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Stock numbers and use of animal traction in Sub-Saharan French-speaking Africa

Havard M., Le Thiec G., Vall E.. 1998. AMA. Agricultural Mechanization in Asia, Africa and Latin America, 29 (4) : p. 9-14.

Since the 1920-30s, animal traction - introduced in the end of the 19th century in sub-Saharan French-speaking Africa for transport purpose - has developed for tillage in Guinea, and planting in Senegal. Four groups of countries have been identified according to agro-ecological conditions (rainfalls, crops, and tse-tse fly infestation), and number of draught animals and farm equipment available. The first group, situated in arid zones, is characterized by the use of animals for transport and load carrying. Senegal constitutes the second group. This is an exception since animal traction has spread in the semiarid area (Bassin Arachidier) through mechanized groundnut planting and weeding with horses and donkeys, then through transport with horses both in rural and urban areas. The third group is characterized by the development of cattle traction for tillage of cotton (Mali, Burkina Faso) in the subhumid area and groundnut crops (Niger) in the semiarid area offering favourable conditions for horse and donkey breeding. As regards the fourth group (i.e., Benin, Chad, Central African Republic, North Cameroon, Côte d'lvoire, Guinea) mainly situated in humid areas, animal traction has been introduced later, and is limited to cultivation (ploughing) and earthing-up with oxen. Here also cotton plays an incenting role, but areas suited to this crop are rather limited. Tripanosomiasis, a major constraint to cattle breeding in humid areas, restrains the extension of animal traction.

Mots-clés : Énergie animale; animal de trait; animal de travail; typologie; afrique francophone; afrique au sud du sahara; traction animale

Thématique : Ressources énergétiques et leur gestion

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