a summary of the participant evaluation. The
last part of Section V outlines plans made to continue networking through
the rest of the year, culminating in a second networkshop in 1986. The
final section contains appendices pertinent to the rest of the report.


The term "networkshop" comes from CIMMYT's Eastern and Southern Africa
Economics Programme, and is used to describe a workshop where peers with
common concerns come together to exchange information and results, and to
determine common strategies for solving problems. A "network" of shared
results develops from continued support for the same (or nearly the same)
group to meet on a regular basis. The Farming Systems Support Project,
FSSP, recognizes that both intra- and inter-country peer group interaction
will greatly enhance the development of Farming Systems Research and
Extension, FSR/E, as a viable agricultural development approach for West
Africa. The FSSP is committed to the support of existing FSR/E networks in
the West African Region, such as the West African Farming Systems Research
Network, WAFSRN, and stands prepared to assist formal networks in
developing activities as necessary. However, FSSP also recognizes that
networking does and must take place outside of formalized networks and that
such activities can often contribute to the growth of formal network
structures by creating a "felt need" among researchers and practitioners
for peer exchange of problems and results. The Togo Networkshop on "Animal
Traction in a Farming Systems Perspective" is an example of such a peer


The idea for FSSP to organize a regional networkshop on animal traction
and FSR/E arose out of a concern expressed by participants in previous
FSR/E training activities that too little attention in FSR/E was placed on
the animal systems within West African farming systems. In developing a
networking activity to address the issue, FSSP organizers felt that "animal
systems" in general was too broad of a theme for a single networkshop, and
decided instead to focus on a specific intervention technology and use the
FSR/E perspective to explore problems and results found to date in its
application in West Africa. Animal traction was selected as the
networkshop theme for two reasons. First, USAID/Togo offered to host the
networkshop, and, since animal traction is a focal issue in Togo's
agricultural development plans, the topic seemed especially appropriate for
this networkshop site. A second and stronger argument for the topic was
the fact that focusing on animal traction technology provided a very useful
entry into the exploration of the crop-livestock interaction in the farming
systems of the region, and generally into the utility of the FSR/E approach
in the research and extension process.

Animal traction is a unique technology in the general agricultural
development portfolios of donor organizations in Africa, although
worldwide it has a long history of proven utility and adoption. It is a
farmer-generated technology many centuries old, found in virtually every
ecological zone. Though it spread successfully to most parts of the world
without the assistance of extension systems and donor funds, its
development and diffusion in West Africa, despite considerable donor
funding, has been uneven and problematic. For this reason, it seemed
particularly useful to explore the topic in the context of a networkshop
where researchers, practitioners and policy makers could have an
opportunity to discuss the suitability of animal traction technology for
the region, and mechanisms that might promote greater and more successful


The Networkshop objectives included:

1. Establishing an information exchange among animal traction projects
in West Africa;

2. Developing an inventory of animal traction projects and activities
in the sub-region;

3. Identifying animal traction research problems and potential

4. Developing a research agenda for the specific regional problems; and

5. Developing follow-up programs which might involve exchange visits,
technical assistance and training activities, and further



On the first working day, keynote presentations were made relating to
FSSP, on-farm research methodology, animal traction in Africa and a
conceptual typology of animal traction programs. Background information
and observation frameworks were presented for the subsequent field visits.

The second day involved group field visits to four distinct areas and
many different farmers, projects and associations. Field trip teams met
during the evening to discuss their findings and conclusions.

The third day involved synthesis of the field trip experiences,
combined with further information from the projects of the participating
countries. Slide presentations were given illustrating the work of the
Sierra Leone Work Oxen Project, ILCA/Ethiopia, Senegal, and animal traction
activities elsewhere in Africa. A report was presented on the CIMMYT
networkshop on feed resources and animal traction held in Swaziland in

The fourth day involved intensive small working groups, followed by
group presentations. Subjects included management of draft animal
technology, forage and feeding, preconditions for successful animal
traction, methodology for animal traction research, and the monitoring and
evaluation of animal traction activities.

The final day involved additional work group sessions, followed by
plenary presentations and discussions relating to possible solutions to the
problems raised. The networkshop closed following synthesis of the week's
experiences and a discussion of follow-up activities. The networkshop
schedule in Appendix 10 provides greater detail on the events and
presentations made during the week. Following the workshop, (after
departure of the participants from outside Togo) the resource group had a
day of discussions with representatives of the Togo Animal Traction Project


Small working groups focused on five topics which were developed in
advance of the networkshop by the facilitators (see participant list,
Appendix 1 for the list of facilitators and resource persons). The first
three dealt with specific problems in adopting animal traction; the other
two considered related topics.

1. Animal feeding.

Dry season maintenance and feeding of livestock is a problem recognized
throughout West Africa. Due to the animal traction theme, the main focus
for discussion was on cattle and other large ruminants. Maintenance of
cattle or other traction animals without recourse to transhumance is
perhaps the most important constraint to animal traction and the
integration of livestock into crop-oriented farming systems. The effective
use of existing forage, the use of crop residues, the possibility of using
purchased feeds and supplements, improved forage production and the

elaboration of minimum maintenance rations using locally available
feedstuffs were some of the techniques discussed with regard to their
contribution toward overcoming this constraint.

2. Management of new techniques/technology.

The introduction of technology has often failed because farmers did not
have the technical (management) level necessary to use the technique/
technology to advantage. Three-to-five years of accumulated experience may
be necessary to manage a new technique well. This delay is exacerbated by
the use of technology packages which require a farmer to learn a number of
techniques and their interactions at the same time. The group discussed
the kinds of information and management requirements a farmer must have
when facing animal traction adoption from one of the four (or more)
situations described above, and the kinds of information and training
needed to facilitate this transition.

3. Preconditions for successful animal traction adoption.

Both exogenous and endogenous preconditions were considered. Exogenous
factors are those from the farmer's environment which may influence the
success of the farming system or its subsystems. These include the
availability of timely input delivery, transportation, marketing services,
animal health services and credit. Endogenous factors are those internal
to a farming system such as the farmer's resource levels, experience with
cattle and other large ruminants, cropping patterns and the level of
technical/management skills. Are there certain resources, experiences or
technical/management skills which a farmer should have before undertaking
the heavy capital investment required by the animal traction technology?
Preconditions should be considered not only with regard to repayment, but
also with regard to the expectation that animal traction can realistically
produce the theorized benefits for the farmers. From a systems
perspective, perhaps animal traction should be considered as an
intermediate technology in a broader project/development framework. The
introduction or improvement of animal traction might be initiated with
farmers who meet certain preconditions, but the first phase might be
largely devoted to helping other farmers develop the resources and
technical/management skills which would allow them to successfully adopt
and benefit from animal traction.

4. Methodologies for on-farm experimentation with animals.

Even though there are many years of accumulated experience concerning
on-farm agronomic testing, the correct or best methods are still vigorously
disputed. The same kind of experience does not seem to exist with regard
to on-farm experimentation with animals. Researchers and extension
personnel often seem to lack the methods which would allow them to
undertake effective animal-related testing. Is it possible to identify
procedures or types of on-farm experimentation with animals which have been
found to be effective or are likely to be effective?

5. Monitoring and evaluation criteria for animal traction and other
projects including livestock.

The lack of generally accepted methodologies for on-farm
experimentation with animals contributes to the difficulty in identifying
evaluation criteria for livestock-related project components. Adoption
rates have often been used, but if animal traction and other livestock
components are regarded in a larger systems perspective and/or as an
intermediate phase in a multi-phase process, then the placement of animal
traction units is not an appropriate evaluation criterion during the early
phase(s). If the kinds of preconditions mentioned above can be identified
for particular situations then these might indicate better evaluation
criteria. But it is likely that these preconditions will differ in
different farming systems. This may lead to a system where some evaluation
criteria cannot be identified during project design, but must be developed
as part of on-going project monitoring and evaluation.
Discussion on these five topics was guided by an overview of Farming
Systems Research and Extension (FSR/E) concepts and methods and through the
use of a conceptual framework which was developed for the workshop by the
facilitators based on the experiences of both FSR/E and animal traction
projects in West Africa.


Most of the participants invited to the workshop were drawn from
projects with a farming systems orientation. It was assumed, therefore,
that it was unnecessary to devote much workshop time to presenting the
farming systems approach. A very brief overview was presented to establish
a common terminology and as an introduction to observers who did not have a
farming systems background. The FSR/E approach was outlined as consisting
of five steps (adapted from Shaner et al. 1982):

1. Selection of a target area
2. Diagnostic description and problem identification
3. The design of on-farm experimentation
4. On-farm experimentation, analysis and evaluation
5. Diffusion of technology

In addition FSR/E was characterized as being:

1. Farmer based
2. Problem solving
3. Comprehensive
4. Interdisciplinary
5. Complementary
6. Iterative and dynamic
7. Responsible to society
8. Developmental


Within a farming systems perspective, animal traction, as with any

other technology, must be considered with regard to local conditions such
as soils, crops and climate. Two important questions must be addressed:
is animal traction appropriate?; and what form of animal traction is
appropriate? Animal traction is a "shelf technology", meaning that it is
available and relatively well known. It is expected that it can be "pulled
off the shelf" and applied fairly rapidly, whereas other technologies might
require considerable adaptive research. But in fact animal traction is not
a single technology. The appropriate tools and the type of cattle used
(Zebu, N'dama, or crosses between them) vary across West Africa for many
reasons, including differences in crops, soil, climate, and incidence of
tsetse fly. Field operations for one area may not be appropriate in
another location. Animal traction components need to be adapted to each
local situation. Types of farms or farming systems must be grouped to
reflect similar situations. The conceptual framework is a means of
grouping similar farming systems so that problems can be specified as
relating to a particular situation.

The conceptual framework or typology used in the networkshop consisted
of four levels, starting with the most important variable. It did not
attempt to be exhaustive, or imply that these are the only elements which
could be used, but these four factors seem to be generally applicable
across West Africa: agro-climatic zone, livestock traditions, project
influence and socio-economic resource level.

1. Agro Climatic Zone.

The agro-climatic zone is the factor which has the strongest influence
on differences in animal traction across West Africa. Crop and climatic
differences strongly influence field operations and the implements used.
For simplicity, the agro-climatic zones identified are limited to the
Sahelian zone, the savanna zone and the rain forest zone. These could be
sub-divided or divided in different ways, but these are zones that are
commonly known and referred to in West Africa.

Many of the other factors to be considered are correlated with the
agro-climatic zone. Soils somewhat reflect this zoning with lighter,
sandier soils in the Sahel and heavier soils in the savanna. Livestock
traditions also generally follow this north-south zoning. In the north
most people have a livestock tradition i.e. they are animal producers and
herders. In the south, some groups have no tradition of owning and
managing livestock. Even project influences are somewhat correlated.
Projects in the north have focused on food crops and/or groundnuts. In the
savanna area one finds a crossover of cotton and groundnut projects. In
the southern region projects are often oriented towards rice production.

2. Livestock Traditions.

Within an agro-climatic zone farmers with different livestock
traditions may be found. Farmers with no livestock tradition are in a more
difficult position with regard to the adoption of animal traction. They
may have little or no knowledge of animal health and nutrition and may even
be afraid of the cattle. Four different classifications may be used to
classify farmers:

a) Some farmers may have no livestock tradition and no animal traction

b) Another group might have a livestock tradition but no animal traction
experience. Half-way between these two might be groups who own cattle,
but consign them to Fulani herders and thus have little experience
managing or working with cattle.

c) Some farmers may have adopted animal traction, but only partially.
Perhaps they plow but do not weed or use other elements of the animal
traction package which is recommended. Such farmers are often labeled
as poor managers. But care must be used when considering poor
management. The use and application of animal traction in an extensive
farming system may give the appearance of poor management. But an
economic analysis of their results may show higher revenues and returns
than that of some farmers using an intensive farming system where
animal traction has been more completely adopted.

d) The final group consists of farmers who use animal traction well and
have a high level of technical competence, but may be helped with some
advanced techniques and/or animal feeding. Even good animal traction
users may not have resolved the problem of dry season feeding for their

3. Project Influence.

The cotton projects have probably been the most successful historically
in promoting animal traction. Certainly, projects with a cash crop
component have been more successful in promoting animal traction than those
with only a food crop orientation. Even if production of a food crop is
increased it may be consumed or used for social obligations such as a
marriage or funeral. It is not necessarily applied to repaying credit or
replacing worn-out equipment.

4. Socio-economic Resource Level.

Many different socio-economic factors may be important in specific
situations, but one which is generally applicable is the resource level of
farmers. Most villages will contain some farmers with a relatively high
resource level and others who are resource-poor. Generally, in an area
where animal traction is used farmers with a high resource level have
already adopted animal traction while resource poor farmers have not.
Resource poor farmers find it much more difficult to adopt animal traction
because of its high cost relative to their revenues and economic resources.

The purpose of this broad and very general conceptual framework was to
provide participants with a mechanism for comparing their own experiences
and the dominant farming systems where they work, with those described by
other participants or those observed on the field trips to animal traction
projects in the Kara region. Those participants who made the country
presentations (Section III) were asked to organize their information within
the conceptual framework, and most were able to do so. The framework also
provided organization to the small group sessions in terms of the
discussion as well as the presentations.




(The prepared text of the paper given by Hubert Zandstra can be found
in Appendix 11. Following is a transcription of his delivery and the
discussion which followed it).


First, I wish to thank the co-sponsors of this meeting for giving me
the opportunity to discuss some aspects of agricultural research about
which I have been concerned for some time. This certainly is the kind of
audience I prefer to speak to. You are all involved in various aspects of
agricultural research that directly relates to farmers. Second, I am not a
specialist on animal traction, so you will have to deal with me in the way
you deal with farmers. We have to combine our experiences to make what I
say useful. I also want you to think about questions you wish to ask me at
the end of my talk. These questions should focus on the problems you see
in applying some of the design and testing methods about which I will be

I am going to depart from the text of my paper prepared for this
workshop and deal with the same information in a slightly different way.
Feel free to refer to the tables and text as I proceed. In farming systems
research, there are the steps of area selection, diagnostic analysis,
design, testing, pilot introduction of recommendations and production
programmes. As I alluded to earlier, I will focus on the design and
testing phases. Design is one of the least-stressed and -practiced aspects
of farming systems research. It is also the more difficult one in terms of
concepts. Testing is by far the most demanding in terms of time and money,
and in the case of livestock, testing can be extremely difficult.
Operationally, on-farm testing with bovines is exceedingly difficult and we
need to gain more experience and exchange existing experiences.

Farming systems research is designed primarily to improve resource
productivity on the farm. The workshop coordinator has already described
farming systems research and extension (FSR/E) and I would like to approach
it from the negative side for a moment. I want to stress that it shouldn't
be limited to a commodity, for that brings with it the danger of ignoring
possibilities for interventions or evaluating the impact of interventions
on the rest of the farm enterprise. Neither should FSR/E be implement-
driven. That is, many of us have been fascinated by an analytic technique
or by a certain implement. For example, I am in an unenviable position to
review projects which are constructed around amino acid analyzers or some
such things. That is an extreme example, but in the case of farming




(The prepared text of the paper given by Hubert Zandstra can be found
in Appendix 11. Following is a transcription of his delivery and the
discussion which followed it).


First, I wish to thank the co-sponsors of this meeting for giving me
the opportunity to discuss some aspects of agricultural research about
which I have been concerned for some time. This certainly is the kind of
audience I prefer to speak to. You are all involved in various aspects of
agricultural research that directly relates to farmers. Second, I am not a
specialist on animal traction, so you will have to deal with me in the way
you deal with farmers. We have to combine our experiences to make what I
say useful. I also want you to think about questions you wish to ask me at
the end of my talk. These questions should focus on the problems you see
in applying some of the design and testing methods about which I will be

I am going to depart from the text of my paper prepared for this
workshop and deal with the same information in a slightly different way.
Feel free to refer to the tables and text as I proceed. In farming systems
research, there are the steps of area selection, diagnostic analysis,
design, testing, pilot introduction of recommendations and production
programmes. As I alluded to earlier, I will focus on the design and
testing phases. Design is one of the least-stressed and -practiced aspects
of farming systems research. It is also the more difficult one in terms of
concepts. Testing is by far the most demanding in terms of time and money,
and in the case of livestock, testing can be extremely difficult.
Operationally, on-farm testing with bovines is exceedingly difficult and we
need to gain more experience and exchange existing experiences.

Farming systems research is designed primarily to improve resource
productivity on the farm. The workshop coordinator has already described
farming systems research and extension (FSR/E) and I would like to approach
it from the negative side for a moment. I want to stress that it shouldn't
be limited to a commodity, for that brings with it the danger of ignoring
possibilities for interventions or evaluating the impact of interventions
on the rest of the farm enterprise. Neither should FSR/E be implement-
driven. That is, many of us have been fascinated by an analytic technique
or by a certain implement. For example, I am in an unenviable position to
review projects which are constructed around amino acid analyzers or some
such things. That is an extreme example, but in the case of farming

systems research and technology development for farms, we should not allow
our thinking to be driven by a commodity, factor or implement. So much for
the negative side. There are many positive things that can be stressed.
In this talk I will focus on research. I realize that you are an
audience which is strongly dedicated to introducing animal traction in a
given system. That is good and by focusing on research, I am not implying
that one should not continue to dedicate oneself to the introduction of
research results or of animal traction specifically.


(Refer to Fig. 2 at the end of Appendix 11).

The design process is characterized by being a synthetic activity of
recombining information. In so doing some conceptual and operational
difficulties may be encountered. The purpose of the activity is to bring
to bear on a selected production system information about that system and
about alternative management techniques and/or land use that might improve
the system. This requires an interdisciplinary approach by a group of
people who contribute their knowledge about the specific production system
and about agricultural technology in general.

Refering to Figure 2, there are nine steps which were identified by a
group of livestock production systems researchers in Latin America. The
group has interacted as a group for three years and references are provided
in the full paper. Their experiences are'offered here as one approach to
the design of improved technologies for systems in which livestock is


1. Understanding the existing system and what has lead to its

This is an important element of the analysis for animal traction.

2. Consideration of the development objectives of the nation and/or
the region.

Certain conditions may be imposed on land use that may compete with the
alternatives being considered and help explain what is evident in the
present production system.

3. Focusing on selected systems or sub-systems which one may wish to

The analysis starts with exogenous factors such as incidence of disease
or the potential supply of animals for draft purposes. Then the analysis
considers such structural elements as herd size and composition, pasture
availability, equipment and cropland. Finally, the analysis considers how
the farm functions. This analysis can be greatly helped by finding what

the most important limiting factors of production are. One should also be
able to explain why certain apparently desirable developments did not take
place (why did animal traction not become adopted earlier? why is there no
history of planted forages? etc). One may refer to the diagnostic phase
and note an inconsistency or oddity before proceeding. There is no
stronger analytical tool in farming systems research than identifying
anomalies or inconsistencies between what we think about the production
system and what we see in fieldwork.

