Photo: Dr. Jean-Paul Rodrigue, 2003.
Mini hand tractors are small agricultural equipment diesel-powered devices designed to plow fields, usually of small size. Many are manufactured in China and exported to developing economies as affordable equipment for small farmers. They are simple to repair, implying that local skills can maintain the equipment in operating conditions without resorting to complex parts and repair procedures. While they were initially introduced as an affordable means to mechanize agricultural field work, mini hand tractors turned out to be highly versatile in their use, which included their adaptation to carry passengers and goods over short distances within rural communities. In the above photo, a mini hand tractor has been latched to a small trailer to carry goods (pork meat) to the local market (Phosavan, Laos).