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Draft Animal Power for Soil and Water Conservation in the Bolivian Valleys

By B. Sims

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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.


Katie Carroll

Date 2003
Publication Title International Commission of Agricultural Engineering E-Journal
Volume 5
Pages 12
ISBN/ISSN 1682-1130
Publisher International Commission of Agricultural Engineering
Language English
Additional Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal roles
  2. Climate
  3. Conservation
  4. Draft animals
  5. Environment
  6. Farms
  7. Horses
  8. Mammals
  9. Mountains
  10. Physical environment
  11. Working animals