4. Understanding the farm type.

Previous analysis leads to a level of knowledge and understanding of
the farm type. Subsequently, the technologies that can be applied to the
general region are identified, extrapolating what can be used in future
research activity and specifying what is referred to as the adaptive
domain. This can be a contiguous or non-contiguous area of land with
certain characteristics. It can also be a condition and thus one should
feel free about specifying the adaptive domain. Should a cultural factor
differentiate farm types, it should be used as a stratifier in defining the
adaptive domain. Another example might be bush fallow and the number of
years following fallow which may influence the type of production system
one would generate for a specific crop.

5. Identifying technical interventions useful to develop alternative
production systems.

These are listed in terms of merit and interactions within the system.
This leads to an analysis of what the design team feels are promising
alternatives. The focus can be on the total farm system or limited to one
enterprise such as a crop or a single factor such as animal traction.
However, modification of one component may affect others or the total
6. Understanding of technical coefficients of each intervention to be

This is referred to as an ex ante analysis. If technical parameters
are not known, then a best estimate must be developed by the team. Ex ante
analysis uses the costs in terms of cash, time and the benefits of aEnima-
traction. In other words, one estimates how the proposed intervention will
behave. At the simplest level such an analysis will allow the application
of partial budgeting techniques to predict the economic viability of each
alternative. Theoretically this may not be enough, because one should take
into account foreseen interactions with other parts of the farming system.

7. Evaluating an alternative production system.

This step implies a needed comparison which can be accomplished by
comparing an alternative with the one that is being replaced. It is also
the best way to evaluate results in the testing phase which is discussed in
the next section. Where there are no viable enterprises (such as in some
resettlement areas), one will have to use common measures of economic
performance of enterprises in the region, such as what might be the return
for a day's labor or what expectation might there be for return on money,

or rental rates for land.

8. Listing of assumptions arising from the design process.

Important assumptions concerning such things as rainfall, crop
duration, input responses, operation time and imputed costs,
infrastructural support and presence of credit or markets should be listed.
We often make these assumptions without considering the possibility of a
less favorable environment or input response. Also the team should show
the requirements being placed on infrastructure in terms of inputs required
at the farm level.

9. Identifying research priorities.

Finally, the team will determine what research is needed and arrive at
a set of research priorities. Also an assessment of further information
needs, such as market or climatic information (which can be descriptive),
may be made. It is important to do this right after the design of
alternatives, since information gaps and their relative importance will
become apparent during the design process. Note that research needs are
not only experimental work, but may refer to further diagnosis or survey


Testing of livestock and related activities refers to experiments used
to evaluate the performance of technological alternatives (see Appendix 11
for greater detail).

1. Testing objectives.

For this presentation, these are designed to measure on-farm,
not on-station, performance of alternatives. Often there are large
differences between the two, with on-station yields being 35 to 50 percent
greater than on-farm yields. Another objective is to be able to compare
the formulated alternative with the existing production methods.
Additional resource requirements need to be identified. For example, the
number of hours an animal works compared to what was projected at the
design stage will need to be recorded. Finally, resource conflicts need to
be identified at the farm or community level. We know that livestock on
mixed farms can create resource conflicts related to land use, labor for
tending animals and, at times, cash for feed. Trade-offs between meat and
milk production or between milk production and traction can occur.

2. Testing Interventions.

Measurements commonly used in livestock systems that relate directly to
or are a function of interventions include feed availability, carrying
capacity, reproductive efficiency, health, herd composition, breed or type
and product mix. Measurement possibilities for testing may be illustrated
as follows:



Feed HERD Traction
Health () OR Milk
Breed ANIMAL Meat
Housing STATUS Herd size
Herd Management Other

The decision as to where one locates the measurement is important and
depends on the questions asked. For example, if planting of a browse
species leads to an increase in feed availability to the farm animals, the
measurement can be done at POINT A. If the question is whether the
additional feed led to some increase in output, such as the ability for the
animal to supply power or produce milk, then one would need to measure at
POINT B. I wish to stress that we know much about what happens in the
animal and in the herd and about the effect of some of these interventions
on the performance of the herd. With that kind of knowledge our
measurements at POINT A are much more manageable than having to measure the
effect of an intervention at POINT B. This is a trait of working with
livestock that one should exploit. Variation, for example, in pasture
yield responses to changes in pasture or stocking rates are great between
locations and years; therefore the responses are difficult to measure. But
once one has a certain quantity of pasture available to the animals, one
knows pretty well what it will contribute to the status of the herd or
individual animals.

For on-farm research, several stratifications are possible.
Experiments can be designed on an animal basis where individual, pairs of
animals or a sample of animals are studied. Split herd techniques can be
used for measuring supplemental feeding regimes or disease controls. In
other cases, one may want to look at herd composition. This will require
studying the whole herd or flock over time. Other variables can be studied
on a field basis, like pasture establishment or fertilizing a crop to
increase by-products for animal feeding or comparing times of operations
for implements. The point is not to refrain from doing on-farm research
with animals because of the reputed design or execution difficulties, but
rather to break the task into elements to be researched or interventions to
test, and then think about the difficulties. Usually one will find that 80
per cent of the tests are not that difficult, that they have been done
elsewhere and they can be done by using available on-farm research

As to replications, this can be quite a problem with large,
animal-based interventions. The questions are do we need to replicate and
what do we replicate for. One must look at the objectives of the research.
For example, if one is to test the use of crude rock salt compared to a
balanced mineral mix, then one deals with a treatment-to-treatment
comparison. That can be done on a farm or one may want to do it elsewhere.

If you wish to sample a farm type, then replication at each location is
less important. More important is securing a decent sample of that farm
type. For herd-based or field-based interventions one should select a
number of farms which are representative of the adaptive domain.

Typically, the experience in farming systems research projects has been
using six individuals in a system or sub-system. Thus, monitoring 12 farms
will allow comparisons of the existing system to one alternative on those
farms. Some researchers prefer to start with few replications and then.
expand to more as time progresses. For example, one may look at six
systems (and existing alternatives) on 12 farms the first year, then at
three the second year and maybe two the third. This narrowing down of
alternatives will give a reasonable number of observations and will have
eliminated a number of alternatives that initially appeared useful.

Another tool is the survey technique, used to solve some of the testing
problems by capitalizing on situations that exist in regions in which one
is working. This is most effective where some farmers are experimenting
with alternative systems or where there is a wide range of performance of a
system. This technique is often used by farm management specialists and
social scientists, but can just as well be used to improve our agronomic or
biological insights into a system.


In on-farm testing of animal traction a number of questions may be the
object of research. These need addressing before the research is started
and the experimental technique is identified. For example, to answer the
question of whether a farm can "carry" two or more animals or whether
animal traction is a good idea for a given farm type, one will have to use
methods that require more time and a more sophisticated research design.
On the contrary, if one is looking at health care or housing alternatives
or an implement type, then the design is more straightforward. Thus it is
important to start by breaking down livestock-based research into specific
questions to be addressed and then move to the matter of how to do the

Though I will approach the next topic from a research point of view, I
would like to discuss the non-research side of the introduction of animal
traction. The question of whether or not animal traction is right for an
area will have to be answered through on-farm testing. This will require
much time for training farm families to care and use animals properly,
particularly where there is no livestock tradition. This may require a
couple of years to stabilize valid testing before it can start. To
evaluate animal traction, other topics to be addressed include: implement
use and monitoring; evaluation of feed provided; the health and nutrition
status of the animal; the costs involved in the purchase and maintenance of
animals and equipment; labor requirements for the maintenance of animals
(realizing animals save labor but also require labor); the frequency of
animal work; the number of hours of work and the seasonality of the work
cycle; the type of implements and their application to animal traction in
that farm unit; and the benefits from animal traction in terms of labor
savings, area planted and yields or sale of animal produce.

In summary these abbreviated points seem most important in conducting
on-farm tests of multifactor interventions:

1. Farmer participation; the farmer's motivation; the personal
relationship between farmer and researcher.

2. Measuring the right thing; focus on measures that directly indicate
performance of interventions and allow one to compare with the
existing system.

3. Effects on the system; evidence of conflicts and trade-offs
within and between enterprises or at the family or community level.

4. Always compare to the system being replaced if it exists.

5. Economic analyses; costing out alternatives as measured by farmers;
comparing with existing systems; using indexes of the productivity
of major constraints.

6. Evaluation; using sensitivity analysis. Contemplate what conditions
will change upon substantial adoptions. Will labor constraints
become apparent, will markets or veterinary support become limiting?
Is there an equipment maintenance capability in the community?


Q. How useful are models and linear programming relative to sensitivity

A. I was thinking of less sophisticated approaches. The same thing applies
to the whole farm impact of limited interventions. Sensitivity analysis
can be done at the partial budget level. For economic analysis of
on-farm research partial budgeting is still the most useful tool.
Modeling does not always return the cost in time and effort used in the
design or evaluation alternatives.

Q. What is the best way to use animal pairs?

A. Unless one can relate to a farmer who completely understands the
testing, agrees with it and is not fearful of any damaging effects from
the treatments, one doesn't have much hope of effective comparisons
between paired animals. In such cases it is better to use different
farms, some for testing an intervention and others as the control.
Using pairs on the same farm is a great tool and a most effective means
of reducing variation but a lot of farmer preparation is needed to
establish the required confidence and trust.

Q. Do you recommend using certain models like linear programming?

A. Yes, if you are using whole farm enterprises and dealing with entirely
new production systems in a region it is a good research tool, but not
for the "run-of-the-mill" application of on-farm research.

Q. From this workshop, do you have suggestions for a common theme or
activity that can be presented for practioners?

A. I cannot answer this now, as I think it is an objective for this
workshop. Because projects and conditions vary so much, even with
animals used for traction, it is dangerous to extrapolate to all
projects. There is one thing that we all can work on and that is to
find ways to improve our ability to get answers from farmers so that
farmers can become effective participants in on-farm research.

Q. Is there a predominate factor on which research can be focused?

A. The identification of such a factor can become the result of on-farm
production systems research, but should not be the starting point. If
after a good diagnostic analysis a certain factor related to animal
traction appears to be one that can make a major contribution, then I
would channel research efforts in that direction. But it would be wrong
to say that we must study animal traction without going through the
process of careful diagnosis which asks if indeed traction power is a
key constraint and animal traction is the most appropriate solution.
There may be other ways to supply or reduce traction requirements.
There may also be more valid reasons for introducing animals into the
system. These should be considered. This is what I meant when I said
that interventions should not be factor-driven or implement-driven. If
in the design stage it appears that the introduction of the plow and
traction animals will make a contribution that cannot be easier or
better achieved by another alternative, then the intervention should be
incorporated in the on-farm research.




In attempting to provide an overview of animal traction in Africa one
is faced with many problems. There is a shortage of reliable information;
very few statistics are available on the extent to which draft animals are
used in the various African countries. There is no single source of
information, and research data relating to animal traction are often in the
form of reports, circulated only within the country of origin. When data
are published internationally, they can be in any one of a wide range of
journals, covering many disciplines. Thus, while the information given
here is based on computer database searches, literature reviews and visits
to a large number of African countries, it is far from comprehensive. The
limitation of the information presented here is therefore acknowledged from
the outset.

The great diversity of Africa geographically, ecologically, socially,
economically and politically makes meaningful generalization very
difficult. Yet in taking an overview, one must inevitably generalize. It
is accepted from the outset that this presentation will be full of
over-simplifications, which can be justified only to the extent to which
they help provide a general picture of animal traction in Africa. Further,
in order to stimulate ideas, reactions and debate, this presentation will
involve certain exaggerations and the questioning of priorities. The
justification for these will simply be the discussions catalysed by such

It is estimated that there are up to 400 million draft animals in the
world, directly or indirectly serving two billion people. Around 250
million draft cattle representing 20 per cent of the cattle population of
the world are employed for work, the vast majority (approximately 220
million) in Asia. In China alone there are 92 million draft animals, and
in India between 72 and 110 million draft animals are employed. Animal
traction is used to cultivate about half the total area cropped in the
developing world, and on the order of 25 million carts are pulled by draft
animals throughout the world. Thus, by world standards, the total number
of draft animals in Africa (approximately 15 million) is very small; the
great majority of the land farmed on the continent is cultivated with human
labor. Nevertheless, many million farming families in Africa do depend
directly on animal traction, and the use of draft animals is growing in
almost all countries of the continent.

To put animal traction research into context, the present use of draft
animals in Africa will be considered first from a historical, and then from
a geographical perspective. Some generalizations will be presented on the
present status of animal traction research before questions are posed

concerning the future needs and direction of draft animal research and


In Egypt and North Africa, the use of animal traction for crop
cultivation and transport goes back several millennia. The use of
war-elephants by Hannibal in 218 B.C. was a particularly dramatic use of
animal energy. In Sub-Saharan Africa, Ethiopia is notable for widespread
use of oxen for farming, a tradition that dates back many centuries.
However, elsewhere in Africa, the use of animals for crop cultivation is
relatively recent.

Pack animals have been traditionally used in several African cultures,
and draft animals were introduced for transport in many towns on the
African Coast, particularly during the nineteenth century. For example,
horses were used for commercial and military transport, and for recreation
in Dakar and Freetown in the nineteenth century. In Southern Africa, early
white settlers used animal power on their overland treks, and also for
their farming operations.

The major introduction of animal traction for crop cultivation occurred
between 1905 and 1935. In most cases, emphasis was placed on the
production of export crops. In many parts of Francophone West Africa,
including Senegal, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Mali, Burkina Faso and Cameroon,
independent companies provided all the training, extension, credit and
equipment necessary to allow some rapid adoption of draft animals for
cotton and groundnut production. In other countries, including Sierra
Leone and Botswana, colonial administrators encouraged animal traction to
increase local food crop production, and public funds were used to provide
various services including equipment importation, extension services and,
in some cases, credit.

By 1940, the time of the Second World War, animal traction had become
very well established in Botswana, and was widely used in many specific and
geographically limited areas within most of the African subregions, notably
in parts of Senegal, Mali and Burkina Faso in West Africa, and areas of
Kenya and Tanzania in East Africa. However, at this time, most of Africa
was under European administration, and it is important to understand what
was happening to European agriculture at this time. For centuries, draft
animals had been the major source of farm power in Europe, but after the
Second World War the numbers of draft animals in Europe fell dramatically
as tractors became widely adopted. Thus, in Great Britain, around 11
million draft horses were used in 1910. As tractor power developed, this
fell to 650,000 in 1940 and 370,00 in 1965. In France, in 1940 there were
around two million draft cattle and 1.8 million work horses, but by 1965
this had dropped to 100,000 draft cattle and 730,000 horses. From the
point of view of European agriculture, it seemed clear that animal traction
was an old-fashioned technology that was being rapidly superceded. In
universities and agricultural colleges, emphasis was placed on the new
forms of mechanization.

During the 1950s and 1960s, there were many attempts to introduce

mechanical cultivation on the African continent, often with disastrous
economic and ecological consequences. At the time of independence, the
decision makers in most countries had been educated in Europe, had been
educated by European expatriates, or had been educated by other Africans
who themselves had received European training. Thus a whole generation of
African decision makers and African educators had been trained in an
environment in which it was generally assumed that animal traction was old
fashioned, and of purely historical interest. This gave rise to many
rejections of the whole concept of animal traction, which was perceived, to
quote a West African, as "a U-turn back to the Stone Age".

By the early 1970s, most countries had recorded failures of over-
ambitious tractorization schemes. Fuel crises were followed by chronic
foreign exchange problems. Agricultural planners became fully aware that
despite tractorization schemes the vast majority of the farming population
was actually still using hand labor. Thus almost everywhere in Africa
there was a new interest in the possibility of developing animal traction.
Multilateral and bilateral aid projects proliferated, particularly in the
Sahel, where drought conditions attracted extra aid resources. Thus, by
1985, in almost all countries in Africa the use of animal traction was
being actively promoted by government departments, parastatal
organizations, major aid projects and by smaller non-governmental aid
agencies. In a smaller number of countries, draft animals were also being
actively encouraged by private manufacturing or commodity trading


Of the 15 million draft animals used in Africa, a very high proportion
are found in one country, Ethiopia, where more than six million draft
cattle are used to plow with the traditional ard (plow). In the highlands
of Ethiopia more than 90 percent of farmers ma]e use of animal power.
Elsewhere in Africa the use of animal traction is very uneven, with the
average figure of about ten percent of farmers using animal power; in some
areas it is used by less than one percent of the farming population.

In West Africa there are three broad ecological zones in which animal
traction is used. In the Sahel zone of northern Senegal, northern Mali and
northern Burkina Faso, horses and donkeys,.and to a much lesser extent
camels, are the preferred draft animals. To the south of this zone is a
belt where Zebu breeds of cattle are mainly used for draft purposes.
Further south, in the tsetse zone, to the south of a line running from The
Gambia, through southern Mali and southern Burkina Faso to central Nigeria,
the small trypanotolerant taurine breeds of cattle are employed in animal

To give an idea of the order of magnitude of draft animal usage in West
Africa, about 20 percent of the farmers in Senegal make use of 500,000
draft animals, including horses, donkeys, Zebus and Taurines. Senegal is
exceptional in Africa in that the use of seeders for planting is common.
In The Gambia, about 33 percent of farmers use animal traction, mainly
donkeys and N'Dama taurines. About 100,000 N'Dama oxen are used in Guinea,
mainly for plowing. In southern Mali, around 170,000 draft oxen are used,

and inter-row cultivation of cotton and maize is relatively common. In
Ivory Coast about 30,000 draft cattle are used, often for weeding of cotton
as well as plowing, and in northern Ghana about 20,000 draft taurines are
employed. Much smaller numbers of draft cattle, mainly taurines, are used
in Sierra Leone, Togo and Benin. In central African countries, cattle
populations are small, and while animal traction is slowly expanding,
absolute numbers of draft animals are still low.

In East Africa, around 700,000 draft cattle are used in Kenya, and the
overall usage by 12 percent of farming families includes certain areas
where 80 percent of farmers use oxen for plowing. In Tanzania, about
300,000 draft oxen are used, and in Zambia, Malawi and Zimbabwe about 15
percent of farmers use draft cattle. In Southern Africa, Botswana is
exceptional in that virtually no primary cultivation is carried out with
hand tools. In Botswana, 80 percent of the farmers use animal traction,
employing 360,000 cattle and a few thousand donkeys. In West and East
Africa, animals are almost always used in yoked pairs. However in Southern
Africa large teams comprising two to six pairs are common. In Madagascar
around 330,000 draft cattle are employed.


While animal traction is generally a neglected area of research, in
most African countries one or more research center, agricultural project or
NGO development program is actively involved in some aspect of draft animal
research and development. While noting that there are huge variations
between different countries-some of which have excellent, well-
coordinated, farming systems-orientated animal traction research programs-
some broad generalizations can also be made.

