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... (3) Technocratic attempts to "leapfrog" the agricultural mechanization process and introduce machinery without addressing farmers' capacity and educational needs undermines the process to establish skilled people able to operate, maintain, and repair equipment (Diao et al., 2018). (4) Many rural mechanization initiatives in developing countries are centrally planned and as they directly target farmer cooperatives as major beneficiaries often fail to increase access for smallholders due to insufficient support of complementary actors involved with manufacturing, supply, distribution, sales, and after-sales services (Clarke, 2000;FAO, 2008;Pingali et al., 1988). ...
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There is great untapped potential for farm mechanization to support rural development initiatives in low-and middle-income countries. As technology transfer of large machinery from high-income countries was ineffective during the 1980s and 90s, mechanization options were developed appropriate to resource poor farmers cultivating small and scattered plots. More recently, projects that aim to increase the adoption of farm machinery have tended to target service providers rather than individual farmers. This paper uses the Scaling Scan tool to assess three project case studies designed to scale different Mechanization Service Provider Models (MSPMs) in Mexico, Zimbabwe, and Bangladesh. It provides a useful framework to assess the gap between international lessons learned on scaling captured in forty tactical questions over ten "scaling ingredients" as perceived by stakeholders involved in the projects, as well as private sector actors and government employees. Although at first sight the case studies seem to successfully reach high numbers of end users, the assessment exposes issues around the sustainable and transformative nature of the interventions. These are highly influenced by the design of the projects and by the environment and context of the intervention areas. Across the three case studies, large-scale adoption of the models was found to be hampered by lack of finance to set up MSPMs and insufficient collaboration among the value chain actors to strengthen and foster Mechanization Service Provider (MSP) entrepreneurs. Applying a scaling perspective on each case study project exposed important lessons on minimizing project dependencies. Positive examples include integration of capacity development materials in vocational training centers in Zimbabwe, promotion of MSPMs by other donors in East Africa and levering of nearly USD six million of private sector investment in appropriate machinery in Bangladesh. On the other hand, there is still a high dependency on the projects in terms of coaching of service providers, facilitating collaboration along the value chain, and provision of leadership and advocacy to address issues at governance level. These results have important implications for similar development interventions aimed at increasing smallholder access to mechanization services at scale and is to our knowledge the first cross-continental assessment of these issues to date.
... Draught animals then only have to do secondary tillage and seed covering, which requires less draught power (Anon., 1981 as cited in Gebregziabher et al., 2005). Tractor-powered tillage implements are used mainly on larger private or commercial farms, but also sometimes for initial tillage on smallholders plots through rental agreements (Pingali et al.,1987). Further, field experiments were conducted in cooperation with the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) to compare a reversible animal-drawn plough and ridger, developed at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, with the traditional ard-type plough. ...
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In Ethiopia farmers still use the old traditional tillage tool. This animal drawn Ard plough, called maresha, thanks its success in smallholder farms to its relative simplicity, regenerative character and strong indigenous nature. This thesis gives results of research done on this traditional farm implement. The Vertisol soils found in the Ethiopian Highlands are very fertile, though, also very fragile soils. Their swelling and shrinking capacities and their sticky clay content makes them difficult to manage. Several trials have been done to improve the maresha or even completely redesign farm implements for a proper Vertisol management. Most of these trials could improve tillage performance and were suitable for Vertisol management. Still they were unsuccessful because they couldn’t incorporate all the good characteristics of the traditional maresha. Three load cells (one on the beam and one on each side of the yoke) were used to measure draught forces required for tillage on four different fields with Vertisol soil. On each field three plots were tilled in wet and dry conditions. On each plot three lines, one at shallow depth, a second at medium and a third at deep depth, were tilled. After tillage, soil samples were taken for calculation of bulk density and moisture content. The furrow profile and depth was measured of each tillage line. All these characteristics were measured for correlation analysis. Tillage depth and the furrow profile were highly related with pulling force. Poor results were found for bulk density and moisture content due to difficulties in taking the soil samples. With the two load cells on the yoke the contribution in draught force of each ox could be measured. In the normal case, when you have two oxen of equal strength, they both account for half of the total draught force required for tillage. However, with unequally strong oxen, different contributions of each ox to the total draught force were found. The stronger ox will move faster than the weaker one, creating an asymmetric position of the yoke. In this situation the weaker ox had to work harder due to a transfer of forces from the strong ox side of the yoke to the weaker ox side. Depending on the size of this asymmetric position of the yoke, the weaker ox will have to contribute more to the total draught force needed compared to the other ox. This asymmetry also reduced tillage efficiency. More draught force was needed with the asymmetric position for less tillage depth and furrow profile area. Tillage speed was also reduced comparing to the normal case. Farmers in the Ethiopian Highlands can optimise tillage efficiency on their fields by using equally strong oxen. When they don’t have equally strong oxen they have to let the weaker ox walk a little bit faster than the stronger ox, creating an asymmetric position of the yoke. Only this time the stronger ox will contribute more to the total draught force due to this asymmetric position and tillage efficiency will be optimised for the situation of two unequally strong draught animals.
