Why Is Transformation Needed In This Program Area?
The use of agricultural mechanization technology, like other inputs, can play an important role in increasing production and productivity. Agricultural mechanization solves the problems of insufficient human and/or animal labor at critical points in the production cycle of commodities. It can also significantly reduce post-harvest loss and increase the availability of more food without increasing production, which is critical for agricultural transformation.
Moreover, mechanization is an indispensable pillar for making farm operations efficient and productive, while also contributing to the efficiency and productivity of all the other inputs used in crop production, such as seeds, fertilizer, water, labor and time.
Many emerging countries, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, use more than 1 kW mechanical power index per hectare in the agriculture sector, in contrast to 0.1 kw/ha in Ethiopia. Moreover, the number of tractors per 100 sq-kms in Ethiopia is currently 2.24, which is much lower than neighboring countries, such as Sudan and Kenya, where 9.6 and 26.28 tractors are deployed per 100 sq-kms, respectively.5
Creating a sustainable mechanization supply chain and developing and implementing business models for effective mechanization service provision that takes into account the needs of smallholder farmers, including women, and the different geographical area clusters is critically important to achieve the strategic goal of increasing the production and productivity of strategic and high value crop and livestock commodities.
What are the objectives of this program area during GTP II?
The main objective of the mechanization program will be to create a sustainable mechanization supply chain and service provision business models for increased production and productivity of strategic and high value crop and livestock commodities, with considerations for the needs of women, and the environment.
The specific objectives include: Improving the use of agricultural mechanization technologies by smallholder farmers through service provider business models; Reducing post-harvest loss of major crops from 15-25% to 5% by the end of the GTP II period; and providing capacity building to value chain actors and institutions working for the enhancement of agricultural mechanization.
What are the focus areas of this program?
Introducing agricultural mechanization regulatory frameworks, developing standards and establishing testing and certification facilities for agricultural machinery in the country will be important focus areas.
Additionally, an important focus area will be developing, testing and promoting business models that engage cooperatives and other private sectors for the effective provision of agricultural mechanization services to the smallholder farmers, including women. Equally important will be building human and institutional capacity focusing on mechanization research and regulatory institutions, as well as linkage platforms at federal, and regional levels.
5Houmy, K. et al., “Agricultural Mechanization in Sub-Saharan Africa”, 2008