Improved access and use of mechanization in the tef value chain


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International Food Policy Research Institute/ Ethiopia Strategy Support Program (IFPRI/ ESSP)and Ethiopian Development Research Institute (EDRI) Coordinated a conference with Agriculutral Transformation Agency (ATA) and Ministry of Agriculutrue (MoA) on Teff Value Chain at Hilton Hotel Addis Ababa on October 10, 2013.

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Improved access and use of mechanization in the tef value chain

  1. 1. Improved access and use of mechanization in the tef value chain Seife Ayele (ATA) with Tamiru Habte (MoA) and Girma Moges (EIAR) Presentation made at the conference on ‘Improved evidence towards better policies for the tef value chain’. October 10th, 2013
  2. 2. 1. Why work on tef? 2. The application of pre-harvest technologies on tef 3. The application of post-harvest technologies on tef 4. Conclusions and next steps Contents
  3. 3. The focus of the ATA and partners (incl. MoA and EIAR) has been to tackle key issues within specific crop and mechanization areas. As such, partners are focusing on two distinct areas: pre- and post-harvest mechanization and crop-based interventions, with the primary focus being on tef. Value Proposition Crop Applicability Animal/human- drawn Row Planters • Forces the practice of reduced seed rate, thus increasing yield • Reduces labor involvement in the planting process Tef, wheat, barley Handheld Harvesters Tef, wheat, barley • Greatly decreases labor used in harvesting crops • Creates potential low-investment entrepreneurship opportunity Threshers (includes maize shellers) • Reduces post-harvest losses by up to 30% • Significantly decreases manual labor usage Tef, wheat, barley, maize USG Machines • Able to produce more effective urea pellets, which have twice the potency or regular urea for approximately the same cost Tef, wheat, barley, maize Directional Overview: Mechanization for smallholder farmers WHY WORK ON TEF?
  4. 4. 4 Needs for mechanization: Why do we need small-scale pre/post harvest technologies (example of tef row planters) Challenge: lack of suitable row planters Planting tef in rows reduces seed use to 3-5kg/ha; speeds up planting, contributes to increased productivity and reduced loss. Broadcasting also results in lower yields due to increased competition for resources among seedlings Broadcasting tef by hand often uses up 30-50kg/ha; much higher than the ideal amount advised Tef is amongst the most common crops in Ethiopia – its production and consumption affect millions of Ethiopians. PRE-HARVEST TECHNOLOGIES
  5. 5. 5 Tef traditional planting methods are inefficient and often wasteful In addition to its cultural significance, tef is grown by 6 million households in Ethiopia, accounts for 15% of total calories consumed by all Ethiopians, and is the dominant cereal grown in the country by area, and second only to maize in production and consumption. Distance between rows (cm) 20 Distance between seeds (cm) .3 Depth (cm) 3 Seeding rate (kg/ha) 3-5 Time taken w/traditional row planting (days/ha) 3-4*Tef Agronomic Recommendations for tef *Indicative, as most tef farmers still plant by hand broadcasting WHY WORK ON TEF? Spacing of fertilizer (cm deep, cm adjacent) 5, 3 Average seed rate and yields by planting type Yield (quintal/hectare), Seed rate (kg/hectare) 4 1011 30 2222 15 0 10 20 30 0 5 10 15 20 25 TransplantingRow plantingBroadcastingNational average 13 Seed rate Avg yield *Source: 2012 Data from Regional, Zonal and Woreda administration staff (collected Feb-April 2013) Note: Includes data from 14,605 farmers (omitted error/outlier data from 15,790 total collected)
  6. 6. The approach: ATA worked with its partners, EIAR and MoA, to source, test, and adapt 15 row planters for extensive demonstration in the 2013 planting season Preliminary Testing • Tested planter prototypes on different soil types: light, sandy, and vertisol • Ten machines progressed to next stage of testing (some machines had identical metering mechanisms, some did not pass track testing) • None of the models tested met all the required criteria Hybridization • The assessment panel of 8 public and private sector experts reviewed the models that met all necessary requirements for row planting • Developed three models that were designed for varying agroecologies Production • 24 prototypes units produced for learning of production and for training and promotion in the regions • Initial orders for 3,000 units from the BoAs; partially produced by a consortium led by Techtra Engineering • Operator and training manuals produced and trainings given PRE-HARVEST TECHNOLOGIES
