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Latest News: Draught Animal Technology Training

Donkey plough training, Mashuru district, Kenya. Source: GHARP/KRA

A week-long, intensive, practical and theoretical draught animal technology (DAT) training event took place from 6–10 June 2011. The training was part of the New Life Mission/KRA project on rainwater harvesting and food security, in Mashuru district of Kenya. DAT is a method of using animals to draw simple equipment which can be used to plough and conserve the land. KRA uses DAT for the plough, the tined harrow (to scratch dry ground to allow rain to infiltrate), and the dam scoop (to de-silt earth dams/water pans). DAT is a very effective and affordable way of improving the soil moisture content of the water catchment and encouraging increased crop production.

The training event involved the following key components, both practical and theoretical sessions:

  • Animal Traction in Kenya
  • Animal Selection, Age Estimates, Training, Harnessing
  • Animal Needs, Restraining Techniques, Commands, Guiding Principles
  • Mould Board, Ploughs, Adjustments, Field Marking
  • Cultivators, Planters Utilisation, Stripping and Adjustment, Care and Maintenance
  • Harrows, Ridgers, Dam Scoop
  • Conservation Tillage and Equipment

Feedback from the training has been very positive. Participants felt it was an excellent learning experience and a good forum to learn about and practice new farming techniques which will ultimately help improve livelihoods and conserve the environment.

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