A Financing Solution and Technical Assistance Package to Help Women Smallholder Farmers Increase Their Productivity through Ownership of Donkeys with Plows
Episcopal Relief & Development, in collaboration with its Ghanaian partner, ADDRO (the Anglican Diocesan Development and Relief Organization), is implementing an innovative project so that women smallholder farmers can save their time and labor through donkey plows, instead of working the fields with hand tools. ADDRO trains the women in donkey care, use of the plow, and improved agriculture techniques and provides credit so they can purchase a donkey, plow and cart.
Most women farmers in sub-Saharan Africa do not have access to oxen for farming and are consigned to grueling and time-consuming labor using hoes to prepare fields for planting. Women’s access to oxen has been limited by cost and cultural taboos; in addition oxen’s large size makes them difficult for women to manage. An adapted plough was developed in the 1990s specifically for use by a single donkey – which is more affordable and practical for women, while saving 18 or more days of labor per hectare of land (2.5 acres) versus using a hand hoe alone. However, the donkey plough has not been widely popularized to date and cost is a major obstacle.
This project provides women smallholder farmers the opportunity to acquire a donkey, plough and cart, as well as improved seeds and fertilizer, through affordable credit. Two credit options will be explored through a revolving loan fund designed to be financially sustainable. Participants also receive skills training in donkey care, farm business management and agricultural techniques. The loan amount will cover the cost of a donkey, a plough and a cart, enabling the women owners to earn extra income to help repay their loans by renting the donkey set to others for farming and transporting goods.
Discover the related Gifts for Life option: Donkey, Plow and Cart for Women Farmers