The first version, the WADA Oxfarmers' Handbook, was produced in 1982 as a guide for the basic training of farmers of the North West Province of Cameroon, in the use of oxen. The Oxen Project was initiated by Wum Area Development Authority, WADA. Over the years, the focus of the project changed from introducing the use of draft animals to encouraging the development of permanent farming systems employing draft animals and the project name changed to Promotion of Adapted Farming Systems based on Animal Traction, PAFSAT.
Consequently Handbook Parts dealing with crops, soil, the permanent farming system, vegetables and farm management were added and amended in the subsequent editions.
The most recent addition is the Part on donkeys which are becoming increasingly important as draft animals in Africa.
In the meantime the book has found a much wider audience beyond
the boundaries of the
NorthWest Province through its distribution by GATE/ISAT, where it has become popular as a reference book for people who are practically involved in agriculture, farmers and extension workers throughout West Africa.
This handbook spans 20 years of development policy and approaches and its style reflects the changing target audiences, from simple rural farmers of the NW Province of Cameroon to agricultural professionals in West Africa. It now has a far more widespread application throughout tropical Africa and it covers a wide range of rural agricultural and livestock topics. It is therefore not possible to include every aspect of regional agroecological and cultural variation.
The specific drawings of animals, crops people and cultivation techniques, indigenous to the NWP of Cameroon serve as practical examples which should be easily adapted. The following publications were used for reference, information and illustration of the manual:
INADES, Better Farming Series; A series of booklets about all
aspects of practical farming;
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, 1970.
Bergmann, H. Butler R. Primary School Agriculture Teachers' Manuals 1 - 5;
Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit, 1980
FAO, The Employment of Draft Animals in Agriculture; Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, 1972.
Jones, P A; Donkey Selection, Care and Training; Agricultural
Engineering Training Centre,
Harare and GTZ Eschborn, 1991.
AETC; Manuals on Draft Cattle Selection, Care and Training,
Plowing and Crop Maintenance using Draft Animals; Agricultural Engineering
Training Centre, Harare and GTZ Eschborn,
Scheinman, D. Caring for the Land of the Usambaras; Soil Erosion
Control and Agroforestly
Project, SECAP, Lushoto Tanzania and GTZ Eschborn, 1986.