... This can be compared with reports based on 1998 data that 65% of land under cultivation was done by hand, 25% using DAT, and 10% using engine power (Clarke and Bishop, 2002). Because mechanization is a process and may express itself through the utilization of different technologies across different cultivating environments (Pingali et al., 1987 ), the LSMS-ISA surveys can only provide a picture of current use or ownership of inputs associated with mechanization. Table 5shows that tractor ownership at the household level remains quite low, with around 1% of households across all countries claiming possession. ...
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Conventional wisdom holds that Sub-Saharan African farmers use few modern inputs despite the fact that most poverty-reducing agricultural growth in the region is expected to come largely from expanded use of inputs that embody improved technologies, particularly improved seed, fertilizers and other agro-chemicals, machinery, and irrigation. Yet following several years of high food prices, concerted policy efforts to intensify fertilizer and hybrid seed use, and increased public and private investment in agriculture, how low is modern input use in Africa really? This article revisits Africa’s agricultural input landscape, exploiting the unique, recently collected, nationally representative, agriculturally intensive, and cross-country comparable Living Standard Measurement Study-Integrated Surveys on Agriculture (LSMS-ISA) covering six countries in the region (Ethiopia, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda). Using data from over 22,000 households and 62,000 agricultural plots, we offer ten potentially surprising facts about modern input use in Africa today.
... Bringing the farm to the nutrients, though the process of shifting cultivation, is the other way in which woodland nutrient cycling supports crop production [63,64] . This practice is generally thought to be widespread in areas with population densities below 15 people km 22 [65], and if so, this would imply it is undertaken by 18% of the rural population (figure 2). Under a tree-fallow system, nutrients accumulated in the soil and plants are made available to crops by cutting and burning the phytomass of the nascent field, sometimes amended with branches from elsewhere [63]. ...
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Miombo and mopane woodlands are the dominant land cover in southern Africa. Ecosystem services from these woodlands support the livelihoods of 100 M rural people and 50 M urban dwellers, and others beyond the region. Provisioning services contribute $9 ± 2 billion yr−1 to rural livelihoods; 76% of energy used in the region is derived from woodlands; and traded woodfuels have an annual value of $780 M. Woodlands support much of the region's agriculture through transfers of nutrients to fields and shifting cultivation. Woodlands store 18–24 PgC carbon, and harbour a unique and diverse flora and fauna that provides spiritual succour and attracts tourists. Longstanding processes that will impact service provision are the expansion of croplands (0.1 M km²; 2000–2014), harvesting of woodfuels (93 M tonnes yr−1) and changing access arrangements. Novel, exogenous changes include large-scale land acquisitions (0.07 M km²; 2000–2015), climate change and rising CO2. The net ecological response to these changes is poorly constrained, as they act in different directions, and differentially on trees and grasses, leading to uncertainty in future service provision. Land-use change and socio-political dynamics are likely to be dominant forces of change in the short term, but important land-use dynamics remain unquantified. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Tropical grassy biomes: linking ecology, human use and conservation’.
