Agricultural hand tools in emergencies: guidelines for technical and field officers

Agricultural hand tools in emergencies: guidelines for technical and field officers
Apr 2013

FAO has been intricately involved with activities emanating from emergency situations for many decades. Under such circumstances, not only is assistance required urgently but it is also essential to ensure that it is sufficient both in quantity and quality.

Overall objectives are carefully focused on encouraging sustainable recovery programmes and although this will eventually involve the use of power sources of a higher level, there remains a widespread need for handtools by the smallscale farmer. Such tools may appear simple at first glance but failure to understand the importance of selecting the correct tool and to ensure that it is of adequate quality for the job required is fundamental for the success of any recovery programme.

A draft document was released in 2001 under the title “Guidelines for the technical specifications and procurement of agricultural hand tools” and this has served as a reference document for the technical and emergency services of FAO for the past decade. It was and still is frequently consulted by FAO Field Officers and other aid agencies and NGOs. It is therefore opportune to update the material.

The present Guidelines have been prepared in an entirely different style and in two distinct Parts. The aim of Part I is to make it “user-friendly” to Field Officers. It is very brief in text but amply illustrated with photographs so that each tool can be clearly identified even by non-technical staff. The commonly used terms for the tools in French and Spanish have also been included. The objective is to ensure that an appropriate tool can be ordered and supplied for the task in hand.