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close this book Animal traction
close this folder 1. Introduction
View the document What is animal traction?
View the document History of animal traction
View the document Why use animal traction?
View the document Some considerations
View the document How can animal traction be used?
View the document Before beginning: what do you need to know?

Some considerations

While there are advantages to using animal traction, there are possible disadvantages. Changes in one part of the total agricultural system may affect other parts of that system; without planning, the change from handhoe to animal traction may have negative effects on farming families. National agricultural goals like increased production, market growth, and agroindustrial development may be offset by disruption of important traditions and values. Here are some reasons why farmers may prefer traditional techniques:

• New techniques can disrupt established labor patterns and family organization. Farmers who use animals to plow extra land, for example, also must use animals to weed it. However, inexperience, animal or equipment loss, or poor advice from extension agents could leave farmers unable to perform mechanical weeding. The burden would then fall on their families.

• Surplus cropping may complicate traditional patterns of wealthsharing among family and friends. Farmers may be wary of jealousy, criticism, or demands that may result from increased production and selling of surpluses for individual gain.

• New technology can increase farmer reliance on outside technical assistance. Sometimes limited supplies, ineffective delivery chains, and absence of skilled agricultural and veterinary extension personnel have made it difficult for farmers to use animal traction successfully.