Donkeys with Ploughs

A Financing Solution and Technical Assistance Package to Help Women Smallholder Farmers Increase Their Productivity through Ownership of Donkeys with Ploughs

35925ab8c57a11c09d44a78d27208db6 Episcopal Relief & Development, in collaboration with its Ghanaian partner, ADDRO (the Anglican Diocesan Development and Relief Organization), is pursuing an innovative global health and development research project to test a financing solution and technical assistance package to help women smallholder farmers increase their labor productivity through ownership of donkeys with ploughs.

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 hand tools.  Women’s access has been limited by cost, cultural taboos and the difficulty of managing oxen due to their large size.  In the 1990s, a plough was developed for use by a single donkey, which would be more affordable and practical for women, and save 18 or more days of labor per hectare of land 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 the necessary equipment, 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, and 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 owners to earn extra income and repay their loans more quickly by renting the donkey set to others for farming and transporting goods.

Give Gifts for Life: Donkey, Plow and Cart for Women Farmers