Frequently, within countries there is very little liaison and
information exchange between the different organizations working on animal
traction. This may be because different institutions and projects fall
under different ministries. For example, there may be separate ministries
responsible for agriculture, livestock, higher education and research.
However, even when a single administration is responsible for all aspects
of rural development, there may not be liaison between its different
projects in different parts of the country. For example, recently in one
West African country there were two projects developing animal traction,
both financed by the same multi-lateral aid donor, and both with expatriate
animal traction "experts", but they worked in complete isolation and the
"experts" had never met each other. In a Central African country, there
were five projects funded by different donor agencies developing animal
traction in different parts of the country, and each of them believed they
were the only animal traction project in that country. Each project was
starting from the beginning in trying to identify suitable equipment,
techniques and cropping systems, and, unaware of each other's existence,
there was no possibility to build on each other's experience. Recently in
one East African country, there was almost no liaison between the implement
designers and producers on the one hand, and the extension workers and
farmers on the other. As a result equipment was being developed and
produced at considerable expense, and not adapted to the needs of the
farmers. In this same country there was similar lack of liaison between

the research stations and the agricultural development projects. In one
Southern African country a development worker spent four years designing
and adapting a system of donkey carts and harnesses, and he eventually made
the effort to contact a research worker from West Africa to discuss his
problems and seek further information. However, it transpired that he had
never considered looking to see whether there were more appropriate sources
of information expertise within the country in which he was working.

While information exchange within countries is seldom ideal,
communication and liaison between countries is extremely rare. Draft
animal research workers in one country are generally completely unaware of
similar research in neighboring countries. When technical problems occur,
the historical and communications links with Europe, combined with language
barriers and the organizational structures of bilateral and multilateral
aid donors, mean that it is generally easier to seek advice from outside
Africa than from colleagues who may be just a few kilometers away, across a
political frontier. While there are some encouraging signs that more
intra-Africa "network" contacts are being developed, in general there is
still a tremendous duplication of research effort. In particular there is
the failure to learn from other people's experience, simply because there
is not the liaison that would allow profitable information exchange.

The vast majority of animal traction research, development and
extension projects are supported by one or more multilateral, bilateral or
NGO*aid agencies. However there is very little technical liaison relating
to animal traction either within or between these donor agencies. Most aid
agencies are organized with departments administratively responsible for
specific countries, or sub-regions, and funds are allocated to individual
national programs in agreement with the government concerned. There is
seldom an administrative structure that allows problems to be viewed and
funds allocated on a regional basis with liaison benefits for more than one
country. While it may be administratively possible to write intra-Africa
liaison into the budgets of aid projects this is seldom done, although the
practice of budgeting for consultants from outside the region is extremely
common. There are very few donor agencies that have internal mechanisms
whereby experience from a supported project in one part of Africa can
benefit another project elsewhere on the continent. Thus one sees the very
same mistakes being repeated in different projects supported by the same
donor agencies, but in different countries. Frequently there is lack of
liaison between different aid donor departments. For example, those
specializing in crop production, animal production, agricultural
engineering, rural transport, implement production and rural sociology may
separately be involved in animal traction activities. Overall progress
could be much faster if the aid agencies made more use of their own
expertise and experience gained from many parts of Africa. Not only is
there insufficient information dissemination within the donor agencies,
there are very few channels of communication between the different donors,
so that there is great duplication of effort and failure to learn from each
other's experience. There are, however, a few examples of specific liaison
between different donors. In one East African country, a forum has been
established with government departments, non-government organizations and
the major donor agencies which aims to help coordinate activities and share
experience on specific development issues, such as animal traction.

A great deal of the research relating to animal traction is carried out
in research stations, in conditions very different from those of the
surrounding villages. On-station research can be important, particularly
as a way to assess the technical feasibility of highly innovative ideas
before risking introducing them to farmers. However, to be relevant,
on-station research must be carried out in conjunction with on-farm
studies involving the farmers themselves. Sadly, on-station research
studies are often carried out in complete isolation, using systems of
management totally different from those attainable by the small farmer.
For example, in one research station in East Africa, animal traction
research involves purebred Friesian animals, while throughout the country
farmers actually use East African Zebu cattle about half the size of the
Friesians. In another research station in East Africa, an attempt has been
made to create model farms to simulate, on the station, the management
conditions of the small farmers. However, the danger of such research
became evident when research operations fell behind schedule and a tractor
was used to plow the "ox-cultivated" farm. In several African countries
pronouncements have been made about the suitability of exotic cattle, or
even water buffalo, as a result of on-station research where management
conditions, including the availability of feed and veterinary services,
were totally different from the realities of the nearby villages.
Similarly, many on-station feed trials have involved complex mixtures of
feed supplements, which even if technically ideal would simply be
unavailable or unaffordable in the surrounding villages.

A related and in many ways more serious problem is that most animal
traction research concentrates on just one component of a complex system.
Thus engineers concentrate on perfecting equipment designs; animal
scientists emphasize the importance of the genotype; and nutritionists
concentrate on problems of forage conservation and utilization. Such
studies may be valid where discussions with farmers have indicated that
some area of research is a limiting factor, and where the studies are
carried out in close cooperation with the farmers. However, many cases
could be cited where the "problems" are mainly in the minds of the
researchers, and where technically excellent studies that are largely
irrelevant have been performed in specific disciplines, as the object of
the research was not a limiting factor. For example, in many countries
research has been carried out on crossbred cattle in the mistaken
assumption that animal size was the crucial factor. In many cases, what
the farmers needed were highly adapted animals, that were easily bought and
sold, that could survive on limited forage and that individually did not
represent too much capital risk. In such circumstances, the adapted
indigenous cattle were almost ideal, and any attempt to increase draft
power through increases in size would have had deleterious consequences for
these other critical characteristics. A similar example of component-
oriented research comes from Southern Africa, where researchers looking at
the problem of feed supply found that an annual legume could provide highly
nutritious feed resources. However, only when they looked at the whole
farming system was it apparent that the crucial limiting factor was
available draft power for food crop production at the beginning of the
rains. As the cultivation of the proposed legumes also required plowing at
the start of the rains, the suggested solution, though technically very
sound, actually exacerbated the situation at the most critical time.
Throughout Africa there are examples of technically excellent implements

designed by agricultural engineers (and perhaps for agricultural
engineers), that most farmers would immediately realize were inappropriate,
being too weak, too heavy, too complex, insufficiently maneuverable, or far
too expensive for the task involved. The engineers would not have made
such costly errors had they been working closely with farmers and discussed
how the implements would fit into the total farming systems.

In some countries animal traction research is being carried out by
multi-disciplinary teams of agriculturalists in conjunction with farmers.
However, even in such ideal circumstances, there is a danger that the
research will be limited to the animal traction aspects of a complex social
and economic environment. It must be recognized that animal traction is
just one sub-component of the total farming system and draft animal
research should not ignore other social or economic factors that can
indirectly influence the technical success of animal traction. For
example, in an East African country, local religious festivals severely
restrict the number of days in which draft animals can be used. In one
West African country it was found that farmers kept their animals enclosed
for dangerously long periods because palm-wine tapping took priority, being
economically more important for these farmers than crop production. More
seriously, research may ignore the importance of women and children in the
farming systems where animal traction is employed.

A further generalization relating to animal traction research in Africa
is that results are insufficiently publicized. The few excellent case
histories that have been produced show just how useful such studies can be
in enabling research and extension workers to learn from the mistakes of
others. However, few people are prepared to publicize what may be seen as
failures, and few governments or donors wish evaluations of disappointing
projects to be made public. There is also a danger that misinformation may
be published. For example, there are reports in the literature of
apparently highly successful experiences with wheeled toolbars in Southern
and Western Africa. Such reports become quoted by others and so enter the
mythology of animal traction research. The fact that not long after the
initial euphoric reports the toolbars proved costly failures was not
reported by the original authors, and the project evaluations have had
limited circulation. There are many other examples of animal traction
workers in many different disciplines, rushing into print after early
success, and seldom has it been stressed that their work has yet to stand
the test of sustained farmer adoption.

Finally, there is the problem that animal traction research workers are
often unaware of valuable publications in their field, and they often do
not know how to obtain the information that is available. While works on
animal traction are limited, there are some excellent research reports and
case studies which are often obtainable free-of-charge. Nevertheless a
large number of research workers in Africa have never come across some of
the most useful references. While the situation is improving with the
production of animal traction bibliographies and information bulletins,
there is urgent need for much greater information dissemination by those
individuals and organizations who write or publish work relating to draft
animal power.


The foregoing has included some very broad generalizions based on
observations and reports from many countries. However, in view of the
enormous diversity of agricultural, ecological, social, economic and
political systems, and very different research and extension structures,
one must question whether such generalizations are actually valid.

A further question concerns whether the farmer or the research and
extension workers really know what is best for the farmer. At one extreme
there are research and extension workers who regard farmers as uninformed,
simple and reluctant to change. At the other extreme there are those who
argue that the farmer is constantly assessing innovations, but seldom
adopts them since the traditional farming system has evolved to become
almost perfectly adapted to the prevailing conditions. There are many
documented cases where it has been clear that the research and extension
workers did not know best. In the examples cited of the research/extension
workers who tried to impose wheeled tool carriers on farmers in Southern
and Western Africa, the farmers quickly returned to their more conventional
implements, and the research workers started asking questions rather than
giving answers. However many questions are still to be answered.

In Southern Africa, farmers habitually used large teams of 6 to 12
oxen, and have done so for decades. Elsewhere in Africa oxen are generally
used in pairs, so certain research workers feel that in Southern Africa it
also would be more efficient to use fewer animals and smaller implements.
This would imply the time-honored system is relatively inefficient and
illogical but it has yet to be proven whether the research worker or the
farmer knows best in this case. In one highly publicized research study, a
genuine farmer quotation was used to the effect that the farmer's ancestors
could not have believed it possible to plow with a single ox. If this is
the case, and if the single ox technology is proved by the farmer adoption,
it would seem a classic example of how a simple research program can in
just two years, come up with an innovation that could revolutionize a
farming system. However, it could also be that generations of farmers have
preferred to use two oxen, rather than one, for some very good and logical
reasons. Only time and sustained farmer adoption will demonstrate whether
the innovation is fully adaped to the farming system.

A further example of the dilemma of research workers comes from a West
African country where cattle are taken to a crop field specifically to
allow their dung to be collected. However, prior to plowing the dung is
burned on the field and only the ashes are plowed in. The first reaction
of an agricultural research worker might be that this is highly irrational
behavior (and this indeed might be the case) but it might be that there is
some undefined and very logical reason for burning the dung. Finally the
same questioning approach must be applied to farmers not using animal
traction. Do they not use it because they are unaware of its potential, or
is it because they have actually made an informed and logical judgement?
Despite the well-meaning aspirations of animal traction projects, have
these farmers decided that animal traction is not appropriate to their
social, economic and farming system?

Perhaps the most important question is why do only about 10 percent of

the farmers in Africa use animal traction? Is it lack of knowledge, lack
of extension, lack of money, lack of equipment or lack of feed resources?
Is it related to problems of health, husbandry or social traditions? Is it
related to the intensity of population and farming, or is it simply that
using animal traction is seldom profitable? Given that historically animal
traction spread through Asia, North Africa, Europe and the Americas without
the "benefit" of agricultural development projects or significant
government intervention, is the current emphasis on public sector promotion
really necessary or desirable?

Is lack of technical knowledge and understanding a constraint? If
research is not a limiting factor, is further research really justified?
Presumably some research workers will argue that studies need to be
undertaken simply to identify whether or not research is indeed a limiting

Finally, if it is decided that further animal traction research is
necessary and desirable and that it should be carried out on a farming
systems basis with local farmers, there are still some important questions.
What impact is the research really likely to have by, say, the year 2000 on
both the total level of utilization of animal traction in Africa and on the
efficiency of draft animal usage within individual farming systems? Are
the potential benefits sufficient to justify the research, and if so what
can be done to maximize the impact of the research findings?

This presentation has included some broad historical and geographical
generalizations and then questioned whether such generalizations are
appropriate. It has included some overstatements concerning the present
status of draft animal research and questioned whether such research is
necessary or desirable. One could go on to question whether such
background perspectives and questions have themselves been justified; the
answer to this will depend on the extent to which they have served to
provoke further discussion of the issues raised.



The first networkshop on draft power in East and Southern Africa was
held in Swaziland in October 1983 by CIMMYT. It was felt that a report on
the networkshop proceedings, methodology and results would be useful for
the participants in this West African networkshop.


Formal and informal networks exist worldwide as a response to peoples'
needs to communicate and exchange ideas. In a field such as on-farm
research, the need for networking is great because:

1. Researchers are few and scattered;

2. Formal links do not exist; and

3. Development of sound methodologies requires much trial-and-error
which may be repeated time and again by researchers unknown to each
other, especially across a region but also even within a country.


Once agreed that networking is important, the question arises as to
what is the best mode to facilitate networking. Newsletters are an obvious
way of communicating. CIMMYT, FSSP and ILCA, to name a few, publish
newsletters on a routine basis. However, newsletters are a passive means
of communication in that everyone likes to receive them but few contribute.

A second mode of networking suggested by Michael Collinson, CIMMYT,
Nairobi, Kenya, is the identification of a specific area of concern in a
region and inventorying two aspects of that area of concern. The first
aspect would be to describe the characteristics of local specific systems,
see how the problem manifests itself under different agroclimatic, economic
and social conditions, and inventory the ways in which farmers manage the
problem under different conditions. The second aspect would be to list
past and ongoing research and to generate a directory of researchers.

The CIMMYT networkshop therefore dealt with the first inventorying
task-descriptions of systems where access to draft power had been
diagnosed as important-and reports on experimental work that addressed the
problem through animal feeding or reduction in draft requirements. The
second inventorying task-reports on research in an area-started with a
report entitled "Draught Power Problems and Related Research in Botswana,
Lesotho and Swaziland" is available on request from the CIMMYT office in
Swaziland (c/o Allen Low, CIMMYT, P.O. Box 1473, Mbabane, Swaziland).


East and Southern Africa have a history of domestic animals and use of
animals for draft. This does not mean that the problems are lessened, only
that in some cases they are different from draft animal problems in West
Africa. For example, animals in these regions are often'available but too
weak to use, whereas in West Africa animals may not be available and
farmers may have no history of animal ownership.

Networkshop participants were asked to prepare a paper in advance about
their work and send it to Swaziland so that all papers could be copied and
ready when the networkshop started. It became obvious early on that the
systems were very different, yet some similarities existed across
countries. Systems calendars were devised as a means to discuss these
similarities. Participants broke into groups by country to prepare systems
calendars which were to include a graph by year of rainfall, feed
availability, and timing of agricultural labor and problem points (land
preparation, planting, weeding, harvesting, marketing, labor bottlenecks
and feed scarcity). Some country participants (e.g., Kenya) had to prepare
more than one systems calendar because of wide agroclimatic variability.
These calendars were hung around the room and provided an excellent
backdrop to discussions of experimental programs.

Discussions of experimental programs included interventions thought to
be appropriate in the local farming systems described by the participants.
Interventions fell into two broad categories:

1. Interventions aimed at improving the capacity of animals to generate
more draft power, e.g. feeding management (forage crops, crop residues,
selective feeding) and animal management; and

2. Interventions aimed at reducing the demand for draft, e.g. minimum
tillage, farmer training.

Further discussions occurred as participants commented on work from
other countries and the appropriateness to their own particular areas.
Examples included:

1. Work in Kenya on crop residues was thought to be relevant to Western

2. Selective feeding of animals in Kenya and Lesotho was of interest to
Malawi, where animals given to farmers died from poor feed
management; and

3. Minimum tillage and herbicide work in Zimbabwe was thought to be
relevant in Botswana but not in Kenya, where mixed cropping of
cereals and legumes precludes such activities.


An overall consensus was that papers and systems calendars should have
been prepared well in advance. Given the mail system, this proved
difficult even for preliminary communications. Alternatively, the workshop


could have been longer. As it was, participants worked every night on
their presentations and saw little, if anything, of Swaziland.

Interestingly enough, participants felt that either too much or too
little time was spent on presentations and that presentations were too
limited or too general to obtain useful information from them. The
prescribed formats were felt to be good but could have been organized in a
different fashion.


Several country presentations were made during the.networkshop in
order to become more familiar with the animal traction experiences of the
country representatives visiting Togo, in terms of research agendas,
development, improvements and methods of introduction. These were not
prepared in advance, but were informal presentations which used the
conceptual framework as an organizational guideline for information
presented. Summaries of the presentations on Sierra Leone, The Gambia,
Burkina Faso and Senegal are presented in this section.

For Togo, several means were used to elicit an understanding of animal
traction experiences. A brief overview of animal traction project work in
the Savannes region and the area around Kara itself was given on the first
day using the conceptual framework. On the second day, the entire
networkshop group was divided into four small groups. Each one went to
visit a different animal traction project site in the Kara area. That
evening, reports were prepared which were given in the plenary session on
the third day. These reports were summarized by the resource persons in
order to draw out the common issues and problems identified by the four
field trip groups. These summaries are also included. As there are some
30 projects in Togo which have animal traction components, a listing and
summary of these projects is also provided.

In addition to the above information on animal traction experiences,
each participant completed a project inventory questionnaire. These have
been summarized and are listed in Appendix 6. Further inventorying will be
needed in order to complete the record of results and experiences in the




Sierra Leone is a small country (73,000 km2) with Guinea savannah ecology
in the north, where annual rainfall is 1800 ma, and rain forest in the south,
where rainfall exceeds 2500 mm annually. The staple food of rice is the
dominant species in the rain-fed intercropping of the traditional bush/fallow
agricultural system. Swamp rice is also grown in numerous inland valleys.

The whole country is considered to be of medium trypanosomiasis risk, and
the national herd of 333,000 cattle are all of the N'Dama trypano- tolerant
taurine type. In the north of the country, where 75 percent of the cattle
are found, natural pasture is available for most of the year, with dry-season
regrowth being stimulated by fire. Cattle ownership is concentrated in five
percent of the farming population, notably within the Fula and Madingo ethnic
groups. Cattle obtain all their feed from grazing natural pasture, but a
traditional mineral supplement of leaves, salt and termite hill soil is
provided two or three times a year.


Animal traction was introduced on a small scale in 1927. In 1950 a
government-sponsored scheme to expand draft animal usage was initiated in
one part of the country, but it was not followed up and was forgotten by the
agricultural department after a few years. However, the farmers in the area
continued to use work oxen, and the technology was transferred to subsequent
generations. In 1985, three-quarters of the plows bought in 1950 were still
in use, indicating that animal traction was perceived as economically viable
by the farmers, and could be sustainable without significant government
intervention. The farmers use their draft animals for plowing and harrowing,
mainly for swamp rice production, but with some cultivation of rain-fed rice
and groundnuts. Several subsidized tractor cultivation schemes have been
attempted, but have all proved impossible to maintain. However, they have
raised unattainable aspirations in many sections of society, somewhat
reducing national interest in the potential for animal traction.


