Don't put the cart before the horse!
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Mathis, Andre. 1997. Don't put the cart before the horse!. Spore 72. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
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André Mathis, SBAM (Structure biologique pour une agriculture moderne), Lomé, Togo, writes to us with reference to 'Animal traction and small-scale mechanization' in Spore 69.'In Togo, animal traction has neither increased the yields nor the...
André Mathis, SBAM (Structure biologique pour une agriculture moderne), Lomé, Togo, writes to us with reference to 'Animal traction and small-scale mechanization' in Spore 69. 'In Togo, animal traction has neither increased the yields nor the productivity of those engaged in agriculture. What it has done, however, is added both to women's workload and to soil degradation. Twelve hectares of pasture are needed in order to obtain the manure to correctly fertilize one hectare of land. Taking off the forage is another factor which leads to soil infertility and degradation. The disadvantages of cultivators have been widely talked about for several years. Carts could hardly be considered ergonomic in design, blacksmiths have no arc-welding equipment, and tropical soils (with the exception of those in valley bottoms) quickly wear down steel tools. In Senegal, where there is a 'culture' of using animals, it took 25 years to introduce animal traction. In Togo, there is no similar, traditional use of animals and, in such areas, small-scale farmers will find it easier and more economical to 'domesticate' a motor than oxen. Agricultural intensification should be well and truly based on what is appropriate for the tropics where, in many places, mechanization has yet to be developed. Equipment must be developed in line with agricultural methods which have also yet to be further developed. Let us first develop our agricultural techniques and then talk about mechanizing them.'
SubjectsANIMAL PRODUCTION AND HEALTH;
- CTA Spore (English)