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Farm Mechanization and Conservation Agriculture for Sustainable Intensification (FACASI) Project: market analysis for small mechanization-Ethiopia

Author: Centro Internacional de Mejoramiento de Maíz y Trigo (CIMMYT)
Year: 2014
Format: PDF
Language: English
Publisher: CIMMYT
Copyright: CIMMYT manages Intellectual Assets as International Public Goods. The user is free to download, print, store and share this work. In case you want to translate or create any other derivative work and share or distribute such translation/derivative work, please contact indicating the work you want to use and the kind of use you intend; CIMMYT will contact you with the suitable license for that purpose.
Type: Report
Place of Publication: Addis Ababa
Pages: 49 pages
Description: The Ethiopian agricultural system is predominantly subsistence, characterized by the use of traditional farming implements and practices. Agriculture, which employs 85% of the population, continues to use hand-tools and tillage equipment from thousands of years ago. These implements are hand tools or operated using animal power, which is mainly oxen. Similarly farmstead operations in crop production, animal husbandry and forestry operations are by and large performed with bare hands or very rudimentary farm tools. Mechanization, along with other farm inputs such as fertilizers, improved seeds and pesticides, can significantly improve agricultural productivity in Ethiopia. Mechanization is a powerful tool in achieving sustainable agricultural production be cause it enhances human capacity with the potential beneficiaries being men and women farmers. It increases timeliness, efficiency and consistency in field operations. This is critical for land preparation especially in Ethiopia where there is sequential cropping owing to the receipt of rainfall through two seasons a year in substantial parts of the country. Farm mechanization can help perform the power-intensive and ergonomically arduous tasks. It can also relieve the growing seasonal labor constraints that are experienced by farmers in several parts of the country. It also helps compensate for the immigration of rural youth who are disenchanted with the drudgery involved in agriculture. Thus mechanization, contrary to the restricted view on labor displacement, stands to compliment human labor in improving agriculture production in Ethiopia. Four wheel and two wheel tractors can facilitate other off-the-farm tasks such as transportation, driving pumps and agro-processing equipment, maintenance of farm, and rural infrastructure. The requirements of farm power (mostly in the forms of power tiller, tractor and draught animals) shall be initially made available in the country by the government and private sectors. After the initial wave of investments, the government shall gradually withdraw and hand over to the private sector. The government shall nevertheless continue to remain as a catalyst in sustaining mechanization in the country. Meanwhile, creating credit access to farmers who otherwise would adopt mechanization options is critical in providing the transformation. Here it will be important to help farmers’ cooperatives leverage their collective bargaining power by assisting in establishing business plan, financial integrity and wherever applicable guarantee loans. Farmers and potential entrepreneurs need to be aware that besides the profitability in using and providing (hire) mechanization services in the farm, machineries such as tractor and power tillers can also be used in generating additional revenues through off-farm activities such as transport and infrastructure development. Building a strong private sector on farm mechanization will create demand and sustenance of the supply of farm power, implements and spare parts. Technical skills need to be developed at grass-root levels involving rural artisans, operators, mechanic, service providers, farmers and other end-users. Development of agriculture engineering sector in the country will enable creation of new designs of ergonomic tools for human labor and draught animals, and further widen the choice of mechanization options for local conditions. Mechanization options that help conserve natural resources such as land, soil fertility and water need to be developed and endorsed. Ethiopia needs a massive adoption program on mechanization delivering knowledge and awareness amongst farmers through potential entrepreneurs and extension agents. Introduction of mechanization at various stages of farm operations will not only improve the agricultural commodity chains but also enhance rural employment opportunities and profitability of farming.
Country of Focus: ETHIOPIA
Agrovoc: MAIZE
Agrovoc: FARMERS
Agrovoc: MARKETS

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