Agricultural investment is affected by land-tenure systems which do not
guarantee continued usage of specific areas of land to individual farmers.
In general, farmers' income is low and arable cropping is seldom profitable
if conventional economic criteria are used to assess farming costs and
benefits. A labor constraint exists, particularly for land preparation.
Ownership of draft oxen is associated with the more affluent farmers
cultivating above-average areas. Smaller farmers can have access to draft
power through traditional systems of hiring; in one area 274 farming families
make use of 52 pairs of work oxen. Some women farmers have been among those

hiring oxen from others, and recently some women' groups have started using
animal traction. Through the influence of donor agencies, some village
associations have been formed for communal ownership of work oxen.


The present Sierra Leone Work Oxen Project is a national project charged
with promoting animal traction through adaptive research, extension and
training. It is primarily catalytic, providing technical advice and training
services to other agricultural development programs, which then develop
animal traction components. The project started from a university-based
pilot study, which included the review of past records and published
experience from other countries, on-station trials and on-farm socio-economic
studies. The socio-economic surveys were stratified to allow comparisons of
ox users and non ox-users in villages where draft animals were used, and ox
hirers and non ox-hirers in villages where there were no work oxen. Studies
identified availability of equipment as a limiting factor. Implements from
several countries were tested, first on research stations and then by farmers
in various villages. The preferred design of a multipurpose implement was
appropriately modified and its local manufacture was started. The toolbar is
now available with both six- and nine-inch plow bodies to suit different
ecosystems and different sizes (ages) of animals. A triangular harrow is
also available and other cultivation implements and carts are being evaluated
by farmers in several locations. All innovations, such as the use of nose
rings to improve animal control and the use of inter-row weeding, are first
tested on-station and then by selected farmers in different villages. If
proved acceptable, techniques are recommended for widespread adoption and are
then followed through with monitoring and evaluation studies.

The project comprises a multidisciplinary team of Sierra Leone, British
and French research workers who must all participate in general extension and
promotional activities in addition to their specific research areas. All
staff, both senior and junior, commence their project experience by training
a pair of work oxen themselves. French language training has been given to
the Anglophone senior staff to allow liaison with neighboring Francophone
countries. Present research interest covers equipment evaluation, animal
health, traditional animal husbandry techniques and medicines, row-cropping
systems, socio-economic studies and the formation of farmers' associations,
including women' groups. Monthly multidisciplinary technical meetings of
staff ensures a farming systems approach is maintained. Overall project
policy is determined by a national liaison committee, comprising
representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture, agricultural development
projects, the university and several aid donors.

The project has great placed emphasis on publicity, with the development
of symbolic logos, participation in agricultural shows, wide circulation of
project reports and the organization of an annual national ox-plowing
competition. The project has also emphasized external liaison, and has
initiated several exchange visits and workshops, notably with neighboring
Guinea and Liberia.




The Gambia is located in the Sahelian region of West Africa.
Historically, rainfall averaged 1100mm per year, falling from June to
October. Recently, however, rainfall has been 68 percent of the norm or
600-700 mm with a small drought occurring in August.

Commercial agricultural crops are groundnuts and cotton, the latter less
important in terms of foreign exchange. The government sets the price of the
cash crop. Food crops are rice, millet, sorghum and maize. Rice is grown
primarily in the swamplands and is entirely the responsibility of women.
Traditionally, maize had been grown as a backyard crop and picked "green"
(fresh) and eaten roasted. In 1981 about 4,000 ha were planted to maize.
The Mixed Farming Project (USAID-CID-GOTG) has promoted maize production and
in 1984 more than 16,000 ha of maize were planted.


Horses (and presumably donkeys) were introduced into the Senegambian area
by the Portuguese in the 15th century. These animals continue to play a
crucial role in transport throughout the region. Gambians have kept
livestock for centuries, both small ruminants and cattle. Before the 1970s
there were approximately 300 to 400 work oxen in the country. In eastern
Gambia, horses and donkeys are the important draft animals; in western
Gambia, work oxen are more important. Farmers are interested in animal
traction and the availability of animals is not a problem. Women can own
livestock but their draft animals will be used by men. Most Gambian
livestock owners have contractural agreements with Fula herders for cattle
management from June to December. These agreements do not include small


During 1962 to 1963, the first draft projects started with an imported
plow, an ox cart and implements. Ox-plowing schools were set up around the
country at 25 mixed farming centers. The trainers were extension agents who
had undergone one year of training. This training included animal health
care and the agronomy of cultivated crops. Plows were given out and loans
made for equipment. This project continued for a long time until funding
ended. Training was transferred from the centers to the villages, but
unfortunately the quality of the training being done now is much poorer.

The imported plow is still used in eastern Gambia. SISCOMA (SISMAR)
developed a seeder and weeder which some farmers have. The cooperative
unions have taken over the responsibility of distribution but costs for
equipment are prohibitive.


The Mixed Farming Project (MFP) is a livestock-oriented project
(supported by USAID through a bilateral agreement with the Gambian Department
of Agriculture/Consortium for International Development/Colorado State
University) that initially focused on producing feed for animals (maize and
forage). Maize proved so popular a food crop that the project turned to that
use. The limiting factor in maize production is labor. MFP developed a
two-row cultivator with discs, which was first tested in 1984. It used the
basic SISMAR design. Testing will be better organized this year, since the
training aspect has undergone improvement. Unfortunately, the price for this
plow, even if it proves effective, may turn out to be too high for farmers to


Farmers are very interested in animal traction. Animals and trainers are
available. The major constraint is cost of equipment and the farmers'
willingness to take on those costs.



The project area covered 50,000 km2 with a total population of 440,000.
This compares with Togo in terms of area but with an average of only 2.9
people per square kilometer, the area is sparsely settled and has a poor
infrastructure. Rainfall ranges from 900 mm in the south to 500 mm in the
north. Over 80 percent of crop area is in millet and sorghum with some cash
crops such as rice, soybean, peanuts and cotton of limited importance. Only
8 to 15 percent of total crop production is sold. Few farmers have animal
experience and equipment used is much the same as in Togo.

There were six previous attempts to introduce animal traction. All more
or less failed because they relied on imported equipment that was poorly
adapted. They took the "model farmer" approach, which failed to provide the
support needed to maintain animal traction. Also the short duration of the
projects (three to five years) mitigated against success.


1., Improve institutional capacity of the regional development

2. Increase agricultural production and rural income through the
introduction of animal traction.

3. Provide technical assistance and conduct farm production and
regional marketing surveys.


1. Working small well-defined areas using Peace Corps Volunteers and
local extension staff, although a government decision to make the
program country-wide disallowed P.C.V.s.

2. Increased the number of extension agents six-fold during the life of
the project to over 400; many were young and inexperienced.


1974 180 animal traction units plus owners

1980 1,800 animal traction units plus owners (of which over 1,000
were using donkey traction).


The survey was intended to provide baseline data as well as comparisons
between animal traction and manual farmers. There were 480 households
using animal traction, either oxen or donkeys. Fifty-eight percent of the
farmers using oxen had less than three years experience, thus showing that
the technology had been adopted only recently.

Over half of the farmers used their animal traction unit less than 12
days per year. This has serious economic implications since the animals
have to be fed throughout the entire year. Rental income was minimal, 530
CFA for oxen and 63 CFA per donkey. Oxen carting was insignificant (four
percent of animal use) and even donkey carting was not widespread. Plowing
was by far the most important use of animals. Donkey farmers plowed 85
percent of their cultivated area while oxen farmers plowed 50 percent of
their cultivated area. Very little weeding was done. Farmers using animal
traction for weeding averaged 11 years of animal traction experience.

Animal traction households on the average, cultivated six ha while
manual households cultivated only four ha. Animal traction households were
wealthier and larger than manual households with averages of 11.5 people
and 4.8 active workers versus 7.7 people and 3.6 active workers. The
difference in area per worker between animal traction and manual households
was less than ten percent. Thus the area expansion effect of animal
traction was very small. Ox farmers using animal traction weeding did
cultivate an area 22 percent larger per active worker than ox farmers who
did not weed. Therefore, weeding did have a substantial effect on the area
cultivated per worker. The crop mix changed very little between manual and
animal traction farmers except for a slight increase in cash crop
production. Yield effects were negligible. Yields in the area are low and
dominated by agro-climatic conditions. On-farm trials did show a positive
effect from plowing. Animal traction did reduce labor inputs per hectare
by 174 hours or approximately 25 percent. Even with animal care
considered, there was an 11 percent decrease in labor inputs per hectare.

Animal traction increased variable input costs by 50 percent over those
of manual farmers. Fixed costs were more than 125 percent higher. Donkey
traction was significantly less expensive than oxen traction and appealed
to resource-poor farmers. The higher costs of oxen, however, were more
than covered by appreciation in the price of the animals. The price of
donkeys did not appreciate. The cash costs of animal traction were so high
and farm cash revenues so low that farmers needed non-farm cash revenues to
support the cost of animal traction.

Survey data was used to generate projections of farm income over a ten
year period. A ten year period was used because it is usually agreed that
farmers require five years to learn to use animal traction effectively.
For farmers using oxen only for plowing with no area or yield effects, the
projected internal rate of return was only two percent. Most of the income
generated came from the increase in the price of oxen. Net income actually
decreased seven out of ten years, from what it was prior to animal traction

Projections for farmers who use their oxen for weeding and obtain some
area and yield effects, showed an internal rate of return of 24 percent.
This increased to 28 percent if the weeder was not included in the original
equipment package but purchased later when the farmer was capable of using
it. Donkey traction projections showed less income but higher rates of


1. The number of animal traction units placed is not a good
criteria for evaluating an animal traction project.

2. Farmers are likely to experience a decrease in net income
initially when adopting animal traction.

3. Weeding is a key component of the animal traction package in
terms of making it profitable.

4. Animal traction allows a substantial reduction in labor inputs
per hectare, even when the time needed to care for the animals
is included.

5. Good extension support to farmers is vital to the success of
the project.

6. The introduction of animal traction is a long-term process and
the evolution of that process should be constantly evaluated.




Senegalese agro-climatic zones vary from Sahelian in the north to
Savanna in the south. Rainfall varies from 300 mm to 1,200 mm. Northern
soils are sandy while in the south soils very from lowland clays to upland
lateritic soils.

Several important historical factors have affected agricultural
production in Senegal. One is a 1964 law which permitted the
redistribution of land not being cultivated. The effect has been to push
farmers to produce on all their land, leaving none in fallow. Marketing in
Senegal was organized only for groundnuts. Production inputs like seed and
fertilizer could be paid in kind using groundnuts. Credit was made
available as part of the groundnut extension package and inputs were


Use of animal traction was a response to the need for additional
sources of power. Experiments with tractors had failed and labor
bottlenecks existed, especially for planting and weeding. There was also a
need to harvest groundnuts quickly before the soil became so dry and hard
that it was difficult to remove them. The objective of introducing animal
traction was to replace some manual labor using equipment that would allow
the operations) to be more timely, completed more quickly and possibly
increase (groundnut) yields through better efficiency.

Donkeys and horses were available in quantity but did not have
sufficient draft force for some operations. Mules were socially
unacceptable because of their sterility. Oxen were available but neither
the Zebu or the N'Dama had the size, conformation and disease resistance
thought necessary. Many years were spent trying to develop a new cattle
breed by crossing Zebu and N'Damas. But the process was too complicated
for farmers and the research organization was never able to produce enough
of the improved breed to have any impact.


Studies on the work capacity of different types of animals were carried
out for the various operations and soil types found throughout the country.
Considerable effort was devoted to developing animal traction tools.
Stables were developed in part as a means of collecting manure to be used
in maintaining soil fertility. The effects of manure, timing of
operations, and the field operations themselves were studied in terms of
their impact on soil structure and soil fertility. Production systems were
studied looking at different rotations and the effects of long-term animal

traction use. These were evaluated both for physical and economic results.

Farmers typically had livestock traditions and were capable of caring
for their animals with the help of government vaccine programs.
Pre-extension activities were carried out at a number of centers throughout
the country (PAPEMs). These served as sites for multilocational trials as
well. The Experimental Units served as a pilot project where research
problems could be tested on farms and extension problems and procedures
could be tested as well.

Extension activities were carried out by parastatal development
organizations. These activities included:

1. Supplying oxen and equipment;

2. Training oxen at centers;

3. Training farmers in tillage techniques;

4. Supplying credit under easy terms; and

5. Supplying other inputs at subsidized prices.


Animal traction by itself has not had a yield effect in Senegal. It
has increased the area under cultivation by increasing the speed and
reducing the difficulty of work. Perhaps the lack of yield effects is due
to the fact that certain techniques, such as plowing under organic matter
at the end of the rainy season, have never been adopted by farmers.
Comparisons of profitability can be very hazardous due to the lack of
homogeneity of conditions between the point of departure and an existing

With regard to animal health, the government veterinary service lacks
the means to meet the demand for its services. In spite of all this,
animal traction is well-integrated into the farming systems of Senegal.
The diffusion of animal traction has proceeded rapidly using horses in the
north and oxen in the south (Senegal has the largest number of animal
traction units in West Africa, over 200,000). Over time the use of donkeys
has decreased and horses have increasingly been used for transportation as
well as field work.

Statistics for the Sine-Saloum region show the following results:

1970 1980

Area Under Cultivation (ha) 770,000 935,000

Pairs of Oxen 2,100 26,600

No. Ha/Pair of Oxen

Additional problems remain in the areas of preventing soil erosion,
maintaining soil fertility and with several aspects of the availability of
animals. The availability of animals for hire is limited by their use in a
number of activities and by the importance of timeliness and climatic
conditions. Some farmers also find it difficult to replace aging animals.
At the national level there is a need for animal traction to help increase
agricultural production. However, as both animal and human populations
grow in numbers, there is increasing competition between the two for land
and other resources.

Plowing at the beginning of the rainy season is no longer advised.
Plowing has been demonstrated to increase yields but delayed planting
reduces yields so much that the advantages of plowing are not worth the
risk of planting being delayed.

Senegal has recently adopted a new research approach, placing farming
systems research teams in each region of the country. These teams are
identifying problems specific to each region and will work to test and
develop locally adapted solutions. This effort is only now beginning to
produce preliminary results.




The use of draft animals is a practice that dates from antiquity. In
Togo, it seems that the use of work oxen dates back to May 1900 when the
German Colonial Economic Committee invited a team of black American experts
from Tuskeegee (Alabama) Normal and Industrial Institute to help introduce
the use of oxen to local cotton farmers. Oxen appeared in the vicinity of
Kpalime in 1901 and were introduced to Sansanne Mango by 1908. Efforts to
expand the use of draft animals did not succeed because the average
Togolese farmer was not used to handling cattle. The promotion of draft
animals thus ended and this activity lay dormant until around 1960 when the
BDPA (Office for the Development of Agricultural Production) and the SORADs
(Rural Improvement and Development Company) initiated work oxen programs in
the Savanes Region. Their initiatives ended in a second failure, this time
due to inadequate health and technical follow-up.

From 1967 to 1970 the religious order of Dzogbegan, followed by the
Breme missionaries in Apeyeme, tried using draft animals on the Danyi
Plateau. These efforts were likewise failures.

In 1971, a few Peace Corps Volunteers based in Agbassa (Doufelgou
Prefecture) undertook to introduce work oxen to local farmers. This center
at Agbassa eventually became the DRDR-Kara training center administered by
the Draft Animals Project Kara-Savanes (PCA Kara-Savanes).

Around 1973, the Centre d'Animation Rurale (Rural Animation Center) of
Ayengre (CAR-Ayengre) made work oxen demonstrations a part of its program.

Several similar attempts to introduce work oxen were also sponsored by
SOTOCO starting in 1969 in the Bassar Prefecture but, here too, the oxen
teams disappeared before 1976 due to an inadequate infrastructure.

In 1976, PRODEBO (Project for the Development of Cattle Raising) was
created with, among other things, the task of promoting the use of work

A further impetus came with the failure of a motorized agriculture
project launched in 1977. It was found to have created problems for small
farmers without producing the anticipated results. The Togolese government
subsequently asked that a draft animal component, whenever possible, be
included in all agricultural development projects so as to give its food
self-sufficiency policy a better chance of success.


Today about 30 projects and organizations, both governmental and non-
governmental pursue animal power activities in the rural sector of Togo.

As examples, we cite:

1. Agricultural Intensification Project of the Savanes Region

2. Project for the Exploitation of the Kara Valley (FED-Kara).

3. Draft Animals Project Kara-Savanes (PCA-USAID).

4. Staple Food Crops Project Atchangbade-Sirka (PVAS-USAID).

5. Agricultural Development Project of the Central Region (DRDR-GTZ).

6. Regional Rural Development Administrations (DRDR).

7. Togo Cotton Company (SOTOCO).

8. Tami Center for Conmunity Organization (Dapaong Diocese).

9. Ayengre Center for Community Organization (MISEREOR).

10. "Maisons Familiales" for Rural Training.

11. Wli Center for Training and Rural Promotion.

Always mindful of the need to give draft animal programs a better
chance of success, the Togolese government created the Project for the
Promotion of Animal Power (PROPTA) in Decree No 10/MDR of September 3,
1982. This project succeeded PRODEBO.

Today there are at least 4,195 work oxen pairs across Togo. Their
distribution among the five economic regions in indicated by the table

Economic region Number of teams Percentage

Savanes 3,214 76.2

Kara 637 15.18

Central 257 6.13

Plateaux 55 1.31

Maritime 32 0.76

The fundamental key to the success of draft animal projects in Togo is
the political will shown by the 4th and 5th national councils of the RPT in
adopting animal power as the dynamic factor in Togolese agriculture.

This political will found concrete expression in the establishment of
the necessary administrative structures:

1. UPROMA: The Agricultural Equipment Production Center
The creation of UPROMA permits:

a. The timely acquisition of agricultural equipment for draft

b. The standardization of equipment design.

c. The improvement of agricultural equipment by adapting it to
local soils and animal types.

d. The acquisition of spare parts.

2. PROPTA: Project for the Promotion of Animal Traction.
As the monitoring and support organization, PROPTA's purpose is to
strengthen and invigorate efforts to promote the use of animal power in the
rural sector. It is principally responsible for:

a. Gathering and distribution of technical information concerning
the use of animal power and associated technologies.

b. Supply of draft animals as needed (farmers and projects may
also supply their own needs).

c. Coordination of health follow-up for draft animals in
collaboration with the responsible government animal health and
veterinary services.

d. Processing of purchase orders for draft animal equipment for
which it has a monopoly.

e. Evolution and improvement of draft animal equipment in
continuous consultation with its users.

f. Encouragement of extension service staff training in draft
animal technologies.

3. THE RANCHES: Adele, Namiele and Avetonou.
The government-sponsored ranches reinforce PROPTA's work oxen supply


Numerous extension programs across the country, some of which are
mentioned above, share the primary responsibility for introducing draft
animals into Togolese agriculture.


The growing awareness of Togolese farmers of the potential of draft animal
power is an equally important key to the success of draft animal programs.



