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Draft Animal Power for Soil and Water Conservation in Small-Holder Production Systems in the Inter-Andean Valleys of Bolivia

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  021126,  2002 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.9321) @2002
Authors:   Brian G Sims
Keywords:   Live-barriers, forage production, high-lift harness, light-weight equipment, animal traction

The inter-Andean valley region of Bolivia presents climatic characteristics which can be described as high, dry and cool. The prolonged dry season (up to eight months) can lead to severe forage shortages which affect working animals. The traditional draft animals are pairs of oxen which may have to be sold off at the end of the working season due to lack of feed. Production of forage and the possibility of using lighter, single animals are two ways to alleviate the situation. Natural resource management projects in the region, working in very close collaboration with farm families in programs of participatory development, have developed contour-planted live-barriers of grass / legume mixtures to stabilize steep hillsides and provide abundant and nutritious dry-season forage. The development of high-lift harnesses and lightweight equipment has enabled hitherto underutilized single equines (and bovines) to undertake draft work traditionally the exclusive domain of pairs of oxen.

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