| Animal-Drawn Wheeled Toolcarriers: Perfected yet Rejected |
|5. Recent Initiatives in Africa: 1976 1986|
In the past ten years wheeled toolcarriers have been imported into at least fifteen African countries, and fabricated in at least eight countries. In most countries they have been found capable and competent in on-station trials. They have been found less suitable for use on small farms where there may be stumps, restricted access, smaller animals and fewer facilities for repairs and maintenance. In no country have wheeled toolcarriers been used regularly by farmers off station for a wide range of operations, and most toolcarriers have ended up merely as carts. In no country have sustained utilization rates by farmers ever approached those used in economic models to justify farmer investment and, to date, in no country has a farming system been identified in which the high capital cost of the equipment can be economically justified by the returns actually achieved by farmers using the equipment.
As more aid agencies have imported wheeled toolcarriers, graveyards of unused yet expensive implements and attachments, reminiscent of the tractor graveyards of the 1960s and 1970s, can be seen in several countries. Recent large contracts for countries such as Ethiopia, Mozambique and Angola show that aid agencies are continuing to fund the importation of wheeled toolcarriers. In addition, in budgetary terms the amount that has been, and is being, spent on financing expatriate technical cooperation personnel to evaluate this technology in many different countries in Africa may be greater than the cost of the equipment itself.