The Republic of Senegal has launched a nation-wide agricultural programme to increase food production. One?
The Republic of Senegal has launched a nation-wide agricultural programme to increase food production. One of the methods used is to persuade farmers to use oxen as draught animals.
Cattle in Senegal in the past have only been bred for milk and meat. The idea of using them as beasts of burden is an entirely new one. Until now, donkeys have usually been used to pull ploughs and agricultural implements. But this animal is not powerful enough to work with the heavier and more complicated equipment now being introduced in Senegalese agriculture.
Not less than 150 oxen training centres are now operating in Senegal under the auspices of SODEVA, a Senegalese company for the development of agriculture.
Cowherds are now being trained to work with the animals. The first step is to learn how to place the yoke on the animals. At the training centres the herdsmen are instructed on how to use every type of equipment at present employed on farms and plantations, and how to train the animals to pull in straight lines without trampling underfoot the growing plants.
Training of the animals takes three weeks in all. These animals will be particularly useful in region where ground nuts-one of the major export of the country-are grown and it is hoped that they will help to double production where traditional methods are used.