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close this bookAnimal Traction in Rainfed Agriculture in Africa and South America (GTZ, 1991, 311 p.)
close this folderC. General factors influencing the use of draft animals
View the document1. Underlying decision-making components in farm-household systems
View the document2. Natural endowment
View the document3. Conditions for agriculture and animal traction in rainfed cropping
View the document4. Dynamics of farming systems and mecanization
View the document5. Status of animal traction
View the document6. Constraints of animal traction

5. Status of animal traction

Most of the data referring to the distribution of draft animals in the tropics and subtropics are merely based upon rough estimations. Often no distinction is made between draft animals and work animals (to which group e.g. pack animals belong). Exact figures are normally only available for individual countries or regions.

On the basis of an assessment of recent literature an attempt has been made in the following illustrations to represent the status of animal traction in the individual countries in Africa, South America and Asia (figure C 16, C 17, C 18). The figures are taken from various sources published from 1979 to 1988 (see annex IV). Since information on the numbers of farms are only available for a few of the countries portrayed, the number of animals per 100 ha of arable land was selected as a point of reference. A representation of the number of draft animals in relation to the rural population was not practical because of the diverse levels of mechanization. The figures of the countries showing a higher technical level having a lower proportion of rural population would have been overestimated.

The majority of draft animals are used for cultivation of agricultural areas. However, animals contributing to post-harvest and transportation functions must also be taken into consideration in the following treatise. In addition, draft animals are frequently employed to dispatch or further process agricultural products and inputs.

The greatest density of draft animals is evidenced in the countries of Asia; these are precisely the "strongholds" of animal traction (Nepal, Bangladesh) coinciding with a high population density. In Africa the figures for draft animals are generally low. However, in the Sub-Saharan countries there exists a vast potential for an increase of draft-animal use. In contrast, traditional animal traction in the Mediterranean countries of Africa is already being replaced with tractor mechanization. This trend is also being observed in many of the Latin American countries.

Since general data on the countries was used for the illustrations in the text, they possess little weight in terms of their significance for singular regions in these countries. Thus, in an extreme case the entire draft-animal population of a country could be concentrated in a small area and hold a significant position there. In order to clarify this point the example of Togo is used to show the distribution of draft animals in the individual regions of a country

Sources: according to Strubenhoff (1988)