With numerous projects and development organization in the rural
sector, animal power in Togo is experiencing a strong take-off.

From 1,040 oxen teams in 1978 to 4,195 teams in 1984, the use of work
oxen has increased an average of 525 teams per year for an average annual
increase of about 50 percent. Admittedly, the technical level of most of
the farmers using oxen teams can be improved; it is here in the area of
training that PROPTA can play a determinant role.




60 kilometers north of Kara
increasingly arid region of poor sandy and rocky soils


Project Kante Ferme (Kante Farm Project), Projet Nord/Togo (North Togo
Project), and Animal Traction Project/Kara/Savanes.

The above projects are all working on various extension efforts in this
region, focusing particularly on animal raising and draft animal farming.
At Adjaite there is a center of demonstration, training and animal raising
(small as well as large ruminants). A neighboring village of Soutr is the
site of cooperative animal production efforts (bovine) done by a collective
of male farmers in the area who in turn practice animal traction indivi-
dually. Female farmers are associated in small ruminant production

Group 1 made their first stop at the village of Kante about 50 km north
of Kara. The agro-climatic zone is not quite savanna with natural
vegetation still appearing green late into the dry season. Farmers in the
area had been cattle owners, but had always given their herds to Fulani
(Peul) to manage in the past. This was apparently an uneasy arrangement
and with the introduction of the animal traction project the farmers took
over management of the herd. There are several animal traction projects in
this area and we received conflicting and confusing stories about project
goals, monitoring and inputs. One of a pair of oxen had died with no
attempt to replace it by either the farmer or any project. The physical
facilities were excellent (paddocks, manure pits and barrages). The
farmers could recite project goals and objectives but did not seem to have
adopted the entire "package". The animals looked to be in good health.
The women had formed a cooperative and were raising sheep. They had
received 12 ewes and a ram, had purchased 24 additional ewes, and had a
current herd of 63. The ram was extremely overworked and exhibited signs
of a pulmonary-respiratory ailment.

Group 1 then visited the animal traction training center at Adjaite.
Again, we were impressed with the physical facilities but as there were no
farmers or oxen currently in training we only spoke about the training
program with the personnel there.

The last visit of Group 1 was to UPROMA, the implement factory outside
Kara. The factory's responsiveness, willingness and ability to respond to
requests for equipment manufacture and changes will greatly assist in the
supply of equipment for future of animal traction projects in Togo.



Located 50 kilometers northwest of Kara in the Kara River Valley.


Savanes Agriculture Intensification Project, FED (EEC)

This area of more fertile sandy soils is inhabited by displaced
mountain peoples under the direction of Project FED Kara. All
infrastructures are provided including draft animals and equipment. Visits
included animal and farmer training programs as well as with farmers
practicing various improved techniques such as improved pasture, one-person
draft work and traction by cattle.

The group visited an area 50 km northwest of Kara where farmers from
the hills were being resettled through Projet FED Kara, on reasonably flat
and fertile land, recently made free of river-blindness. Farmers have been
allocated approximately six ha of land, provided a small house, and
allocated pairs of draft animals and equipment, including plows, triangular
cultivators'and ox carts. Repayment schedules were established with nominal
interest rates. To date, about 300 pairs of draft animals have been
installed. The main crops in the farming systems are sorghum, maize,
cotton and groundnuts.

The first farmer visited was thoroughly convinced of the value of
animal traction, and he and his wife demonstrated the use of a cultivator
to break old ridges. They had recently bought a second pair of animals;
both pairs had their rough grazing supplemented with groundnut hay, and
seemed in good condition. Being among the more innovative farmers, they
had been provided with Stylosanthes seeds and had a good 1/2 ha stand to
graze animals on immediately prior to the plowing season. They used a
plow, ridger, harrow, triangular cultivator, seeder and cart. They were
enthusiastic about all items of equipment, including the seeder, although
they only used it for half a day a year, for sowing 1/2 ha of rainfed rice.
On the day of the visit an important bolt had broken on his cultivator, but
he was confident of obtaining repairs and spare parts with the help of the

The second farmer used cows for plowing. His animals were very small
and seemed to be in dangerously poor condition. Subsequent veterinary
investigations failed to demonstrate the presence of blood or gastro-
intestinal parasites. Thus, the poor condition was probably attributable
to malnutrition. However, the 13- to 15-month calves of these cows were in
excellent condition, although apparently maintained under the same
management system. Draft oxen on neighboring farms were also in good
condition, although they too were only grazing rough natural pasture and
crop residues. Despite their apparently poor condition, the farmer
intended to use his cows for plowing in the near future. He appeared
convinced of the benefits of animal traction, and his successful raising of


calves from his draft cows may have been his most profitable farm

A farmer training center was visited, where farmers train their animals
and learn the techniques for using various implements during a three-to-
four week training session at the start of their participation in the
program. Detailed discussions were held with project extension workers,
who were enthusiastic about the benefits of animal traction in the area.
However, they were concerned about the continuation of farmer services when
the present phase of FED funding ends.



20 kilometers southeast of Kara
1,100 to 1,400 mv/year rainfall


Project Nord-Togo (North Togo Project)

The zone of Landa is interesting for its integrated efforts at farming,
animal raising, and draft animal extension work. To date they have worked
with pure Zebu oxen and have had to develop an efficient health system in
order to ensure the health of the less trypanoresistant variety. Within
the health program is a system for extension of cotton seed and salt blocks
for the draft animals. On this visit the zone was having its annual cotton
sale, which exemplifies the effects of cash cropping in a traditional
farming system.

The group visited five farmers, one a Fulani, another a second-year
farmer and three "model" farmers who were trained as animal traction
extension workers. Their farms were a few kilometers southeast of Lama
Kara in the Togo Animal Traction Project area. The farms were relatively
flat, soils reasonably fertile and land seemed to be no constraint, with
much of it personally owned. Rainfall averaged 1,100 mm over a six month
period. Crops consisted of sorghum, millet, yams, groundnuts and cowpeas.
Families were small and labor had to be hired. Farm sizes ranged from 6 to
13 ha.

Examining the pre-conditions for project success, we found the
exogenous factors to include available mechanized equipment for farm
clearing; suitable soil texture and fertility; suitable conditions for
animal traction (except oxen were imported under the project and did not
seem as suitable as locally available cattle); a well-organized extension
service, using "model" farmers who after two years as extension workers
became full-time farmers and relied on project resources for their
operations. Access to roads and markets seemed good, custom hiring of ox
carts was practiced and a good potential existed for cash crops. Credit
was available for inputs, land preparation and equipment but not as one
package. Veterinary services were developed and suitable equipment and
spare parts were available at project headquarters. The animal traction
packages consisted of a moldboard plow, tine harrow, weeder and ox cart.
The rural development center provided some maintenance and there was a
blacksmith in the area. Water and pastures did not appear to be major
constraints. The high cost of the animal traction package, largely due to
the price of imported cattle, was identified as a problem. Of 20 farmers
identified as interested in animal traction only three entered the program
because of the initial cost. The three "model" farmers shared their labor.
The farmers seemed motivated and animals were culturally accepted in the
area. Of the five farmers participating in the project, four relied mostly
on the project for their resources.


Feed resources seemed adequate, except the supply of groundnut hay was
exhausted. We did not see the oxen to confirm the question of adequate
feed but from the obvious crop residues, grass and weeds, feed was not
likely a problem this year. Cotton seed and mineral mix were available and
one farmer was growing Stylosanthes but had a disease problem. Others
wanted to develop an improved forage program.

With respect to management of technology, we saw that animal health
care was extremely important and was provided by the extension agents but
paid for by the farmer. The farms were well kept and the animal holding
facilities adequate and in good repair.

It appeared that the technology was being adopted slowly but not fully.
For example, two of the farmers were not using oxen for weeding. We
questioned whether training had been sufficient to enable farmers to adopt
the whole package or whether the whole package itself was limiting wider
use. There appeared to be opportunities to increase use of oxen for
transport to increase the crop mix, to perhaps intercrop and to make better
use of manure.



12 kilometers southwest of Kara
Moderate rainfall of 1,100 to 1,400 mm/year
Hilly, rocky region southwest of Kara covers 60,000 ha
Crops: yams, cotton, sorghum, corn and groundnuts
Arable land in short supply because of terrain


Project Vivrier (Home Food Consumption Project)

The extension work in this area of soils with diminishing fertility has
been organized by Projet Vivrier through the use of Councils of Development
(CDs) which are farmer organizations formed to put development decisions
and initiatives in the hands of the people. The visit included a meeting
with one of these Councils followed by visits to members farms, some of
which are practicing integrated techniques of animal feeding and farm waste
recuperation. The training and demonstration center was also visited,
where model field waste, crop residue storage and pigeon pea experiments
are taking place.


Previous attempts to introduce animal traction failed. There are no
livestock traditions. Farmers are often afraid of the oxen.


A focus on food crops and community development has the objective of
providing a catalyst for self-development. From 1980 to 1985, 82 animal
traction units were placed. The project provides credit at 2.56 percent,
animal health care, farmer and oxen training and blacksmith training.


Resource levels vary. Land is a serious constraint. Access to
land is very important.


UPROMA is a recently established factory producing animal traction and
other appropriate technology equipment. Until it was established, projects
imported animal traction equipment from various sources. Orders were
small, expensive, often delayed and stocking spare parts was a problem
since they often were not interchangeable. Producing equipment locally
allowed equipment to be standardized, to be available on a timely basis and
made spare parts and repairs easier to provide. UPROMA-manufactured
equipment included: plow and multipurpose tool bar (triangular), two types

of harrows, carts of three different sizes, a hand push seeder, a manual
cornsheller and a handpump. The factory's main problem at present is an
inadequate sales and distribution system.


Farmers were not available to talk with the group until mid-afternoon
because of a communal fishing activity. The project director made a
general presentation on the project, followed by a visit to the oxen
training center and the blacksmith training center. Problems raised by
project staff included: farmers' fear of cattle, availability of animal
health services, a change in the credit system requiring a substantial down
payment and the availability of land.

The first farmer encountered was a partial adoptor, who wanted a cart
and seeder but found them very expensive. He had problems feeding his
animals in the dry season and paid a cattle merchant to immunize and help
care for his animals since the government-provided veterinary services were
not regularly available. The second farmer would only be getting an animal
traction unit this Spring, but expected the down payment and animal feeding
to be major problems. The third farmer was a very good animal traction
user even though he had adopted only four years ago. His major problem was
the availability of land. He plants two or three successive crops on each
field during the rainy season.

We also met part of the village Development Council which makes
decisions about and coordinates village development activities, including
requests for credit.

Figure 1. Map of Togo

Administrative Divisions in Togo, including the Project Zone

Figure 2. Map showing routes of four field visits.


1. Kantd
2. Broukou .......... ...................
3. Atchangbadd u.u.a***************
4. Landa-Pozenda ------


Although each field trip site differed from the others in a number of
ways, it is possible to identify 11 common points or problems which were
raised in all four reports.

1. Adaptation of equipment.

Generally, equipment is found to be fairly well-adaped to farmer needs.
There is a need, however, for appropriate peanut lifting equipment.

2. Supply of spare parts.

This does not appear to be a significant problem. UPROMA is doing a
good job of producing spare parts and local blacksmiths are also engaged in
the repair business for local animal traction farmers.

3. Cost of animal traction package.

Most reports noted the high cost of the unsubsidized animal traction
package. There is a need to know whether the cost of the package has now
gone beyond the means of the average farmer. There is a high initial cost
to the equipment; currently one-sixth of the total price or 240,000 CFA.
To afford the initial payment, farmers must have an animal traction cash
crop. In this region, cereal prices fluctuate too much to be a dependable
cash crop.

4. Animal supply and availability.

Most reports noted that animals are normally imported (Burkina Faso)
and therefore have both a high price and considerable health problems.
Future emphasis should be placed on using local animals.

5. Collective ownership.

This was not mentioned in all reports but was brought up as a potential
introduction strategy. Collective ownership may bring certain benefits,
but these may be overshadowed due to management problems collective
ownership brings.

6. Animal health.

In all cases the status of animal health is directly related to project
intervention rather than to any coordinated national effort. In the Brokou
report, it was noted that cows were thin and likely having health problems,
but elsewhere, animal health was generally good. The topic raises an
important question: should animal health continue to be so related to
project presence, or could the national animal health service be improved?

7. Animal feeding.

This topic generated a lot of attention and a number of ideas and
problems were raised. Two stand out, however. First, peanut haulms offer
a good potential source of feed, particularly beneficial due to its protein
quality. However, problems in successful storage and conservation of
haulms by farmers were underlined. Second, it was generally agreed that an
adapted leguminous cover crop could be a potentially beneficial
introduction into local rotation patterns. However, serious problems were
raised as to the real potential of such an introduction (such as
Stylosanthes sp.) given the difficulty in collecting or obtaining seed for
planting. It should be pointed out that to the visitors from more Sahelian
environments, the field trip areas seemed to have abundant feed resources
by comparison.

8. Animal care.

Lack of a livestock tradition among most of the farmers in the field
trip site areas suggests a generally poor understanding of animal care due
to inexperience. This points to the need for intensive training in animal
care and management as a basic component for any successful project.

9. Soil management/fertility.

While land availability was not noted as a major constraint in the
project areas visited, maintaining soil fertility is a continuing problem
and has not been adequately resolved. Manure is generally poorly utilized.
It should be kept in mind that animal traction without attention to soil
fertility maintenance may increase soil degradation.

10. Use of tillage techniques.

Generally, it was found that everyone plows but very few people weed.
Yet, weeding technology is where gains to the farmer have greatest
potential benefit. The introduction of animal traction is a long, slow
process. A project has to have a long time-frame (many estimate ten years
before benefits to farmers are seen), and must be able to deal with farmers
on at last three different levels at the same time: beginners, partial
adopters and advanced adopters.

11. Multiplicity of projects.

It is apparent that Togo in general, and the northern region in
particular, has numerous projects dealing with animal traction. The
multiplicity of projects and services seems to create confusion for
farmers, underscoring both the necessity of the Project for the Promotion
of Animal Power (PROPTA), and the difficulty this organization will face as
it develops its coordinating role.


There are 32 activities in Togo which include animal traction as a
major input to increasing agricultural productivity. These activities, the
primary sponsors and the specific area of concentration are summarized
briefly as follows (the USAID Culture Attelee Project (AIP) is not

1. Regional Rural Development Administration (DRDR) Savanes Region.
Government agency responsible for integrated rural development in the
Savanes region. It oversees the activities of the Draft Animals Project
(Projet Culture Attelee) and the FED-Savanes Project as well as providing
extension services to the work oxen farmers who participated in the former
Agricultural Development Office (BDPA) Project.

2. Togolese Cotton Company (SOTOCO)-Second Rural Development Project in
Cotton Areas (IDA). Set up to promote cotton nationwide, SOTOCO promotes
the use of draft animals throughout its operations.
3. Savanes Agricultural Intensification Project (FED-Savanes). Farmer
training in improved methods of cultivation and adapted inputs is promoted
through an outreach program that aims at ameliorating soil fertility to
sustain future agricultural production.

4. Draft Animals Project (PCA-USAID). Project set up to put into effect
a training program for work oxen, farmers, and technicians and for the
provision of oxen teams and equipment to farmers. It is a project that
operates in both Kara and Savanes.
5. Namiele Plain Production (UNIFOCO). Originally this project was a
private, agro-industrial project to develop the hydrological and rangeland
resources of a broad plain for cattle production, primarily for meat. The
project, in its third phase, is being integrated into the larger Ministry
of Rural Development Program and, in collaboration with PROPTA, will
produce oxen, improve village herds, and address environmental issues.

6. Social Affairs Service-Savanes. A multidisciplinary social service
agency; draft animals are part of a program to improve Togolese family
farming in the Savanes region.
7. "Maisons Familiales" Association. A French social assistance agency;
villagvillag-village, family-level improvement of living standards with an
accent on increasing staple food crop production. The use of draft animals
(oxen and donkeys) is a major emphasis. Five centers are located in the
Savanes region, several more are located in the Central region and one in
the Plateau region. Maisons Familiales in Akpare promotes the use of oxen
by women.

8. Rural Training Center at Tami. The Center trains young married
couples in all aspects of agricultural and rural economy, including animal
traction. The program was originated and is supported by the Diocese of

9. Community Organizing Center at Tabimong-Ogaro. Recently opened, this
initiative by the Diocese of Dapaong follows a similar program to that of
the Rural Training Center at Tami.

10. Catholic Community Organizing for Youth (JARC). Working with young
farmers in the seven districts of the Diocese of Dapaong, JARC has been
promoting the use of draft animals since 1968.

11. Regional Rural Development Administration (DRDR) Kara Region.
Government agency responsible for integrated rural development in the Kara
region. This DRDR was one of the innovators of oxen use in Togo and
currently oversees the activities of the Draft Animals Project, the FED
Kara Project and the North Togo Project.

12. FED Kara Project. A resettlement project initially, the program is
being integrated into the Togolese Government Development structure.
Animal traction has been a major component of this project from the outset.
13. North Togo Improvement Program-(UNDP). Now integrated into the
Togolese Development structure, the North Togo Program is a large,
integrated rural development project in the Kara region. The use of work
oxen is an important element of this program.

14. The Staple Food Crops Project of Atchangbade-Sirka (Entente Fund,
USAID, FAC). This is a rural community development project in the Kara
region. Village councils are organized to address the felt needs of the
village. Asistance is of the self-help form. The use of oxen is part of
the technological improvements encouraged by the project to lead to a
gradual, sustainable increase in the production of staple crops.
15. The Missionary Brothers of the Countryside at Massedena. A
religious order dedicated to helping the community with small projects, one
of which is the introduction of animal traction. Farmer Development
Councils are encouraged to determine choice of activities to be implemented
on a self-help basis.
16. Regional Rural Development Administration (DRDR) Central Region
(GTZ). Government agency responsible for the integrated rural development
of-he Central region. The rural development program, sponsored by the
West German government, has a major draft animal emphasis. Farm families
receive intensive training (as much as two years) in agricultural and rural
technologies at a training center. This program is currently in a two-year
evaluation phase.

17. Community Organizing Center (CAR)-Adjengre. Sponsored by the
Diocese of Sokode, the project promotes food self-sufficiency and
encourages young adults to engage in modern farming and the use of oxen.
18. Regional Rural Development Administration (DRDR) Plateau Region.
Government agency responsible for the integrated rural development of the
Plateau region. Its work oxen program is small and limited to its centers
at Nyamasilla and Notse.

19. Notse Rural Development (IFAD). This project is designed to help
develop the region east of Notse through a better infrastructure, improved
staple crop production, and through the production of cotton.

20. Community Organizing Center (CAR) at Danyi. Working with 15
villages in the Danyi Plateau, the CAR-Danyi has long promoted the use of
oxen in agriculture.

