| Animal traction |
|8. Economic and technical assistance|
The credit officers or supervisors cooperating with animal traction personnel may perform these duties:
• Identify credit candidates and fill out application forms. The application includes information on the size and status of the farmer's operation and his or her ability to meet preconditions of the loan.
• Write the contract. The farmer, credit officer (or extension agent acting as credit officer) and national project organization each receive a copy. The animal traction agent may serve as witness to signing of the contract.
• Visit farms and ensure that preconditions of the loan are met and maintained through the life of the contract; that is, that animal shelter, vaccination schedule, equipment care, and the clinic and meeting attendance requirements are met.
• Collect annual payments on loan and insurance premiums; write yearly report/summary.
• Handle all defaults, foreclosures, repossessions, deferrals, rebates, and late payments.
In addition, the officers may order and deliver equipment; help organize training clinics for farmers, artisans, agricultural and veterinary personnel; and establish credit for animal traction farmer associations. Associations with common funds may be awarded credit to buy material stocks; in some cases the size of the common fund may determine the amount or terms of individual credit extended to members. Credit officers may report or review the effectiveness of agents or agencies supporting borrowers.
When Credit Is Not Available
Animal traction can be economically feasible even when credit is not available. For example, some farmers may be able to use their equipment to do contract work. A person who owns just a moldboard plow or a ridgeplow can use it to maintain rather than expand present operations, and then rent out services to other farmers. A farmer who can purchase a locallymade wagon can begin to pay for other equipment by selling transportation. Such possibilities can and should be pointed out to people with limited interest in animal traction and to those who do not qualify for a credit package, but who can afford a wagon or a simple plow.