  7. 7. 7 Level 1 Planter Number of Rows Type of MachineType of Machine Approximate Production Price (ETB) Basic Level I • Sled-based seed drill, with furrow opener, no closer Four 1350 This is the most basic planter designed. It was intended to be simple and affordable, with relatively few moving parts. This model only makes rows and seeds, it does not apply fertilizer.Photo Placeholder PRE-HARVEST TECHNOLOGIES
  8. 8. 8 Level 2 Planter Number of Rows Type of MachineType of Machine Approximate Production Price (ETB) Photo Placeholder Intermediate Level II • Furrow opening, seeding, clos ing, animal-drawn Four 5330 This is the mid-range planter, that is more widely applicable across soil types and features a dual-hopper for seed. Again, this model does not apply fertilizer. PRE-HARVEST TECHNOLOGIES
  9. 9. 9 Level 3 Planter Number of Rows Type of MachineType of Machine Approximate Production Price (ETB) Advanced Level III • Furrow opening, seeding, fertilizer application, closing, animal-drawn Four 9500 Photo Placeholder This model utilizes a dual-hopper for seed and fertilizer and as with the level II machine, is functional across soil types. This can be animal or human-pulled. PRE-HARVEST TECHNOLOGIES
  10. 10. 10 Quality of Technology There are very few entities with the manufacturing ability, experience, or facilities to produce the quantity of units that are needed to supply Ethiopian smallholder farmers Lack of Production Scaling Ability There is no existing infrastructure for the support and upkeep for these types of machines, especially in rural/semi-rural areas that would be necessary to keep these machines functional. Distribution Channels While co-ops/unions provide many traditional crop inputs, this is more difficult to do mechanized goods. Spare Parts/Maintenance Almost no expertise in this area currently exists. While co-ops/unions provide many traditional crop inputs, this is more difficult to do mechanized goods as they are often more capital intensive and less divisible. Increased use of mechanized technologies Challenges to adoption of mechanized technologies The demand for these three hybrid models far exceeded supply, which faced a number of significant challenges, including a lack of domestic production capacity, lack of raw materials, and the operational challenges in trying to move towards scale in such a short amount of time. In addition to the demand from the Regional Bureaus of Agriculture, there was also significant demand from the private sector that were difficult to aggregate. In addition, several systemic issues were identified in the dissemination of these technologies: PRE-HARVEST TECHNOLOGIES
  11. 11. 11 Context for post-harvest mechanization: How do these technologies help smallholder farmers? Outcome  Small-scale threshers have been deployed in some areas and been shown to reduce post-harvest losses by 50%  They also add significant value in reducing human and animal labor, threshing expenses, and increase income  Threshers can also serve as additional income source to farmers who provide threshing services d Example from 2012: small-scale threshers  Type of crops: Tef, wheat, barley  Price: Approx 50,000-60,000 ETB  Power: Diesel powered The government is developing solutions to help the farmers  Post-harvest loss: occurs during harvesting, gathering, piling , threshing, etc., and can cause up to 30% yield loss  Labor intensity: traditional methods are human and animal labor-intensive and time consuming  Quality risk: manual practices can cause priority crops to be mixed with soil, sand, and other foreign matter Ethiopian farmers are facing significant challenges A collaborative and concerted effort are required by relevant stakeholders to avail these impactful technologies for smallholder farmers. POST-HARVEST TECHNOLOGIES
