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Scaling-up agricultural mechanization

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Presented at the High-Level Ministerial (HLM) Conference on Rice Development in Sub-Saharan Africa 25 September 2018
Dakar, Senegal

Abebe Haile-Gabriel
FAO Regional Programme Leader for Africa, RAF

Published in: Science
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Scaling-up agricultural mechanization

  1. 1. Scaling-up agricultural mechanization High-Level Ministerial (HLM) Conference on Rice Development in Sub-Saharan Africa 25 September 2018 Dakar, Senegal Abebe Haile-Gabriel FAO Regional Programme Leader for Africa, RAF
  2. 2. Some of the trends related to agriculture in SSA • Hunger and Undernourishment on the rise • Agriculture will need to feed the growing population in SSA (est. 2.2 billion by 2050) • Other Challenges such as climate change etc. • Africa has the highest Prevalence of undernourishment (PoU) - >256m people • More people will be living in urban areas – changes in food preferences • Agriculture has to be carried out in a sustainable way …… this calls for the need to raise agricultural production and productivity 21%
  3. 3. 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% Africa Three Regions* Manual Animal Engine The ratio of farm power source utilization in SSA compared to three developing regions (Asia, Near East and North Africa, and Latin America and Caribbean)*. Power use in agriculture
  4. 4. Primary land preparation, SSA (2005) 11% 70% 54% 50% 22% 21% 8% 25% 17% 85% 70% 54% 50%
  5. 5. Public Investment: Share of agriculture in total expenditure, 2014 Source: International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), 2017
  6. 6. Mechanization challenges in Africa that need to be addressed Some of the challenges that mechanization scaling up in SSA should address are: • Farm power constraint in agriculture in the region. • Lack of holistic approach to mechanization of the agri-food chain – i.e. financing, value addition activities etc. • Inefficient use and field operation rates of agricultural machinery. • Sustainability (environmental, economical and social- including gender aspects)
  7. 7. Scaling Up Mechanization in Africa We need to expedite use of sustainable mechanization in Africa: • Ensuring that policies are in place to support investment in agriculture including mechanization • Organizing financial resources to support investment in mechanization • Adhering to value chain approach • Well defined role of the private sector to drive mechanization in alignment with set priorities of the countries • Capacity building including supporting mechanization hire services • Ensuring mechanization efforts are not stand alone but rather part of the larger effort Scaling up is necessary for increased uptake of mechanization among stakeholders – it involves interactions of stakeholders, sustainability etc.
  8. 8. Scaling-up mechanization in Africa Some of the key issues to consider when scaling up: • Better understanding of the key stakeholders and their clear understanding of their roles • Creating enabling environment for upscaling mechanization • Ensuring that private sector is well engaged (e.g. through PPPs) and given support to drive mechanization while governments are creating supporting enabling environment • Field-based methods of capacity building and capacity development that are integrated with proven and well tested training methodologies • A wider focus i.e. not only equipment and machinery but rather approach, process, stakeholders engagement, incentives, updated supporting policy and strategies etc. • Emphasizing on innovations including use of ICT & automations in enhancing mechanization along the value chain-i.e. bringing the youth back to agriculture
  9. 9. Emphasis on sustainability while scaling up © IITA We also need to ensure that mechanization in Africa is commercially, environmentally and socio-economically sustainable: • productive agriculture that conserves and enhances the natural resource base • Agriculture that supports the delivery of environmental services. • Identification and specification of appropriate business models especially for smallholder mechanization – e.g. commercially sustainable business model for custom hiring services • Financial models that enable small/medium scale farmers to access agricultural machinery
  10. 10. Conclusion • SSA needs to make significant progress in mechanizing its agriculture (along the value chains) • Scaling up is a long term issue that needs to be part of the strategies to develop sustainable mechanization in Africa • There is a need for a long-term vision of mechanization (investments, innovation, tech transfer etc.) • Regional cooperation is essential • It is important to develop institutional infrastructures that support sustainable mechanization in Africa • Enabling private sector to enhance sustainable mechanization service provision - including PPPs is essential

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