Donkey ploughs improve farm incomes
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CTA. 1995. Donkey ploughs improve farm incomes. Spore 58. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/47124
Ploughs designed for donkeys are helping Sudanese farmers to increase food production. The ploughs are also giving women farmers, who head some of the poorest households, the chance to improve family food security. Traditionally Sudanese farmers...
Ploughs designed for donkeys are helping Sudanese farmers to increase food production. The ploughs are also giving women farmers, who head some of the poorest households, the chance to improve family food security. Traditionally Sudanese farmers used camels as their draught animals but civil unrest has led to camels being stolen, and many farmers are now unable to acquire or keep them. The only other draught animal used is the donkey, but implements designed for the camel are far too big. So Intermediate Technology Development Group began a programme to develop ploughs that would be more suitable, and that were cheap enough for farmers to buy. Two types have been developed. One is made entirely of metal, with a cheaper model made of wood with a metal shear. Both can be made by village blacksmiths, so maintenance is easy. The prototypes were designed, made and modified with the full participation of local blacksmiths and farmers. Consequently the uptake by farmers has been good, leading to more land being ploughed and larger crops being harvested. Much of this increased yield is due to better water conservation and rain infiltration resulting from ploughing. Simply designing the ploughs was no help to the very poor women farmers who head so many households and a credit scheme was started to help them to acquire the donkeys and ploughs. Now, nearly half the new ploughs that have been sold are owned by women farmers, and this is having a tremendous effect on food security. Intermediate Technology Sudan PO Box 4172 Khantoum SUDAN