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Agricultural mechanization and agricultural transformation:

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  • Diao, Xinshen
  • Silver, Jed
  • Takeshima, Hiroyuki

Abstract

A renewed focus on agriculture’s potential contribution to economic transformation in Africa has resulted in increased attention paid to agricultural mechanization. African agriculture still relies predominantly on human muscle power despite anecdotal evidence on urbanization and rising rural wages, in contrast to other developing regions that have experienced rapid increases in agricultural mechanization during the past few decades. Past state-led mechanization pushes in Africa often failed due to insufficient understanding of the nature of demand for mechanization technologies among farmers and insufficient knowledge of private-sector functions. This background paper reviews the factors likely to influence farmer demand for mechanization in Africa and details different existing and potential mechanization supply models. Although an empirical analysis of mechanization demand and the effectiveness of supply chains is beyond the scope of this paper, in part due to data limitations, this paper suggests that demand for mechanization may be emerging in some parts of Africa. It also suggests that private-sector-driven supply models are better positioned to meet this demand than direct government involvement and certain types of subsidized programs. The paper then identifies possible areas for government support to complement private-sector leadership in developing mechanization supply chains. Nevertheless, significant further research is required to better understand the changing nature of mechanization demand in Africa and the extent and effectiveness of different supply models in meeting it.

Suggested Citation

  • Diao, Xinshen & Silver, Jed & Takeshima, Hiroyuki, 2016. "Agricultural mechanization and agricultural transformation:," IFPRI discussion papers 1527, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:1527
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    Cited by:

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    2. Kumwenda, Ian & Nyekanyeka, Aubrey & Gausi, Uriah & Phiri, Benson & Kamwendo, Phinehas & Msokera, Tiyamike & Kadazi, Florence, 2020. "Farm Mechanization and Potential role of Robotics in Malawi," Agri-Tech Economics Papers 308161, Harper Adams University, Land, Farm & Agribusiness Management Department.
    3. Chikutuma, Mutsvandiani, 2019. "Analysing the social network of technology and information transfer for maize sheller service providers in Zimbabwe," Thesis Commons 2bmzr, Center for Open Science.
    4. Takeshima, Hiroyuki & Houssou, Nazaire & Diao, Xinshen, 2018. "Effects of tractor ownership on returns-to-scale in agriculture: Evidence from maize in Ghana," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 33-49.
    5. Thomas Daum & Regina Birner, 2017. "The neglected governance challenges of agricultural mechanisation in Africa – insights from Ghana," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 9(5), pages 959-979, October.
    6. Takeshima, Hiroyuki, 2017. "The roles of agroclimatic similarity and returns on scale in the demand for mechanization: Insights from northern Nigeria," IFPRI discussion papers 1692, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    7. Raymond Mugandani & Paramu Mafongoya, 0. "The 5As: assessing access to animal-drawn conservation agriculture planting equipment by smallholder farmers," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 0, pages 1-18.
    8. Kumwenda, Ian & Nyekanyeka, Aubrey & Gausi, Uriah & Phiri, Benson & Kamwendo, Phinehas & Msokera, Tiyamike & Kadazi, Florence, 2020. "Farm Mechanization and Potential role of Robotics in Malawi," Land, Farm & Agribusiness Management Department 308161, Harper Adams University, Land, Farm & Agribusiness Management Department.
    9. Diao, Xinshen & Agandin, John & Fang, Peixun & Justice, Scott E. & Kufoalor, Doreen S. & Takeshima, Hiroyuki, 2018. "Agricultural mechanization in Ghana: Insights from a recent field study:," IFPRI discussion papers 1729, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

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    Keywords

    mechanization; intensification; agricultural growth; farm inputs; supply chain; production economics; private sector;
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