Main Article Content
Appropriate and efficient technology contributes a great deal to smallholder farmer development. This study uses a systematic literature review to debate whether animal traction research and practice should receive support. Firstly, the smallholder farming system is reviewed to contextualise the discussion and present a state-of-the-art review of animal traction in South Africa. After finding the diminishing use of animal traction among smallholder farming systems, the inquiry probes the causes of the rural development policies, basic education curriculum, and higher learning institutions. The results reveal that the technological needs of smallholder farmers can be met with animal traction. However, a lack of support from policies and learning institutions has contributed to the negative attitude toward animal traction. We further note that new animal traction technology is unlikely to be known to smallholders because of poor information dissemination caused by a weak agricultural extension. After realising the benefits of animal traction, it seems worthwhile to revamp animal traction research and practice for subsistence farmers.