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< prev - next > Agriculture Production technologies KnO 100030_donkey plough (Printable PDF)
The Practical Action donkey plough was developed in
Sudan in the Darfur region over a period of time where a
number of trials and adaptations were made to make the
design suitable for local conditions. The size and
weight of the plough would be varied to suite different
farming conditions.
In 1990 Practical Action’s (then ITDG) work with an
Oxfam animal traction project in Sudan was rekindled
after suffering from logistical difficulties. The project
was based in the Northern part of the country in Darfur
province around Kabkabiya.
This work led onto the Darfur Integrated Rural
Livelihoods Programme that covers activities such as:-
Training farmers in agricultural techniques -
terracing and wadi (valley bottom) cultivation,
which extend the range of crops that can be
grown and make more efficient use of scarce
Figure 1: The plough in use
in Darfur Photo: Practical Action
water resources. Around 1000 farmers are trained each year, mainly by local
extension workers
Strengthening of the capacities of local village committees to manage and develop
agricultural and water projects
Construction of dams for rainwater harvesting, and training in dam construction, as
well as improvement in the techniques of construction of tumad (shallow wells) in the
wadis and the construction of haffirs (channels) for water supply
Establishing several irrigated demonstration farms Introduction of donkey carts for
transporting water - for household use, and other goods, reducing the time and
drudgery of collecting water, especially for women.
Most of the community share the problems of
working with soils that have a hard crust.
When the rains
come, the water
cannot penetrate
the soil. The
project officer, at
Figure 2: The traditional plough made of
wood. Photo: Practical Action
the time,
introduced an
implement used
by many farmers in Ethiopia, the wooden ard plough. This is an
assemblage of wooden pieces fitted together; it is lighter than
many ploughs. The traditional design of plough for the region
used a single handle that passed through a log. The log acted as
the main body of the plough and only a small proportion on the
plough was made of metal.
Figure 3: Metalworking in
Darfur. Photo: Practical Action
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