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Animal Traction in Ghana

  • Author: Houssou, N., S. Kolavalli, E. Bobobee, and V. Owusu
  • Language: English
  • Country: Ghana
  • This research examines the use of animal traction and analyses the major constraints to its widespread use in Northern Ghana. Findings suggest draft animals (bullocks and donkeys) are used to perform a wide set of activities ranging from land preparation, weeding, on-farm and off-farm transport, and the carting of goods and individuals in the three northern regions. The study shows that with 12 acres per season and 4 years of work, draft animal users can break-even and cover their investment in animals and equipment. Some of the factors constraining greater use of draft animals included an aging labor force; scarcity of “plowboys”, as the boys who traditionally do the plowing are attending schools; fast-wearing plowshares; poorly designed harnesses, yokes and implement beams; lack of raw materials and metal scraps for local fabrication of implements; limited dry season feed and water; and theft. Any mechanization strategy should seek to address sustainably the constraints faced by animal traction users.


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