|Better Farming Series 06 The Soil: How to Improve the Soil (FAO Better Farming series, 1976, 29 p.)|
Grubbing trees makes farming with animal power possible. We shall study animal power next year. But we can say something about it now.
Farming with animal power is very interesting.
With it you can plough, weed, transport goods.
With animal power: work is done more quickly, farming is done better. You can farm bigger fields. You get a bigger harvest. You can pay for the oxen and the tools. You will earn more money than by traditional farming.
At Agoudou- Manga (Central African Republic).
With traditional farming, a farmer earns 8 000 CFA francs a year.
With animal power, he can earn 30 000 francs.
Each year he pays part of the cost of his oxen, plough and cultivator: 12 000 francs.
So he earns 30000/ess 12 000 = 18 000 francs, that is 10 000 francs more than by traditional farming.
In Upper Volta (Mossi country).
With traditional farming, a farmer earns 17 000 CFA francs a year.
With animal/ power, he can earn 66 000 francs.
Every year he pays part of his donkey, cultivator, fertilizers, chemical pesticides: 29 000 francs.
So he earns 66 000 less 29 000 = 37 000 francs, that is 19 000 francs more than by traditional farming
But, to farm with animal power, you must:
· get permission to cultivate your fields for a long time. Preparing the ground (irrigation, contour lines, grubbing) takes a lot of work. You must benefit from this work.
· have regular, straight fields, rectangles big enough to work easily with animals.
· grub all the trees in the fields so as not to break your tools.
· have fields near the village, so as not to lose time getting to and from the fields.
· know how to feed and look after your animals. Strong, well fed animals work quickly and well.
· know how to take care of your tools.
Grubbing also makes mechanized farming possible.
Instead of working with animals, you can use a tractor.
But you need a great deal of money to pay for a tractor and its repairs.
You need very big fields.
You need a lot of crops that earn a lot of money.