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Can we use a Donkey as Farm Tool?

Chander Mohan
Chander Mohan

It is an interesting fact that in Uganda, the Donkey is used for riding. Donkeys can carry 150kg of goods and move a distance of about 50km without drinking water.  It can climb steep slopes and go through rough paths with ease.  But there are some people who also use donkey as a farm tool and not just for riding purposes.  A donkey is the most reliable means of transport that can access any terrain. When used for cultivation, it can plough over an acre of land in a day. However, when used together with bulls they do more work. It can travel over 100km in 12 hours, making it the ideal beast of burden. It can carry over 150kg of goods and move a distance of about 50km without drinking water. More importantly, the donkey is an obedient animal. 

 The main food is grass, hay, maize stalks or sugarcane stalks.  Humans do not drink donkey milk because it is bitter. Its meat is also bitter and red. Donkeys are drought-resistant, efficient, hardworking and easy to maintain.  A mature one weighs between 125-150kg. This, however, depends on its age, size, nutrition and health.  Just like humans, donkeys which get enough rest carry more loads. They move faster than oxen and can work for long hours without tiring.  

In the farm sizes where donkeys are employed range from 0.5 to five acres .Compared to the oxen, a donkey can cultivate 0.5 acres a day over a five-hour period.  Oxen, on the other hand, can work the same area in four hours, while resting at intervals of 10 minutes every two hours. 
Donkeys are gentle animals that keep their skin clean. They prefer resting under tree shades to wobbling in the mud.  “Unlike a tractor, a donkey can be used in mountainous areas because it cannot easily slip since it is sure-footed”. A donkey can age without suffering from any illness.  

Under favourable conditions, this animal can live for over 30 years. When it dies, it is buried or cremated to avoid the spread of diseases”, Over 80 percent of the donkey population in Uganda is employed in agriculture. However, a donkey has to be trained from childhood before performing any task.  

The ICAR-National Research Centre on Equines celebrated its 34TH Foundation Day. The Chief Guest, Dr. M.P. Yadav, former Vice chancellor SVPUA&T, Meerut and former Director, IVRI and NRCE, applauded the significant contributions made by NRCE for the equine’s welfare. The programme also witnessed the delivery of Foundation Day Lecture on “Food and Nutritional Security of 1.34 billion - Bigger Challenge” by Professor (Dr.) A.K. Srivastava, Chairman, Agricultural Scientists Recruitment Board. 

Last year, Mobile App was introduced for the benefit of the Animal friendly farmers. Infoequine is a user-friendly bilingual mobile App in Hindi and English language for equine owners, Veterinary officers, Animal Health department officials, students, industry professionals and other stakeholders. This App allows users to enhance their knowledge in various aspects of equines with regard to breeds, management, nutrition, diseases, artificial insemination, pregnancy diagnosis etc. Besides the general information about equines, the information about diagnostic services, artificial insemination services, provision of semen for production of best quality of mules, horses and donkey and technologies developed by the Centre is also provided in the app. The basic requirement to operate this App is to have an Android device with net connectivity, and this App (software) Info-equine ' may be downloaded directly from the Google Play Store. A link is given below for smooth download of the app. 


After completion of the download, open the file for the installation of Info-equine ' in your device. After complete installation, a 'Info-equine' icon will appear on a mobile screen. User can select the About us/Breeds/Management/Nutrition/Diseases/Glanders/Services/Technologies. A screen will appear with these details along with further information under different heads. 

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