An updated illustrated practical guide to animal draught. The book is enriched with results from recent experiments and comes with a CD-ROM containing additional information.
Draught animals are still widely used in many developing countries, where smallholders often still work by hand. Draught animals can reduce the laboriousness of human work and lessen poverty in developing countries by facilitating soil cultivation and transport. Animal traction boosts the productivity of agricultural labour and contributes to the sustainability of mixed systems combining crop and animal production on small family farms. This updated and illustrated practical summary of knowledge on animal traction is enriched with results from recent experiments into animal well-being, producer and craftsman associations and environmental impact. Practical solutions are proposed in all these fields.
The book, which is deliberately succinct, comes with a CD-ROM containing additional information: technical advice notes, reference texts, case studies and photographs. It is primarily intended for producers, technicians and development staff, but is also a reference tool for tutors and students in higher education.
Philippe Lhoste is an agronomist and zootechnician specializing in animal traction, and is currently Director of the Agricultures tropicales en poche collection.
Michel Havard is an agronomist at CIRAD, working on agricultural mechanization, producer dynamics and agricultural advice services in sub-Saharan Africa.
Éric Vall is an agronomist and zootechnician at CIRAD, working on the sustainability of mixed crop-animal production systems in sub-Saharan Africa, who previously studied draught animals and the dynamics of innovation in terms of animal traction.
La traction animale
Philippe Lhoste, Michel Havard, Éric Vall
Éditions Quæ, CTA, Presses agronomiques de Gembloux
Agricultures tropicales en poche collection
Aim of the research was to find and evaluate the indices of horse traction sustainability in agriculture. The research was done by means of compilation of results of previously published researches and conducted interviews which were subjected to logical analysis and synthesis, and conclusions were brought upon a logical induction and deduction. The research has revealed that, despite the complete shift to machinery traction in Croatia about 30 years ago, the use of horse traction is still characterized by many important sustainability indices. ...
Key words: Sustainability, Horse traction, Energy, Agriculture
The aim of this thesis was to test the hypotheses that (1) biodiversity at a farm level differs between small and large farms, and (2) it is possible to combine high biodiversity at farm level with high food production, sustainable nutrient circulation, and self-sufficiency in fuels. In the research area in SE Sweden, six small farms (<52 ha) and six large farms (>135 ha) were selected for the studies. The farm with the highest biodiversity was selected as a case study farm for the productivity and biofuel studies. Differences in biodiversity between small and large farms were assessed by comparing number of birds and herbaceous plant species plus the number of bird territories, bumblebees, and butterflies. Both on-farm heterogeneity and surrounding landscape heterogeneity were measured by calculating the Shannon-Wiener Diversity Index. Productivity was measured as the number of people supplied with food with different livestock combinations and types of biofuels. The biofuel scenarios were evaluated regarding their impact on the number of people supplied with food, and NPK fluxes at farm level. The biofuels were crude rapeseed oil, horse draft, ethanol from wheat, and ethanol from potatoes. The results showed that twice as many butterflies, breeding bird species and bird territories, five times as many bumblebees, and almost twice as many herbaceous non-crop plant species were found on the small farms compared to the large farms. The small farms also had significantly higher on-farm landscape heterogeneity. Globally, on average, 0.2 ha of farmland is available per capita, i.e. every ha supports 5 persons. This production, and even slightly more was achieved when using a combination of a workhorse and a crude rapeseed oil-fuelled tractor. Ethanol from wheat had the largest impact on food production. All biofuels tested resulted in a positive balance for N, but in deficits for P and K. The results show that high biodiversity and high production of food and biofuels can be combined on the same farm. The results also suggest that this combination of high biodiversity and high production is enhanced by small-scale farming.