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close this bookBetter Farming Series 14 - Farming with Animal Power (FAO - INADES, 1977, 57 p.)
close this folderTools for use with animal power
Open this folder and view contentsChoice of tools


In choosing tools look for those that are:

· light,
· strong,
· simple,
· not too dear.

You do not have to buy all your tools at once.

It is best to buy first the tools that are most useful and that enable you to get your work done in good time.

For example:

If you have sandy soil (see Booklet No. 4, page 17), ploughing will not make big clods.

So it is useless to buy a harrow (see Booklet No. 7, page 12). A big branch will do the job.

There are many makers of tools, many different brands.

You must buy tools of a brand that is well known in your country, for it is easier to get them mended.

Choose strong tools, even if they cost a little more.

They will last longer.

The plough

Handles for holding the plough

Usually simple ploughs are used.
A plough is made up of a ploughshare, a mouldboard and two handles.

A plough costs between 5 000 and 15 000 CFA francs

The harrow

The harrow is used for breaking clods. A harrow costs between 2 000 and 5 000 francs.

Wooden harrow; Iron harrow; Tooth of harrow

The Manga cultivator

This cultivator is used in Upper Volta. It is drawn by donkeys or oxen.

It has five tines or teeth. It is chiefly used for preparing the soil before sowing. In light, sandy soil the Manga cultivator does the same job as a plough. It is a very useful tool, because, if you change certain parts, it can do all sorts of work. It is in fact a multi- purpose implement.

· if you fix a marking bar on the machine it can draw the seed rows.
· if you fix hoeing tines it does intercultivations.
· if you fix two ploughshares it will earth up the crops.
· if you fix only one slanting ploughshare it can be used as a plough.

The Manga cultivator costs about 15 000 francs

The seed drill

The seed drill is used for putting seeds in the earth. To sow seeds of different sizes such as millet, sorghum, cotton or groundnuts, a part of the machine has to be changed. There are different parts for each size of seed.

The seed drill is difficult to regulate. You must follow the advice of the dealer who sells the drill, or of the extension service technician.

Oxen can pull a seed drill that sows several rows at once.

A seed drill costs a lot: between 9000 and 15000 CFA francs. Several farmers can get together to buy a drill between them.

Seed drill

The cart


A cart costs between 25000 and 30000 CFA francs.

It is very useful for carrying manure, harvests, wood, water.

You can also transport things for other farmers.

Some kinds have iron wheels, others have tires.

Oxen can pull a cart loaded with 1000 kilogrammes of goods.

Other tools

Lifting plough

· Reaper

It is used for cutting cereals, for example, rice.

· Fertilizer spreader

A good farmer takes care of his tools; knows how to mend them; protects them from rain.