Why does Heifer use draft animals? Why doesn't Heifer use tractors?
There are several reasons draft animals, instead of tractors, make sense in some developing countries today.
1. The land the people live on is not suited for tractors (steep terrain or rocky/wet/clay-like soil)
2. Factories that make tractors are not close to most of the people we serve, so shipping cost is high
3. Tractors are more expensive. This is true up-front and ongoing as they require maintenance and fuel constantly
4. Draft animals eat crop byproducts and grasses that grow commonly, so they are easy to care for
5. The animals produce manure, which can then be used to enrich the soil and in biogas systems
In other words, draft animals are a sustainable, self-renewing resource, unlike tractors. To read a fun story with some more facts about water buffalo and their benefits, visit this link.