The amount of power (time and energy) and the knowledge base a household can raise has a major influence on the household's livelihood strategies and is a major determinant of livelihood outcomes. The challenge is to identify, promote and support opportunities to relieve the burden of labour shortages and enable households to become more resilient.
There is a new sense of urgency to revisit labour saving technologies and practices (LSTPs) which can reduce the burden of rural living, particularly for households and communities that are under severe labour stress. It is recognised that many LSTPs have been developed and are already in the public domain, for example, draught animals save time tilling land or relieve the burden of carrying heavy loads; conservation agriculture reduces the time spent on tillage and weeding; roof water harvesting reduces the need to carry water home; and mills save time and energy pounding maize. However, the gains made in reducing time and energy inputs are often offset by higher requirements for operator skills and knowledge.
What is required is a means of enabling rural communities to access information, develop appropriate skills, and adopt and adapt the technologies to their own circumstances.
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