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Employing work animals in Mexico

Most of Mexico's cropland is under traditional cultivation using animal power. Animals are harnessed, loaded and saddled particularly in the central and southern region of the country. The preference for using cattle instead of equines as work animals varies according to region. As holdings are small, the animals are not fully employed. The combination of work animals and smallholdings works well as the animals feed off maize crop residues and other forage stubble and can be tended by children and the elderly-inputs that generate income when an animal is sold. Work animals also provide manure to raise crop yields. The final economic outcome is more income to purchase additional resources and animals, and thus maintain farmer status.

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