|Animal Traction in Rainfed Agriculture in Africa and South America (GTZ, 1991, 311 p.)|
This work, a study jointly funded by GATE/GTZ and IPAT/TU Berlin, is a first attempt to portray the mechanization of farm systems in the countries of the Third World. The investigation is confined to the level of animal traction examining the question of why specific implements are utilized at certain locations.
Our approach was to try to comprehend the conditions of draft-animal use, the selection of animals and the utilization of the implements with regard to the variables of agricultural mechanization, including agroclimatic regions, soil types and farm systems, and subsequently to compile generalized experience with the implements. Our intention was not so directed to represent recent initiatives and prototypes on the level of research or experimental stations, but rather to expose information reflecting the actual animal-traction practices on the farms.
The target group has been selected from the ranks of development workers involved with agricultural techniques and artisanal skills or specialists in the field of crop production, who roll up their sleeves to put the innovativeness of the farmers to the test. Therefore, we have provided a general introduction to the specific, very heterogeneous conditions under which agricultural mechanization occurs, as well as the technical difficulties encountered with the use of farm implements.
In the analysis we were directed by the point of view that there is a rationale behind the actions of the farmers - male or female. These reasons are difficult for outsiders to understand and can only be discovered with a good perception of the entire system. Often one finds himself revealing illogical behaviour of the farmers in order to show them the way. A working approach, to first observe, appeared to be the safer path. We are very aware that with this approach to place the farmers at the focus can be deceptive.
My own motivation to collect the experiences from the work at IPAT and my lectures and seminars on appropriate technology (where the authors became acquainted) has found a positive echo with GATE/GTZ to the initiative taken by Klaus Lengefeld to suggest the publication of this subject matter. We particularly thank the DED and their volunteers and returnees, especially Tassilo von der Decken, coordinator for oxen traction in Togo, IAPAR, especially Gono S. de Farias and the researchers in the area of mechanization, Ruy Casa Junior and Augusto G. de Araas well as the Brazilian extension service organizations ACARPA/EMATER-PR and ACARESC, especially Claudino Monegat. Energetic support was received from CEEMAT, especially Dominique Bordet, the center for small-farmer research CPPP/EMPASC, ASSESOAR, ISRA, especially the researchers in Djibelor (Casamance, Senegal). Without the kind hospitality, the information and stimulation of numerous farmers and the institutions and persons mentioned the study would not have been possible. We heartily thank Donald Baerg (translation), Kirsten Pfeiffer (graphics), Bernd Hke (photographic work), Kurt Nelles (formatting) and Dr. Christian Roth (advisory support) for their participation.
Berlin, 1990 Heribert Schmitz