... Tous les numéros sont accessibles à l'adresse http://www.agronomie.asso.fr/carrefour-inter-professionnel/evenements-de- lafa/revue-en-ligne/ Pingali et al., 1987). En Afrique subsaharienne, l'énergie agricole est fournie par l'homme (65 %), l'animal (25 %) et la mécanique (10 %), alors que pour les autres pays en développement, la répartition est respectivement de : 25 – 25 – 50 (Clarke et Bishop, 2002). ...
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Agricultural productivity growth, and particularly labour productivity growth, is a major issue considering agricul-tural development challenges at stake in Sub-Saharan Africa. As the mechanization level is currently low, the growth margins are important. However, individual investments in motorization of family farms are constrained by the high costs of the equipment. This article develops a study case in Benin on a technical innovation (the tractor and its equipments) supported by an organizational one (the shared acquisition and management of equipments). It demonstrates that the mechanization co-operatives allows differ-ent types of farms (small and large) with investment varying capacities to purchase a tractor. The introduction of motorization in farms by mechanization cooperatives allows saving time and labor to work the soil, promotes increased plantings when land is available, increases the need for labor for weeding and harvesting, improves overall productivity per family. To give scale to such a movement, public policy should seek opportunities to finance equipment, implement tax incentive policies for the private sector and fund research / development.
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This paper examines postcolonial agricultural mechanisation in Zimbabwe in the context of recent land reforms. It pays particular attention to the central role played by state-capital relations – with notable links to international finance – in shaping a resurgence in tractor usage following Zimbabwe's Fast Track Land Reform Programme (FTLRP). Moreover, the economy-wide crisis triggered by land reform shaped the emerging agricultural mechanisation. This study examines the decline in tractor supply by the government, and the growth and dominance of large-scale commercial farms as a source of second-hand tractors for smallholder and medium-scale farmers. This paper relies on archival sources as well as empirical data collected in Mvurwi through surveys, focus group discussions, tracker studies and in-depth interviews. While the tractors imported by the government from Brazil on concessional terms have become a major source of tractor services for the resettled farmers in Mvurwi, resettled farmers are also reinvesting proceeds from the sale of agricultural commodities predominantly in agricultural mechanisation, creating a new source for tractor hiring services and agrarian transformation. Although patronage politics has shaped the distribution of tractors and the establishment of tractor service cooperatives, there is no evidence of concrete political gains resulting from these investments.
Chapter
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Agricultural demographic changes along with policy-led agricultural transformation initiatives induce variable responses of farming systems through influencing land and labour productivities. Demographic responses and changes included declined fertility and relatively higher growth of rural adults as compared to total rural population while share of cultivators in total agricultural workers declined in relatively densely populated irrigated AES. With relatively low opportunity cost of land, rain-fed agro-ecosystem is improving land productivity through irrigation and fertilizer led intensification of agriculture combining more land allocated to fine cereals along with mechanization of farm operations and increased area under fruits and vegetables. Having relatively higher land productivity, the irrigated agro-ecosystem sustained area under fine cereals along with commercialization of farm activities through better mechanization and relatively higher increased area under fruits & vegetables. Population planning, skill development, and rural youth employment must form part of any rural development and rural sustainable livelihood strategy to exploit population dividend and as well as address the issues of ageing agricultural population across agro-ecosystems. Better utilization of created irrigation potential along with development of ground water is the priority area of investment in rain-fed areas to facilitate agricultural intensification. The priority area of investment in the irrigated agro-ecosystem is improved marketing infrastructure and storage facilities to accelerate commercialization of agriculture. As non-farm employment and farm mechanization is on rise in both ago-ecosystems, government policies and support to farm machinery and related services would be essential to improve agricultural labour productivity, encourage economic diversification, and facilitate rural sustainable livelihood.
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