21. The Staple Food Crops Project of Notse-Dayes (PVND);(Entente Fund,
USAID, FAC). This project emphasizes the development of corn production on
old or marginal coffee and cocoa plantations. The use of tractors and oxen
are part of the program. This project inherited the extension service
component of PRODEBO, now PROPTA.

22. Rural Youth Center at Kpele-Govie. Sponsored by the Youth and
Sports Ministry, this project provides oxen training and technical support
to a group of young farmers.

23. Regional Rural Development Administration (DRDR) Maritime Region.
Government agency, formerly PRODERMA, responsible for the integrated rural
development of the Maritime region. Its technical service oversees the
limited draft animal program at the Todome Center.

24. French Association of Voluneers. The French Volunteer program, in
collaboration with the DRDR Maritime region, runs an animal traction center
at Todome (Badja). The center serves village groups in a ten km zone.

25. Catholic Mission at Togoville. The Catholic Mission in Togoville
has been active in promoting the use of oxen in agriculture since 1978.
From a cooperative format, the emphasis has shifted to that of an animal
traction school for selected farmers.

26. Rural Training Center at Wli. Sponsored by the Catholic Church,
this project has broad interests in promoting agricultural and
agro-artisanal industries in the region. The use of oxen and the
manufacture of oxen-drawn implements are features of the program.

27. The Observation and Rehabilitation Center at Cacaveli. This center
for the rehabilitation of juvenile delinquents employs oxen as part of its
agricultural training and familiarization program.

28. The Community Development Center at Togodo. Sponsored by the
Togolese National Political Party, the project is aimed at young adults who
are interested in a career in modern agriculture. The use of oxen in this
program has been highlighted on national television.

29. The Future Center at Kamina. A center for training young
delinquents in vocational skills; its section on modern agriculture
promotes the use of oxen.

30. The Livestock Research Center at Avetonou (CREAT). A German-funded
cattle breeding and research center dedicated to improving animals adapted
to the southern Togo environment. In addition to the oxen employed at the
center for on-farm transportation, CREAT has introduced a research and


production program to help provide improved oxen to the farmers of Togo's
southern economic regions.

31. National Agricultural Training Institute at Tove. The agricultural
training college provides technical education to Togo's young rural
development professionals and modern farmers. Training in work oxen
technology is playing an increasingly important role in this program.

32. The Opportunities Industrialization Center Togo (OIC-TOGO). This
American-sponsored initiative provides training in a broad spectrum of
agricultural and non-agricultural topics, one of which is draft animal



Group discussions aimed to identify conditions that could be considered
prerequisites for success in animal traction. Such preconditions were
broadly defined as exogenous, resulting from the environment in the
broadest sense (agro-climatic, social, economic and infrastructural
environments) or endogenous, being characteristics of the farm or farming
family. Questions were posed as to whether certain endogenous resources,
technical skills or management abilities were essential to the successful
adoption of animal traction. By defining such preconditions, it was
envisaged that some practical guidelines relating to successful adoption
criteria could be presented, through a farming systems perspective.

The success of any animal traction program will depend on a unique
combination of exogenous and endogenous factors specific to the area of
introduction. The principle factors affecting the adoption of draft animal
power differ not only between the different West African countries
represented, but even within countries, and within relatively small areas,
such as those of the various Togolese projects visited. While the broad
categorization into exogenous and endogenous factors can be useful, the
complex interaction of the two categories makes precise definitions
difficult. Recognizing the great diversity of conditions and the dangers
of generalization, some very broad observations can be made. These may be
considered under the broad headings of the profitability of draft animal
use, socio-cultural factors, knowledge, financial resources and the
availability of appropriate services. It is emphasized that these headings
are neither comprehensive nor discrete categories, and in any situation
there is a complex interaction of the various factors.


For animal traction to be viable, the use of the draft animals must be
either economically profitable or have distinct social benefits. In cases
where work animals are used solely for transportation, forestry operations
or for powering pumps or machinery, profitability will depend largely on
the availability of animals, labor and feed resources and the relationship
between operating costs and the income or benefits obtained. Farm
profitability depends on numerous complex and interacting criteria, but
when animals are used for crop cultivation the following prerequisites may
be defined.

1. Land.

Farmers must have reliable access to land of appropriate quality and
quantity. The minimum area of land will vary with cropping intensity and



Group discussions aimed to identify conditions that could be considered
prerequisites for success in animal traction. Such preconditions were
broadly defined as exogenous, resulting from the environment in the
broadest sense (agro-climatic, social, economic and infrastructural
environments) or endogenous, being characteristics of the farm or farming
family. Questions were posed as to whether certain endogenous resources,
technical skills or management abilities were essential to the successful
adoption of animal traction. By defining such preconditions, it was
envisaged that some practical guidelines relating to successful adoption
criteria could be presented, through a farming systems perspective.

The success of any animal traction program will depend on a unique
combination of exogenous and endogenous factors specific to the area of
introduction. The principle factors affecting the adoption of draft animal
power differ not only between the different West African countries
represented, but even within countries, and within relatively small areas,
such as those of the various Togolese projects visited. While the broad
categorization into exogenous and endogenous factors can be useful, the
complex interaction of the two categories makes precise definitions
difficult. Recognizing the great diversity of conditions and the dangers
of generalization, some very broad observations can be made. These may be
considered under the broad headings of the profitability of draft animal
use, socio-cultural factors, knowledge, financial resources and the
availability of appropriate services. It is emphasized that these headings
are neither comprehensive nor discrete categories, and in any situation
there is a complex interaction of the various factors.


For animal traction to be viable, the use of the draft animals must be
either economically profitable or have distinct social benefits. In cases
where work animals are used solely for transportation, forestry operations
or for powering pumps or machinery, profitability will depend largely on
the availability of animals, labor and feed resources and the relationship
between operating costs and the income or benefits obtained. Farm
profitability depends on numerous complex and interacting criteria, but
when animals are used for crop cultivation the following prerequisites may
be defined.

1. Land.

Farmers must have reliable access to land of appropriate quality and
quantity. The minimum area of land will vary with cropping intensity and

the value of the crops produced, and so will be highly area-specific.
Farmers with land areas below the critical minimum may still use animal
traction through systems of hiring or communal ownership.

2. Agro-climatic factors, soil conditions and availability of natural

Environmental conditions will determine if cultivation with draft
animals is feasible, and also whether or not it is profitable. Certain
exogenous characteristics such as steep slopes, insufficient rain or soil
and low fertility militate against animal traction. Availability of
natural pasture will depend on the climate and farming system. While
animals can be fed from specially grown forages or purchased feeds, the
introduction of draft animal technology is likely to be more successful in
areas of adequate natural pasture.

3. Labor.

Availability of labor is a critical endogenous factor affecting draft
animal use. Use of draft animals requires labor for cultivation
operations or transport, besides the care and maintenance of animals
throughout the year. The labor required may involve several members of a
farming household, or labor may be hired. The use of draft animals for
plowing l1rge areas can create labor bottlenecks at other times, for
example, at weeding or harvesting. If there is gender partition of farming
operations, which is common, the use of draft animals may decrease the
labor of one sex while increasing that of the other. The profitability of
animal traction will increase as more labor-saving operations are used.
Efficient management of operations and thorough training of cattle can save
labor, for example by having one person control a pair of oxen; but such
labor use is rare in West Africa. An important criterion is that the labor
required for care and maintenance should not distract from other important
farm operations.

4. Adapted animals.

For animal traction to be successful, adapted animals (those that are
disease-resistant or disease-tolerant) must be readily available. It is
stressed that, in village situations, adaptation is much more critical than
size. Thus the small trypanotolerant taurines of West Africa are
particularly appropriate as draft animals in areas of trypanosomiasis risk.
Not only must animals be adapted, they must be readily available, and ease
of purchase and resale is particularly important. The combination of
adaptation and availability will generally mean that indigenous animals are
used, and the use of exotic breeds or novel species is seldom likely to be
appropriate. Crossbreeding schemes are unlikely to make a significant
contribution to the success of draft animal programs, as they are generally
expensive and complicated to manage. There is a complex inter-relationship
between the importance of animal adaptation, the availability of animal
health services and systems of animal husbandry and nutrition.

5. Existence of adapted cultivation systems.

Successful animal traction requires proven systems of crop cultivation,

adapted to local agro-climatic and soil conditions. Before animal traction
is promoted, appropriate cropping systems should have been tested and
proven. In a few cases traditional cropping systems may be suited to
animal traction. More frequently, changes in fallow length and stumping of
land that are associated with draft animal use necessitate new crop
rotations or associations to maintain soil fertility.

6. Market for produce.

For animal traction to be successful, farmers must be able to sell
produce to pay for implements and other inputs. The use of the word "cash
crop" in this instance may be misleading, as farmers may be able to sell
the staple food crop to obtain sufficient income. Nevertheless, an assured
market for a high-income crop is particularly advantageous to draft animal
adoptors. The success of draft animal programs associated with cotton and
groundnut marketing operations is of particular note.

The price of the inputs-notably for animals, implements and services
required to maintain these-must be proportionate to the benefits gained.
In particular the value of the crops produced must be commensurate with the
overall costs of animal traction. Several case histories discussed in the
workshop illustrated the problems farmers face when offered expensive
equipment packages while the value of their production is low.


The social environment must be supportive of farmers adopting animal
traction. Previous knowledge of animal husbandry is not a prerequisite and
animal husbandry skills are not limited to certain ethnic groups.
Nevertheless, familiarity with animal husbandry is clearly advantageous.
The local population must be prepared to accept the principles of animal
traction so that individuals can learn the necessary skills. The
importance of status should not be underestimated, for animal traction may
be adopted even when apparently unprofitable if it confers enhanced social
status. The natural tendency of farmers to diminish their risks may be
significant, and the decision to adopt or not adopt animal traction may be
based on whether it is perceived as basically spreading risks, or whether
it makes the farmer more vulnerable to exogenous variables over which the
farmer has little or no control. The division of farming roles between
men, women and children in a farming society may influence the adoption of
animal traction. Investment in animal traction is more likely if the
investing heads of households have their own labor diminished, through the
use of the draft animals. It must be stressed that such socio-cultural
factors are not fixed, and can change with time. In addition to the
exogenous socio-cultural environment, the endogenous motivation of
individual farmers is a prerequisite for successful adoption.


Before farmers can adopt draft animal power, they must be aware of its
possibilities. This is an endogenous precondition. However, knowledge
comes through contact with external sources, by seeing other farmers using
animal traction, by hearing descriptions of draft animal use or from
specific publicity activities such as agricultural shows or demonstrations.


Adoption of animal traction involves considerable capital investment in
animals and equipment. Farmers must either have sufficient resources to
allow this investment or they must have access to a form of credit, which
could be provided through traditional, modern, commercial, governmental, or
NGO credit arrangements. Farmers already owning suitable animals require
much less capital or credit to enable them to employ draft animals. While
not a precondition, appropriate animal ownership is a marked advantage in
favor of successful animal traction adoption.


Successful adoption of animal traction requires the provision of
certain external services to support the farmer. These services may be
provided by other farmers and traditional expertise, by modern commercial
agencies or by governmental or NGO development agencies. It should be
stressed that governmental provision of these services is not a
precondition. Historically, the development of draft animal-use in Europe,
North and South America, Asia, and North Africa did not involve significant
government intervention or formal development projects. In these cases,
the diffusion of knowledge and the provision of training services, health
services, equipment and research and development activities have involved
traditional artisans, entrepreneurs and local initiatives. There is ample
evidence from the rest of the world, and even West Africa, that draft
animals can be introduced and sustained through private services, whether
traditional or modern. Animal traction technology frequently diffuses over
international boundaries, where it may be sustained without any direct
government-sponsored interventions. Farmers can provide their own research
and development, adapting their cultivation systems and equipment to find
ways of improving the technology. Nevertheless, throughout Africa animal
traction is being promoted by agricultural development projects and
government services. Short-term projects may speed the rate of adoption,
but in the long-term such activities are unlikely to maintain animal
traction if other preconditions, notably socio-economic profitability, are
not met.

1. Equipment, spare parts and repair services.

Farmers require access to appropriate equipment and maintenance
services. In many African countries appropriate animal traction equipment
is not readily available, and its provision may be a precondition to
successful introduction. The mere sale of such equipment is not
sufficient, however, for farmers must be able to readily obtain spare parts
and repair services when equipment fails. Village blacksmiths frequently
provide such services, and may be vital to the success of animal traction
programs, but they are frequently constrained by difficulties in obtaining
raw materials. Such a secondary factor can indirectly constrain draft
animal adoption through the restriction of a vital service.

2. Health, husbandry and nutrition services.

The degree to which farmers require animal health and nutrition
services, including husbandry and management advice, depends largely on the

ecological zone and the previous animal husbandry experience of the
farmers. In places of long term draft animal use, traditional skills and
resources have been used to provide management and health care. However,
many projects introducing animal traction have experienced high mortality
rates, often associated with the movement of animals, the use of unadapted
breeds or species and insufficient attention to nutrition factors. In.such
cases, the provision of appropriate animal health services is a
prerequisite. In particular, prophylaxis or treatment for trypanosomiasis
may be critical in much of West Africa. For the long-term viability of
animal traction, husbandry practices must be well adapted to the
environment, and, in general, greater attention should be given to
traditional systems of maintaining animal health.

3. Extension and training services.

In areas where animal traction is clearly beneficial, farmers will
obtain information and advice from other farmers, and may obtain assistance
in training through hiring the services of others with appropriate skills.
Thus the provision of government extension workers need not be a
precondition for successful animal traction adoption. However, in areas
where there is little experience of draft animal use, extension and
training services can speed rates of adoption, or can improve management
techniques, provided an adapted cultivation system has evolved or has been
developed. Inappropriate extension can actually retard farmer adoption, as
other farmers see the problems encountered by early adoptors taking
unsuitable advice.

4. Research and development services.

Preconditions for the success of animal traction include the existence
of appropriate cultivation systems, adapted equipment and suitable systems
for maintaining the health and nutritional status of animals. Such systems
come from adaptive research. Throughout the world, innovative farmers have
carried out their own research, and consequently, over time, have developed
highly adapted systems of draft animal utilization. Historically, in most
parts of the world, innovations in animal traction have been developed and
spread by progressive farmers, and not by government research bodies.
However, in many parts of Africa, proven systems of animal traction use
have yet to be developed, and in such cases the provision of appropriate
research and development services would be a precondition to any animal
traction program. Such research should start with the farmer, and should
be carried out on a multi-disciplinary systems basis. Studies focusing
only on one factor, such as equipment, nutrition, health, crop-rotations or
socio-economic factors are unlikely to meet.the necessary preconditions for
an appropriate, adapted system of draft animal utilization.


In any region, country or area there will be a unique combination of
endogenous and exogenous factors that will determine whether or not animal
traction is appropriate. Prior to any animal traction research or
development activity, a farming systems-based socio-economic study should
be performed to ascertain the various economic and social costs and
benefits of using draft animal power. Such a study need not be a

comprehensive baseline survey with statistical analyses; more subjective,
broad-based assessments can usually identify the major limiting factors.

Following such a study, it should be possible to decide whether or not
animal traction is socially and/or economically profitable. A note of
caution is required here, for experience from numerous West African animal
traction programs suggests that in many project appraisal documents, animal
traction has been said to be profitable, while subsequent evaluation
documents have highlighted the problems of unprofitability.

If the initial study indicates that animal traction is socially and
economically beneficial, then factors that are limiting the rate of
adoption or the efficiency of utilization can be defined. These factors
include land, agroclimate, labor, adapted animals, adapted cropping
systems, marketing opportunities, price equilibria, socio-cultural factors,
knowledge and financial resources or the provision of appropriate services
(see Fig. 3). One choice that can be made by the national government,
agricultural project or development agency is to allow the technology to
develop without intervention (which should be possible given its social and
economic profitability). The alternative decision is to intervene to speed
up the rate of adoption, or increase the efficiency of utilization. Such
intervention will inevitably involve costs, so emphasis should be placed on
the most cost-effective methods of intervention. This will almost
certainly mean concentrating resources on those factors which are seen to
be limiting. For example, if capital is limiting, then credit may be
required; if knowledge is limiting, then extension services may be
desirable; if animal health is limiting, prophylaxis may be indicated. It
may also be prudent to initiate farming systems research to identify
methods of further improving profitability and efficiency of utilization.
The result of such interventions should be increased rates of adoption
and/or improved efficiency of draft animal utilization. This is
illustrated schematically on the left-hand side of Figure 4.

If an initial study indicates that animal traction is not economically
or socially profitable given prevailing conditions, then a policy decision
is required by the national government, agricultural project or development
agency that will determine whether or not to intervene to change the
cost/benefit equilibrium of animal traction. If the decision is for
non-intervention, then animal traction is unlikely to be adopted, as
farmers will reject the technology due to its social or economic

If a policy of intervention is chosen, it will involve costs to the
government, project or development agency, and so resources should be
directed at the key limiting factors. For example, direct or indirect
subsidies can decrease farmer costs, farmer income can be increased by
changing pricing or marketing policies, or subsidized services may be
provided. Such interventions may then make animal traction profitable for
individual farmers, which can be confirmed by a reassessment of the
socio-economic study. If this is the case one re-enters the schematic
diagram (Fig. 4) at the point of profitability. Many examples of such
interventions exist in West Africa, where decisions taken at national or
project levels provide resources that alter existing cost/benefit
equilibria to make animal traction adoption possible. Such decisions may

be taken for social reasons, or more often in the belief that animal
traction will become profitable and self-sustaining once a certain level of
adoption is reached.

An alternative strategy, which may not be mutually exclusive, is to
initiate farming systems research with the aim of identifying improved
systems of utilization that can make animal traction socially and
economically profitable. Such research would be multidisciplinary, but
would concentrate on identifying limiting preconditions. For example, if
natural pasture was found to be limiting, research could concentrate on
systems of improving animal nutrition; if equipment costs were seen to be
critical, emphasis could be placed on developing less expensive equipment
or developing systems to improve the efficiency of equipment. Such
interdisciplinary research may result in more intrinsically profitable
systems of animal traction being identified, in which case, following
re-assessment, one re-enters the schematic model at the point of
profitability, as illustrated in Figure 4.


