Animal traction in Nigeria
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CTA. 1991. Animal traction in Nigeria. Spore 36. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/45645
An important feature of agriculture in the subhumid zone is the presence of seasonally inundated low-lying valleys or fadamas. These may be only one or two metres lower than the surrounding areas but they differ markedly in their agricultural...
An important feature of agriculture in the subhumid zone is the presence of seasonally inundated low-lying valleys or fadamas. These may be only one or two metres lower than the surrounding areas but they differ markedly in their agricultural properties retaining water for three or more months longer than the 'uplands' Many village communities depend on fadama land for their subsistence. But with finite amounts of cultivable land available and a growing population, utilization of fadama land will need to be intensified to meet the growing demand for food. At the village of Kufana, 70 kilometres south west of Kaduna Nigeria, the International Livestock Centre for Africa (ILCA) is conducting on-farm research into animal traction. Farmers in the subhumid zone generally have too little labour to meet their needs at critical periods of the year, especially for land preparation. They tend first to cultivate upland, cropping the fadama land on residual moisture. Using draft animals to help cultivate the land would ease the labour shortage and speed up cultivation of the uplands. This would allow the farmers to start cultivation on the fadamas earlier than at present. Faster, earlier cultivation would open the possibility of double cropping on the fadamas. ILCA is adopting a multi-disciplinary research approach to investigate all aspects of the impact of animal traction. Initial results are promising and this year 30 farmers have formed three animal traction cooperatives. They have bought implements with their own money and are using animal traction to cultivate the land. Peter Lawrence, ILCA, PMB 2248, Kaduna, NIGERIA