  12. 12. 12 Approach to assessment: How to identify the most compelling technologies Steps A Identification and collection of machines Initially, four different threshers prototypes were imported, and to ensure a comprehensive evaluation of all the technologies that exist in Ethiopia, ATA (with support of EIAR and MoA) initiated a public call for prototypes for threshers, shellers, and harvesters. From this, 13 threshers, 9 shellers, and 4 harvesters were identified and collected. B Assessment team established By reaching across stakeholders, an assessment team was formed by utilizing the leading experts from the Federal and Regional agricultural departments, the national agricultural research system, and ATA. This team would be able to build consensus across backgrounds and bring a diversity of experience to the testing process. C Site and assessment criteria The assessment team met to identify the most effective manner in which the respective technology types could be tested, where they could be tested, and the process could be as effective and efficient as possible in ensuring the most impactful technologies were reaching farmers. By identifying standardized testing criteria, the team would be able to ensure the testing was fair and accurate. D Conduct test By utilizing previously purchased unthreshed crops, as well as belg harvest season crops, a wide variety of both laboratory and field testing were conducted Description of Process POST-HARVEST TECHNOLOGIES
  13. 13. Preparations for production: Manufacturer capacity assessment Type and source of technology Threshers and shellers - Domestic Threshers – Internationally sourced A comprehensive assessment of manufacturers who could/do produce agricultural equipment were assessed. Full capacity would involve engaging all possible manufacturers to dedicate full capacity to threshers/shellers. Three thresher models, namely for wheat and barley, have been sourced from overseas have performed well, however they require significantly more time to import as they are required to be brought in by sea. Additionally, these machines would need further adaptation to be functional in the Ethiopian context. 70 0 (for 2013) Estimated monthly capacity If top 3 manufacturers are engaged: If top 5 manufacturers are engaged: If all 12 manufacturers are engaged: 90 150 13 Harvesters – Internationally sourced Currently, no harvesters are produced domestically, thus this would require all to be imported. While handheld harvester can be brought by air, this is less economically viable for walk-behind models (because of weight). N/A 1 2 3 POST-HARVEST TECHNOLOGIES
  14. 14. Deployment options that have been tested by ATA Innovative business models utilized for the deployment of 47 threshers in the 2013-13 harvest season Model A – Owner/Operator • Most successful model so far, as they tend to know the existing area/market conditions the best. • Are given more flexibility in pricing, where they operate and how they reach farmers, but all given business model support and technical training Model B – Existing ‘high net worth’ entrepreneur • Little opportunity to test in full-function so far, but offering threshing as a fee-for-service’ appears to be the most feasible Model C – Salaried Managers • Not tested, hasn’t been embraced by stakeholders • Requires greater awareness of technology and requires greater time investment to locate managers Model D – Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise youth • In Tigray – selected operators were not suitable (as per selection criteria), awareness of threshing benefits are very low. In Amhara – MSMEs are still organizing the youth in Chilga Woreda. • Found that this model generally requires more training of operators as they often have less practical training POST-HARVEST TECHNOLOGIES
  15. 15. Next Steps: The opportunities and challenges moving forward with mechanized implements in tef Pre-harvest Technologies Post-harvest Technologies Area Key challenges Key opportunities Next steps - Very few current product available to meet the smallholder context - Lack of domestic production capacity - Extension system not incentivized to promote new technologies - Large potential for increase in productivity compared with traditional methods - Increasing demand from farmers - Traditional threshing widespread - Threshing season for tef relatively short; machinery is not always functional on other crops - Little local R&D done on new models - Value proposition for farmers very evident, would make economic sense, even without loss reduction 1 2 - Work to identify more effective, affordable, and reliable technologies to overcome challenges with adoption - Develop new deployment models to reduce accessibility barriers (e.g. fee-for-service, use of ‘farmer entrepreneurs’ - Strengthen existing private sector to shorten distance between suppliers and end-users of the technology CONCLUSIONS AND NEXT-STEPS
  16. 16. Innovations to help our country grow