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Animal traction is the use of animals such as bulls, oxen, donkeys, mules and horses to assist farmers in carrying tasks, for example:-
A survey (source: Developing Agriculture with Animal Traction, T.E. Simalenga and A.B.D. Joubert, 1997) approximately 10 years ago showed that numerous small-scale farmers use animal traction.
Even in areas where tractors are used for ploughing, weeding and transporting manure are done by means of draught animals which are also used for mowing and raking hay, spreading fertiliser, dam building projects and logging.
Traction animals are often used for transporting goods and people in townships and rural areas.
Because of high oil prices, the weak rand and tractor scheme failures animal traction provides a cost-effective alternative source of power.
Animal traction is an appropriate, affordable, available and sustainable option which can:-
These benefits are to a great extent dependent upon healthy animals, with harness/equipment in good repair, being driven humanely and correctly.