The diversity and complexity of farming systems makes it impossible to
provide a definitive list of preconditions for successful animal traction.
Nevertheless, some generalizations have been presented, and these fall into
five broad interacting categories: socio-economic profitability,
socio-cultural factors, knowledge, financial resources and the availability
of services. It is of particular note that several commonly held
perceptions of prerequisites are not considered as essential preconditions.
For example, previous animal husbandry experience, animal size, and the
provision of project or governmental services are not essential to the
long-term success of animal traction, although they may be important
factors in determining the speed of adoption. Using the principle of
limiting factors, a schematic model has been presented. The model is
necessarily simplified, for it represents extremely complex combinations of
interacting social, economic and environmental criteria, which are not
constant, but which evolve with time. However, it is intended that such an
approach may allow a farming systems research perspective to assist in
decision-making at the national, project or development agency level.




soil types,
of natural pasture
of natural pasture

availability of adapted animals
existence of adapted cultivation
market for produce
price of inputs relative to sale
price of produce
(equilibrium of costs and benefits)


land availability

labor availability


social acceptance

farmer motivation


information or examples





5. SERVICES (traditional, governmental or commercial)

a) equipment/spare parts/repairs
b) extension and training
c) animal health and nutrition
d) research and development




Study of farming systems) and -- --reassessment-
Identification of preconditions
and social costs and benefits

socially and econom-
ically unprofitable

definition of factors
limiting the social and/
or economic profitability

policy making decision
development agency

provision of services initiation of farming
or resources to increase systems research to
rate of adoption, or identify methods of
efficiency of ulitization improved utilization

laissez-faire policy
of non-intervention

policy of intervention
(involving costs) to
change pricing policy,
provision of services,
or availability of

animal traction
unlikely to be reassess
adopted socio-ec

initiation of farming
systems research to
Identify methods of
improving utilization
and socio-economic

ment of new
onomic profitability -



A major problem facing livestock in West Africa is feeding and
maintenance of animals, especially during the dry season and into the start
of the rainy season. Our charge was to discuss the major problems facing
livestock owners (particularly draft animal owners) and to come up with
viable short and long term solutions to the problems of animal feeding.


Four basic problem areas relating to draft animal feeding in West
Africa were identified :

1. Use of animals part time or full time;

2. Feeding programs ranging from no selective feeding through some
attention paid to feeding all year;

3. Tradition of livestock ownership and rearing; and

4. Feed availability, climate, land pressure, cultural biases, and
water availability.


Farmers having draft animals do not necessarily utilize them
continually or at the same level of work during the year. Some animals may
only be used for plowing, others for additional agricultural operations
(ridging, cultivating, harvesting, groundnut lifting, etc.) or for
transport and some animals are used for both agricultural work and
transport. While it appears obvious that the different work loads to which
animals are subjected would require different levels of feeding, it may or
may not be obvious to the animal owners. In a situation, for example,
where animals get no supplemental feed and are expected to obtain their
nutrient requirements from bush grazing: at the beginning of the planting
season a hard working animal may not have enough time in the day to graze
or may be too far from the bush to get to the grazing that is available.
As another example, a pair of oxen used for both agricultural work in the
rainy season and for transport in the dry season have different ration
needs at the different levels of work, and may require no more than a
minimum maintenance ration for the latter.


The range of feeding practices for draft animals goes from zero
selective feeding to some selective feeding year-round. In the more humid
areas of West Africa (e.g., Sierra Leone), biomass production on the
natural grasslands is more than adequate to meet nutritional needs of
livestock, including draft animals. In northern Togo, farmers practice

some selective feeding of their animals. Depending on resources available,
they may use cottonseeds or groundnut hay as additions to the natural
grasslands during the dry season. Farmers in semi-arid areas (e.g., The
Gambia, northern Senegal) use their draft animals almost all year,
primarily for transport. The animals are very important in the farming
system (i.e., valuable) and consequently are rarely left alone to graze.
They are fed either near the owner's compound or in the immediate vicinity
of the village. Owners must therefore provide for some sort of year-round
animal feeding.


Farmers now using animal traction in West Africa can be divided into
two broad categories:

1. Those farmers with only cropping experience who have never
owned large livestock and

2. Those farmers with livestock experience as owners or herders. In
this category are also:

a. Farmers who have managed animals for transport (donkeys,
horses, camels) but not for agricultural work; and

b. Farmers who have managed agricultural work animals
(usually oxen) but not transport animals.

Without going into even more categorical detail, the problems of animal
feeding would be seen from a different perspective by each category of
farmers. Crop farmers are presumed to have the least knowledge of animal
nutrition while those farmers who have owned only non-ruminants (donkeys,
horses, pigs, poultry) have a view of animal nutrition that would require
some modification.


Factors affecting feed availability for draft animals include:

1. Climate

2. Land pressure

3. Cultural biases

4. Water availability

This listing should not be interpreted as all-inclusive. Many other
factors also affect feed availability.

In semi-arid zones, a greater need exists for a fodder program. Long
dry seasons and usually sparse vegetation (less biomass) predicates a
supplemental feeding program. In semi-arid areas, there are more animals
per area despite the limited biomass resource, implying a relationship with
disease factors (less incidence of disease). In humid areas, with greater

biomass production and increased incidence of disease, less attention is
paid to feeding programs and supplemental feed.

Land pressure in West Africa manifests itself in several ways vis a vis
animal feeding. In a few countries urban and suburban areas have i lage-
population of transport animals with almost no access to grazing. These
animals rely entirely on purchased feeds of various natures.

Land pressure around village areas means that there may be little, if
any, land available in fallow or permanent natural grassland. No room
exists for pasture crops or the pasture areas are located far from the
village and work areas. Usually in West Africa there is no land ownership
by individuals. A farmer therefore has no incentive to improve the land,
to plant pasture or forage crops, or to make a dam or a well, when there is
no assurance that land will remain under his or her control in the next
season. Where usufruct rights (rights to use) to land exist for at least a
few years either by tradition or authorities, inability to control
migrating herds may still make land improvements uneconomical.

Areas which have no history of animal use may impose actual physical
barriers to feed availability in that access to grazing and watering areas
may not exist and the necessity for such passage may not be recognized or
honored. There may be a tradition of resentment or fear of livestock and
their owners, particularly seen in clashes between crop farmers and
transhumant peoples, that could also affect feed availability for other


While the problems were broken down into four areas specifically
related to feed availability and management, the solutions were more
systems-oriented and seen as vertical. Solutions were listed as:

1. The need for farmers to recognize the nutritional needs of their

2. The need for on-station and on-farm research on developing
better/more feed resources;

3. The need for information transfer to farmers via various channels;

4. The need to increase feed supply; and

5. The need to assess water and passage problems.


Farmers with no tradition of livestock rearing must have nutrition
information included when they are introduced to animal traction. Those
farmers already using animals and/or animal traction probably need more
detailed information on variation in nutrient requirements depending on
work load, season, availability of feed, etc.


Both on-station and on-farm research should continue to be supported by
national programs and donor agencies. The history of forage research and
techniques of crop residue management is very short in West Africa. While
researchers can certainly learn and apply results from the rest of the
world, it cannot be assumed that results will always be applicable to West
Africa. Research on testing of forage legumes, for example, has only begun
recently in many parts of Africa and in most cases the quantity of seed
available is too small to be used for other than experimental purposes.
Mechanisms for seed multiplication have to be established so that promising
varieties can be tested on farmers' fields.

On-station research must be kept closely tied to the real world of the
farmer. Experiments on silage-making or treating low-quality feeds with
chemicals to improve the digestibility are often of no more than academic
interest as the farmer is unlikely to be able to afford the resources
(forage chopper, alkali, etc.) to produce such feeds. Even research on
management of crop residues (stocking, stacking, storing) may seem low-cost
if the labor required to cut, stack, and transport is not taken into

Agronomic research on forages and feeds is a long-term prospect and the
questions to be answered may seem infinite. Caution must be taken to avoid
trying to answer all questions in one experiment in the rush to get
information to the farmer. The urgency exists but it should be tempered
with sound scientific reasoning.


Farmers can receive information on animal feeding and nutrition through
several channels:

1. Extension and research staff;

2. Mass media;

3. Farmer organizations; and

4. Other farmers.

The research and extension staff may need training themselves in animal
nutrition especially in areas where draft animals have recently been
introduced. In FSR/E, links are presumed to exist between research and
extension staff but not all projects have an FSR/E focus and not all
projects have such linkages. These linkages should be encouraged at the
national level in order for extension agents to pass information on to
farmers and for farmers to be able to tell researchers (via the extension
agents) their reactions to the new research.

In West Africa, radio can be a powerful tool for extending information
to farmers. Newspapers are less likely due to their urban focus,
distribution pattern, and the illiteracy of the rural population,
especially among women.

Farmers clubs, committees, and organizations are other useful means of

communicating information. In areas where extension programs are
non-functional due to lack of mobility, a surprising amount of information
still manages to get around. Ideally, of course, regular meetings of
extension and research staff should be held with farmers' groups not only
to pass along information but to answer questions and clear up possible


Mechanisms for increasing the feed supply are many. They may be
location specific, but often are not, and can be used not only for draft
animals but for other ruminant livestock as well.

1. Encourage the farmers toward better storage and management of crop
residues already produced. In most instances, after harvest
residues are left in the field for animals to eat but a high
percentage of the residues are wasted because of trampling and
scattering. Not all residues could or should be stored because in
the typical low-resource farming system, residues and manure provide
the only organic matter/fertilizer for maintaining soil fertility.
Some of the residues could be stored and saved; the rest left
scattered in the field. The former is a key issue as farmers
generally let their animals graze the croplands right after harvest
when the natural grasslands are still highly productive. Saving
some of the crop residues would extend the feed supply longer into
the dry season.

2. Since the use of animal traction allows the farmer to increase crop
acreage, there should be more crop residues produced and, hence,
more feed available.

3. With increased acreage due to animal traction, the farmer could
produce more of certain crops with dual purposes, e.g. groundnuts as
a cash crop and groundnut hay.

4. In humid regions, cut-and-carry supplemental feeding of locally
adapted grasses (e.g. Napier) could be a cost-effective means of
feeding draft animals.

5. Another location specific source of feed is the cutting of grass to
make hay (e.g., Andropogon in The Gambia) or making silage in small
pits or containers (e.g. northern Ghana).

6. A sensitive issue is the improvement of fallow and grazing lands.
Technically, it can be done but the questions of land tenure and
resource availability (including farmer knowledge and willingness,
seed, fertilizer, herbicides, etc.) make this problem a very
difficult one for which to provide generalized solutions.

7. Nigeria, notably, has been experimenting with alley cropping, fodder
banks and living fences. This research is in the pre-extension
stage and seems to be applicable to the more humid regions of West

8. After the first or second weeding of a cereal crop (maize, sorghum,
millet), a legume intercrop could be seeded to provide either a
legume hay or grazing for the next dry season. Seed would have to
be readily available (e.g., cowpeas) and inexpensive so the farmer
would have some motivation for doing the extra work. Preliminary
results with relaying Stylosanthes in The Gambia (seed is not
commercially available) indicate that the legume can provide-grazing
midway through the dry season and that the re-seeding and presence
of the legume could be beneficial to the next season's cereal crop.

9. The feed needs of urban transport animals has already been
discussed. In northern Senegal, for example, entrepreneurs travel
as far south as The Gambia or Casamance to purchase groundnut hay,
primarily for horses. Production of groundnuts as two cash crops
(nuts and hay) could become economically very interesting to rural

10. Most of the cash crops produced in West Africa (cotton, goundnuts)
produce by-products. If these are not also exported, the
agro-industrial by-products could be an important source of feed for
draft animals. In Togo, for example, trucks travel throughout the
country collecting cotton. Generally empty trucks leave the
factories en route to cotton sellers. The trucks could carry
cottonseed to the farmers rather than traveling empty. A problem
with this very practice occurred in Southern Mali where farmers
routinely purchased cottonseed for livestock feed and were left with
a major gap in their feed supply when suppliers began to export the


Access and availability of water is a political-ecological issue. More
boreholes means more livestock, especially in semi-arid zones where
existing vegetation cannot support current herd levels. Water issues were
not discussed except as related to passage rights. When farmers begin to
see the benefits of animal traction, especially access to transport of
crops to market, water and passage rights may be increased to allow draft
animals to get to grazing areas and watering holes and to allow for
road-widening so that carts can pass.




A major concern expressed by the group was the paucity of examples of
and experiences with on-farm trials involving animals. The FSSP Livestock
Task Force identified this as an area of need and as a result the FSSP, in
cooperation with the International Livestock Center for Africa (ILCA), has
been encouraged to co-sponsor a workshop in Africa on this specific subject
June 23-28, 1985. A few cases of on-farm research in which animals are
involved can be cited but most research with farm livestock has been done
on research stations without being tested on farms. Some research is
underway on draft animals in West Africa where feed, equipment, types of
animals and other interventions are being tested but the results are
preliminary and the methodologies involving livestock illustrates to some
degree the difficulties and problems encountered in conducting integrated
animal-crop research, particularly from the farming systems perspective.
While the interdisciplinary approach is basic to FSR/E, the tendency has
been to exclude the animal component because it complicates the analysis or
seems complicated by its very nature.


The animal itself is a complex biological system which involves such
parameters as health, nutrition, genetics, reproduction and behavior, any
one or combination of which lend themselves to possible interventions.
Also the multiple uses to which animals are put complicates the issue. For
example, some bovines are used primarily for draft purposes but ultimately
also for meat. Others are kept for only meat and/or milk. Despite all
these factors which can make for a complex situation when one looks at the
animal within the farming systems context, the group agreed that it should
direct its efforts toward the principles of on-farm experimentation,
leaving the details of design and statistical snalysis to the researchers
who will have to develop these for any given intervention.


Dr. Zandstra's remarks in his keynote address provided the background
for the group's discussion. He pointed out that good farming systems
research methodology is applicable to livestock in mixed farming systems.
As characteristic of all farming systems research, each trial must respond
to the farmer's needs, which have been identified by the researchers during
the diagnostic phase. For example, the objective might be to identify a
way of providing more fodder (through introduction of a forage crop) for a
pair of oxen at the end of the dry season in order to improve their
condition for the oncoming plowing season. At the same time the technique
of conducting forage trials on a nearby research station or extension farm
may be necessary where different forages or forage systems (crop rotation)
are being explored and the variables measured. On-station oxen trials,
paralleling those on farms, can provide supporting information. From the

on-station information the most promising intervention can be tested on
farms. Feedback from the farm trials will help the researcher in his or
her station experimentation. Also, it is important for extension personnel
to be informed and involved in both the on-station experimentation and the
on-farm trials.

The important concepts of on-farm trials may be outlined as follows.
The participation of different disciplines is of great importance. In the
example above, the need exists for an animal scientist, agronomist and
agricultural economist working together from the planning through the
completion stages. Starting with a clear definition of the objectives, the
trial must include the variables to be studied (time of planting, time of
feeding, amount of feed consumed duration of feeding, etc.). Then the
measurement methods need to be determined (weight or estimated volume of
forage grown; body weight or body measurements and/br body condition scores
of oxen; endurance recovery periods of oxen measured over time).
Regardless of what measurements are used, it is important to limit them to
only key measures and keep them as simple as possible. Though subjective,
much information can be gained from recorded observations of changes in
animal feeding, working and behavioral patterns.

The sample and design phase of on-farm trials requires the designation
of the experimental unit (perhaps a 1/2 ha field for forage production, or
a pair of oxen for the animal unit). The number of replications for the
suggested trial should be a minimum of six farms, each with a pair of oxen
and a similar area of forage production; and another six farms identified
as the control or check farms which represent the traditional system.

A schedule of measures plotted over a given period of time will enable
the researcher to plan and to secure data in a timely manner. Forage
supplementation would likely occur during the last one or two months of the
dry season and for the first month of the rainy season (with the schedule
determined by on-station trials or the best judgement of the researchers).
A minimum of one year duration, completing a normal yearly cycle, is
recommended for a forage oxen trial as described here. Second and even
third year trials should be considered as a means of confirming the
intervention and measuring year-to-year effects.

Careful selections of cooperators must be stressed, as they are the key
to successful on-farm testing. Researchers will have to rely on the
judgement of extension agents, other farmers or area leaders plus
information gained from interviewing farmers and from the diagnostic

In the execution and monitoring of on-fam trials, the
researcher/extension worker will need to develop a good relationship and
understanding with farmers. This is done by getting their confidence
through visiting farms at frequent intervals; keeping farmers informed of
progress and results on their farm and on others' farms; holding key field
days; and in general by conveying an attitude of caring, concern and
helpfulness. It is important for the person in charge of on-farm testing
to make sure the exact treatments are implemented, and, particularly with
livestock, that careful monitoring is done on the feeding, working
schedule, and general health and condition of the oxen.

The farmer must be protected against undue risks as a result of
participating in the trials. In cases where animals can be adversely
affected by a treatment, the farmer must be assured against personal loss.
Project resources are often used to make up any losses accruing from

Insofar as data collection and analysis are concerned, the person in
charge of on-farm trials will need to develop field and animal plans and
appropriate forms on which to record data and other observations. With
some animal feeding and management trials, high costs and operational
complexities dictate that careful and exhaustive analyses be done. In
addition to establishment of treatment differences, the analyses should
stimulate the impact of the partial results on the whole production system
(for example, the effect of improved oxen nutrition on the farm production
system). For the first level of analysis, generally simple analytical
methods are used. It is important that as many non-treatment effects as
possible be removed by statistical analysis.

Finally, economic analyses are conducted by using a partial budgeting
procedure to compare treatments. In the case of a forage oxen trial it
will be necessary to assess the costs and benefits of this intervention on
the whole farm. In the process, conflicts between resources (labor, other
crops) will be identified and qualified in economic terms that can be
related to the farmer.



What management (technical) capabilities does a farmer need to use a
technology like animal traction to advantage? What information or training
should be provided to help facilitate adoption?

This group focused very strongly on problems at the farm/farmer level.
Initially there was a tendency to assume that the technology and project
recommendations were all adapted and appropriate and that farmers who did
not use the technology as recommended were poor managers. This created
a lot of discussion, which caused the group to refocus their presentation
and look at the responsibility of projects to adapt a technology so that it
responds to the needs and constraints of local farmers. Information must
be readily available or training provided in order for farmers to learn to
use a technology quickly and well.

Some of the potential solutions to resolve problems of management of
technology at the farm level are given below.


The group decided that adaptive research and extension at the farm
level using the FSR/E approach would be helpful in developing systems which
satisfy farmers needs. Farmers need a mix of food and cash crops
appropriate to their conditions, both technical and socio-economic as well
as agro-climatic. New adopters require several years to learn to use a new
technique effectively, whether it be plowing, weeding or using fertilizer.
Effective management of a number of techniques combined in a package
requires even longer. Farmers who do not have the high technical level
necessary to profitably produce a crop like cotton need an alternative cash
crop until they obtain the necessary technical skills. The crop mix may
also need adjustments to include the production of some forage for dry
season feeding. Crop diversification makes it easier for farmers to find
the means to meet their own needs.

Certainly the integration of livestock into the farming system can make
an important contribution to helping farmers maintain soil fertility.
Including crop residues in manure or compost and returning them to the
field can have an important impact on soil structure and fertility and
reduce the need for purchased fertilizer. In most cases, the use of
fertilizer or manure should be considered for a whole rotation, rather than
on a per crop basis. A rotation which includes an element which could be
plowed under as green manure would be good, but it is difficult technically
and socially in West Africa. Cropping patterns may also require adaptation
before some animal traction techniques can be used. Monocultures have
traditionally been recommended to facilitate the use of animal traction
weeding, ridging, etc. Planting intercrops between plants in the row
(rather than between rows) will also allow animal traction weeding, without
greatly disturbing a useful crop association. Relay cropping can also
improve land productivity without impeding the use of animal drawn

equipment. Flexibility is important. Not every crop or field on a given
farm has to be weeded and ridged using animal traction in order to reduce a
labor bottleneck. Certain crop associations may be worth keeping even if
they interfere with animal traction field activities.

