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The main aim of this study was to analyse and document the value of smallholder farmers’ use of Draught Animal Power (DAP) systems in the Eastern Caprivi Region and to test the economic viability of DAP usage versus using tractors. This study applied Rapid Rural Appraisal techniques (RRA), including a survey. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 312 farmers at their farms and data was gathered on the use of and economics related to the draught animal power system. Crop enterprise budgets, project reports, expert opinions and group discussions were analysed. The research found that the use of animal power performs better in terms of physical productivity per ha compared to tractor usage. Furthermore, agricultural production in Sibinda village area, with the use of oxen outperformed the other systems when it was evaluated with parametric analysis. From a financial perspective, faremrs in Sibinda and Linyanti using oxen ranked above their counterparts using tractors. Further, the exercise indicated that farmers are facing a multitude of challenges such as damage incurred from wild animals and high input costs. There were many difficulties facing the next generation in entering commericial agricultural production in Caprivi within the current cost-price squeeze environment. Therefore, understanding the role draught oxen power can play as a tool to increase the level of success for new farmers’ in agricultural production and management was noted.
African Journal of Agricultural Research
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
ISSN 1991-637X © 2010 Academic Journals
Teweldmehidin, Mogos Y. and A. B. Conroy. The Economic Importance of Draught Oxen on Small Farms in Namibia’s Eastern Caprivi Region. African Journal of Agricultural Research Vol. 5(9), pp. 928-934, 4 May, 2010