In many farming communities where resources are scarce, it is common for farmers to share tools, water resources, grazing grounds and even male animals for breeding purposes.
While sharing is good, it can turn out to be costly. Experts say sharing farm tools can lead to the spread of diseases like foot-and-mouth disease among cattle and coccidiosis in poultry.
In cases where spray pumps are shared; it compromises their performance as some farmers may not wash them after use. Sharing tools like hoes, spraying pumps, and pruning knives has been blamed for the spread of crop diseases like cassava mosaic, banana and coffee wilt.
Multi-functional tools like pangas, gunny bags and wheelbarrows are particularly notorious for spreading disease from one farm to another. For instance, a wheel barrow that was used to transport a dead cow on one farm in the morning may be used to transport cattle feeds on another farm in the evening of the same day. Gunny bags used to remove litter from a poultry house on one farm might later be used to store poultry feeds on another.
Sexually-transmitted diseases also tend to spread fast in communities where farmers share bulls, bucks and boars. If farm tools are to be shared, care must be taken to clean them, if possible with disinfectant, or at least soap.