The final point raised under general farm management is the need for
farmers to replace aging oxen and perhaps equipment. Farmers should be
trained to recognize the need to replace animals and equipment, and
encouraged to set aside money over time so they have the means to do so.


Farmers need to accept limits on the amount of time oxen work so that
the oxen's health is not compromised unnecessarily. A reasonable rule of
thumb might be four to five hours a day. This also applies to farmers'
groups. One group contacted on the field visits had worked 22 ha over a
short period with one pair of oxen. One of the oxen died while working.
Projects must look carefully at the relationship between needs and means
and be aware of the information needs of farmers with no cattle raising
traditions, i.e. potential causes of animal abuse.

On the other hand, many farmers also need to use their oxen more during
the non-cropping season. Partial adopters who only plow may use their oxen
only two or three weeks a year. Weeding with oxen will extend their use to
several months. Carting activities are particularly interesting because
they continue all year long. Unless oxen are used regularly throughout the
year, they will have to be retrained each rainy season as field activities
commence. Carting may improve the farming system if used to haul crop
residues off the fields and manure or compost back to the fields. It can
also help reduce the transportation constraint at harvest. Carting will
help with other family needs like hauling wood and water. If carts are not
numerous in a village or region, carting for others may provide some cash
income. In some areas, oxen are be used for activities like irrigating,
pumping water or powering grinding mills.


In many areas farmers do not have experience herding and caring for
cattle themselves. These farmers in particular need in-depth training on
animal health, care and feeding. This should probably be a precondition to
adoption. The extent of such training must be related to farmers'
experience with livestock. Knowledgeable farmers may also contribute to
such training.


Animal feed resources may be available in surplus over much of the year
but feed shortages may occur, particularly during the dry season, for three
to five months. One method of trying to balance feed availability over the
year is to save crop residues for dry season feeding. Usually animals have
more than adequate grazing at harvest time so they do not need the crop
residues. If left lying in the field much of the crop residues will be
trampled and wasted, if not completely consumed by termites, etc.
Collecting these crop residues will be difficult unless carts are


Many farmers do not keep crop residues such as cowpeas and groundnut
hay until the dry season because of difficulties in preserving them. Often
it is still raining when these crops are harvested, so without drying and
some form of preservation they will mold unless used quickly. Drying is
usually possible even during the rainy season, but simple means of
preservation need to be found. In some areas they are piled on top of
shelters, but the quality often suffers. Storage in empty huts is
effective and requires no investment if one is available. Thatch shelters
or shelters covered with grain stalks would offer protection for hay or
legume residues. Drying tripods have also been used successfully in some
areas. Farmers generally have not adopted pit silos because of storage
problems encountered unless the grass is cut quite fine. The high labor
requirements of cutting grass preclude adoption of the technology.

Relay planting of legumes for harvest after the rains can also help
resolve the problem of preservation.


Farmers should have the opportunity to observe the use of different
tools. Whenever possible this should be done by observing other farmers in
the area who use the different tools well. Potential adopters can then
talk with farmers who use the tool effectively to learn more about how it
might be useful to them. In this manner they can make up their own mind
about what equipment to purchase and use. Equipment which is not used does
nothing to improve the farmers productivity and is a useless investment.
Projects should focus their efforts on helping farmers decide what
equipment to use rather than insisting that they buy a full set of
equipment and assuming it will be used.

Project personnel should make sure that farmers know how to use and
adjust equipment correctly, once purchased. Any tool needed to adjust
equipment must be readily available. Training on the proper use and
adjustment should accompany the sale. Extension agents must themselves
know how to use and adjust equipment to be of any help to farmers.


Farmers also need to be trained in the proper maintenance and care of
equipment. Equipment should be sheltered, particularly during the rainy
season, to protect it from rust. Proper cleaning and oiling of equipment
should be demonstrated. Farmers should also be trained to recognize when
parts need to be replaced, particularly plow and cultivator points. It is
much cheaper to replace points on time than have to replace other parts
because there were no points to protect them.



The charge for group five was to identify evaluation criteria that
would be more appropriate than the number of animal traction units placed,
and to consider the principle of identifying evaluation criteria as part of
on-going project monitoring rather than a priori as part of project design.


This group had great difficulty finding a common starting point
acceptable to all members. The group included individuals who are involved
in evaluation at three different levels, each wanting to focus on the level
appropriate to their work. One was interested in the type of monitoring
which would allow the identification of aspects of an ongoing animal
traction program which were not functioning effectively so that the program
could be re-directed to be more successful. A second was involved in over-
all project monitoring and evaluation, where animal traction is one of a
number of components. This person wanted to start with project objectives,
establish evaluation criteria based on those objectives, and develop a
monitoring program which would collect the data necessary to use these
evaluation criteria. A third person was involved in evaluating 20
different animal traction projects in a country with the objective of
determining what each project is doing concerning animal traction and
trying to coordinate and harmonize credit, provisioning of animals and
equipment etc. across projects.

The group found it very difficult to agree on a starting point because
of the varying needs of these three different levels of evaluation.
Finally, it was agreed that the group would begin with the lowest level of
analysis, i.e., that which was most directly focused on animal traction
programs and the type of monitoring useful to project managers to redirect
those programs over time so they would be more effective. The group would
then try to build upward toward project evaluation and evaluations across
different projects.


A general objective or purpose for the use of animal traction also had
to be agreed on before additional progress could be made. The objective
agreed on by the group was: to increase production in a manner that
permits repayment of any credits related to the purchase and use of animal
traction technology without any decrease in the farm family's standard of
living. It was felt that this combined the social objective of increasing
production while considering the minimum short-run objectives of the farm


Turning back to evaluation, it was agreed that the basis of an
evaluation must be a comparison with the situation which existed prior to

the introduction of the project or program. This led to a discussion of
how to get information on a situation prior to project influence. A number
of persons in the group mentioned that no such information had been
collected in their project, making evaluation very difficult. It was
quickly agreed that traditional baseline studies requiring one or two years
of detailed surveys are not an effective means of getting the necessary
information. However group participants did not have easy answers to
define the alternatives. It was specified that those activities or factors
recognized as preconditions for the adoption of animal traction should be
monitored. Some of the information group participants agreed it was
necessary to know the situation prior to project influence, and which
should also be monitored over time included:

1. The availability of family labor

2. The effectiveness of animal health services

3. The availability of arable land and the manner in which it is used

4. The availability of water and feed resources for livestock

5. Technical level, use of: weeding, fertilizer, carting, etc.

6. Marketing of produce

7. Access to production inputs: credit, equipment, spare parts,
fertilizer, etc.

8. The effect of animal traction on the environment: physical; social
(women, children, intra-household effects)

9. Evaluation of extension service available to farmers and the content
of any training provided

10. Regular surveys of production statistics


This combination of factors to be used in both monitoring and
evaluation led to some confusion of the two. It was decided that
evaluation could be defined as an analysis of the situation or project
results at a given moment in time. Monitoring was defined as follow-up on
the application of a program or strategy. A precondition for monitoring is
establishing a well-defined program or strategy and taking account of the
activities necessary for its execution. Monitoring should consist of the
systematic collection of data over time, as well as brief studies of a
specific program. Such information may be applied either to redirecting a
program to make it more effective or to an evaluation of the results from a
specific program and its contribution to the project. Information which
would be collected on a systematic basis includes:

1. Area cultivated

2. Crops and crop association

3. Yields (recognizing that these are difficult obtain)

4. Revenue and expenditures (recognizing that these are unlikely to be
complete and are affected by consumption)

5. Use of production inputs: fertilizer, manure, improved seeds, etc.

This is the type of information that is objectively verifiable in
principle. It should be collected by farm type or by farming system,
noting the specific need to compare manual farms with farms using animal
traction and with motorized farms using tractors. Most members of the
group agreed that an evaluation should be based on objectively verifiable
results, i.e., analysis of production related statistics and how they have
changed over time. It was agreed that in most cases these statistics would
have to be collected by the projects, although there was discussion as to
whether or not this could be added to the extension agents existing tasks.

Short-term, specific studies are a necessary complement of systematic
monitoring. Examples might include a status report on soil structure or
interviewing participants in a training program to learn if the training
has been effective. The evaluation of animal traction requires both
systematic monitoring and short-term specific studies. Evaluation of the
adoption of a- technology such as animal traction should be done over the
long term, i.e. 10 to 15 years.


Only one person in the group had participated in a farming systems
orientation. The principle of developing evaluation criteria following the
identification of problems during the diagnostic phase of FSR/E was
presented. The group generally agreed with this principle. In practice,
however, most of the group was interested in developing a system of
monitoring which would provide the data for evaluations specified a priori
during the design of their project.

The use of rapid reconnaissance techniques complemented by very
specific and restricted formal surveys was also discussed. Most of the
group, having no farming systems research experience, found it difficult to
understand how these techniques could be used as the basis for an
evaluation. They found it difficult to imagine how such procedures could
provide the objectively verifiable data they believed necessary for an

On-farm systems research was also discussed briefly. Participants from
projects were very skeptical of the utility of research on farms until they
became convinced that it would be similar to extension with an
experimentation component (recherche d'accompagnement).




There appears to exist quite an exciting potential to increase
production in the region as the result of good, problem-oriented on-farm
research. There are a number of possibilities and potentials for
alternative technologies to increase yields and productivity.

Secondly, much of animal traction research can be conducted with
farmers even though there are problems of design. Researchers should not
be dismayed by the problems, but should initiate modest activities with
farmer-cooperators in on-farm trials. A learning process is started by
practicing on-farm research.

The rate at which animal traction research will develop in West Africa
will depend on how effectively you can share your experiences with each
other. Tnere is no need for everyone to go through the same trial and
error process. Share your experiences in the future. This will help you
as a group to develop the required methodologies for effective on-farm
research in animal traction and livestock production areas. There is a lot
of value in continuing to have this kind of networkshop in the future.
What the workshop should be like is a personal opinion. The workshop
should be very specific and stick to two or three narrowly defined topics.
One might be on-farm field techniques for the comparison of alternative
equipment. Other possible topics include: How can we measure feed
availability accurately over the year in a manner which is low cost and
uses minimal staff? How do we evaluate alternative animal health
protection measures? There are costs associated with animal health and
there may be cheaper, alternative ways of ensuring that animals remain
healthy. What methods can be used to monitor animal traction farmers as
part and parcel of an ongoing research program, which will allow an
analysis of the problems and responses of the farmers. This kind of
analysis should continually address some of the assumptions that
researchers and designers of development projects have made. These
assumptions can be evaluated as one develops a better data base.

The objectives we should stress are learning together and developing
the methodologies that are needed. Much of the effort will have to come
from you, the West African scientists involved in this area of animal
traction related research. Many of these techniques depend on the
availability of staff and the structure within which an individual works.
On-farm work must be adjusted to those conditions. Often there are
techniques that are transferable despite differences in personnel structure
and financial capabilities.

I certainly owe a particular word of thanks to the organizers of this




There appears to exist quite an exciting potential to increase
production in the region as the result of good, problem-oriented on-farm
research. There are a number of possibilities and potentials for
alternative technologies to increase yields and productivity.

Secondly, much of animal traction research can be conducted with
farmers even though there are problems of design. Researchers should not
be dismayed by the problems, but should initiate modest activities with
farmer-cooperators in on-farm trials. A learning process is started by
practicing on-farm research.

The rate at which animal traction research will develop in West Africa
will depend on how effectively you can share your experiences with each
other. Tnere is no need for everyone to go through the same trial and
error process. Share your experiences in the future. This will help you
as a group to develop the required methodologies for effective on-farm
research in animal traction and livestock production areas. There is a lot
of value in continuing to have this kind of networkshop in the future.
What the workshop should be like is a personal opinion. The workshop
should be very specific and stick to two or three narrowly defined topics.
One might be on-farm field techniques for the comparison of alternative
equipment. Other possible topics include: How can we measure feed
availability accurately over the year in a manner which is low cost and
uses minimal staff? How do we evaluate alternative animal health
protection measures? There are costs associated with animal health and
there may be cheaper, alternative ways of ensuring that animals remain
healthy. What methods can be used to monitor animal traction farmers as
part and parcel of an ongoing research program, which will allow an
analysis of the problems and responses of the farmers. This kind of
analysis should continually address some of the assumptions that
researchers and designers of development projects have made. These
assumptions can be evaluated as one develops a better data base.

The objectives we should stress are learning together and developing
the methodologies that are needed. Much of the effort will have to come
from you, the West African scientists involved in this area of animal
traction related research. Many of these techniques depend on the
availability of staff and the structure within which an individual works.
On-farm work must be adjusted to those conditions. Often there are
techniques that are transferable despite differences in personnel structure
and financial capabilities.

I certainly owe a particular word of thanks to the organizers of this

project, Susan Poats and John Lichte, who labored beyond the call of duty
to make my stay here highly productive.


On Monday morning we presented an overview of the week's activities.
This overview was like a map showing where we wanted to go during the week.
We hoped that we would be able to follow directions and stay on track. In
some respects we have gotten to our destination. In other respects we may
have decided some destinations were not appropriate. But I think, in
general, we progressed through what we set out to do. I would like to talk
about where we came from in the perspective of someone participating, but
also watching others.

On the first day we came together, many of us not knowing each other.
We were a long ways apart. We represented several countries, both African
and non-African. We had a lot of different opinions, some of which were
also far apart. But one of our objectives was to at least lay them all out
on the table through presentations and exchanges.

The second day was the field trip. It served to bring the group closer
together. Participants were placed in small groups to talk to people. You
probably did more talking within the group than with others, but still the
procedure brings the understanding of individuals closer together (and the
parts in our puzzle of information begin to line up).

The third day began with the field trip reports. Part of that
reporting experience began the day before, working in small groups to
prepare the reports. Again, it served to bring us closer together in terms
of concepts and terminology so we could communicate, even if opinions still

On day four, we spent most of the day in different small groups.
People from field trip groups were reorganized into five different groups.
But we continued the process of exchange and relaying information. Our
objectives became clearer as we were forced to identify problems, lay them
out on paper and explain them to each other. The focusing continued.

On Friday we narrowed the gap still more. We reached more agreement
about where we had been and where we were going. Taken all together, this
process could be seen as resembling a "funnel", wide apart in the beginning
and slowly narrowing our collective vision to focus on the task at
hand and the subject of concern to all of us. The process has served as a
tool, much as a microscope serves a scientist. It has helped us in
defining our own objectives more precisely, and in developing and coming to
a consensus on some methodologies which might be useful. But the process
does not end there. Now the task at hand is to use the vision and clarity
achieved at this point to take another look at where we might go and what
we might achieve in the future. It is not possible to resolve all of the
problems in five days. It is probably accurate to say that there are still
many questions, and certainly things still hanging, unresolved. And there
should be. We should not be able to solve everything here. We hope that
our conceptual framework and methodology will help you to deal with these

remaining unresolved issues. The lists of problems and the solutions or
strategies generated this week provide a focus for the future tasks we will
have before us.

As one of the coordinators of the networkshop, I feel quite content
with what happened during the week. It has been very intriguing because
when you set up something like this you can't tell where it will go in the
end. You hope you will arrive where you wanted to be and work every day to
make sure you keep it on track. I want to thank each of you for the work
you did during the week in order to maintain this track and reach our


I would like to come back to what we did this morning. One of the
things I think we want to take away from this workshop is that many of the
topics or problems discussed here are closely interrelated. I think we
found that we could not talk about on-farm feeding without also looking at
on-farm management, and management of some of the various technologies we
were talking about. I think we also found that preconditions, monitoring
and evaluation should be looked at together. The preconditions determine
some of the aspects of monitoring, and some of the elements from monitoring
and evaluation are necessary to determine if the preconditions exist. The
interaction between these various problems indicates that we cannot isolate
animal traction problems and deal with them independently. We must
consider these interactions to deal with the problem effectively, and this
underlines the need for a systems approach.


I found it heartening that the participants, who were from widely
different backgrounds despite a common interest in animal traction, were
able to come together and use a systems perspective to discuss specific


We have seen that the adoption of animal traction is a long-term
process, often requiring 10 to 15 years. Animal traction programs need to
be based on this type of long-term perspective. The full effects of animal
traction can only be observed after a similar time period. We need this
long-term perspective in considering animal traction, and particularly in
the evaluation and design of animal traction projects.

We have also seen the importance of exchanging ideas and experiences
during this workshop. The type of networking which we have begun here can
make an important contribution to the effective development of animal
traction by allowing projects to take advantage-of the experience of


I came to the workshop already believing in the great importance of
information exchange and intra-country and inter-country networks to
improve communications and research progress in the field of animal
traction. This workshop has thoroughly reinforced these beliefs, and
provided ample evidence of the value and benefits that can come from
networking with professional colleagues.

I also came to the workshop aware that systems of utilizing animal
traction are very diverse and complex, with numerous interactions of a
multitude of ecological, agricultural, social and economic factors. This
networkshop has further reinforced the difficulties imposed on research and
extension staff in working on animal traction in such diverse and complex
systems. A particularly vivid example of this was seen on one of the field
visits, where working cows (as opposed to oxen) were seen to be in
dangerously poor physical condition. According to the farmer, his system
of feeding and management was no different from that given to his other
young animals, which were very healthy. Animal health problems were
therefore suspected as a cause for the unthrifty appearance, but detailed
veterinary investigations produced no evidence of pathological agents.
Thus here was a classic example of a farmer with a serious problem, yet
despite the considerable expertise and experience of the project, the
visiting group and the extension workers, no obvious answers could be given
to help that farmer. This reinforced very clearly both the complexity of
animal traction, and the need to maintain a broad, open-minded,
questioning, multidisciplinary, farming systems approach to apparent
technical problems in particular, and to research and extension in general.

I have personally learned much from valuable in-depth discussions with
colleagues from other countries during our field visits and in the detailed
consideration of the preconditions for successful animal traction adoption.
In addition I have benefitted from the presentations of others. The great
stress placed by many participants on the need for appropriate monitoring
and evaluation of any animal traction program seems to have been
particularly appropriate.

I am very encouraged at various suggestions and proposals relating to
future networking activities, and I see this networkshop as having been
instrumental in initiating what I hope will be some very useful, and
ongoing, information exchanges between individuals and projects.


Through this structured workshop which was designed in part to acquaint
us with Farming Systems Research and Extension (FSR/E), we have experienced
the process of networking as well. Through the course of the week we have
shared field and project experiences, each from our own point of view. We
have had an excellent interaction between practitioners and conceptualizers
of the farming systems approach. We were able to become better acquainted
with each other and to meet people whose names are familiar in the
literature. We shared published and unpublished information and thereby

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