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Mechanization could change the face of African agriculture

 
Mechanization could change the face of African agriculture and contribute to food security.

Mechanization could change the face of African agriculture and contribute to food security.

 Agricultural mechanization is on the rise in Africa, replacing hand hoes and animal traction across the continent. While around 80-90% of all farmers in Africa still depend on manual labor or draft animals, the situation is changing due to the falling machinery prices and rising rural wages. Over the past two years, tractor sales have grown by around 10% per year, a report of experts says.

Also Read: Challenges of agricultural mechanization in sub-Saharan Africa

Also Read: COVID-19 is a reminder that farm mechanization in Africa is indispensable

Thus, in a study carried out with farmers in Nigeria, Benin, Mali, and Kenya. A group of researchers has shown just how much tractors can contribute to food security in Africa. Besides, the use of a tractor also improves the speed of farming. Agricultural activities can be completed at the optimum time while increasing yields.

However, despite the positive results, some farmers have noted that mechanization can adversely affect soil fertility in the long term, especially when the disc plow is used which could cause soil compaction. They say the use of heavy tractors can trigger soil erosion and compaction.

The report recommends the use of "controlled traffic" to curb the impact of soil compaction.

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