Farming Equipment, a luxury for African Farmers
Updated: Aug 16
A critical step into modernizing agriculture is the adoption of mechanization in replacing human labour. Most of Africa is still far behind this stage. In sub-Saharan Africa, over 60% of farm power is still provided by human muscle, mostly from women, the elderly and children. Only 25% of farm power is provided by animals, while less than 20% of mechanization services are provided by engine power.
West African agriculture is a huge industry because most people living in rural areas rely on farming to feed their families; However, most farmers operate on small plot sizes, which means they don’t make enough money to invest in a big piece of machinery. Farm power in West Africa depends on human muscle, and mostly on hoes and other hand tools. Such tools have implied limitations in term of productivity, principally in a tropical environment. Hand-hoes were the core tool used in most African countries. They were used for weeding in central Senegal, displacing traditional hoes. Burkina Faso was one of the few countries where special planting tools were used, one of them known as the"pioche" (pick). In Burkina Faso, farmers use traditional tools to make rows prior to planting. Using hand tools for farming has serious issues, among them is time killing and extra labor. Although most of African farmers have financial limitations to shift to mechanized farming, some of them are trying hard to make the move.
Rapid urbanization puts African farmers under pressure to produce more with less labor, as more people migrate to cities or engage in rural non-farm work. In response, farmers in many parts of Africa have revealed increased demand for mechanization.
Even-thought many NGOs are working on providing farmers with sophisticated tools and systems needed for modern farming, a big number of farmers still rely on their traditional farming techniques.
Africa has the land, water and people needed to be an efficient agricultural producer. This potential is yet far from being fully explored. To reduce poverty and boost economic growth, Africa will have to develop a vibrant and prosperous agricultural sector. FarmSahel is revolutionizing agriculture in Africa by using training and equipment to reach the standards of productivity. Our vision is to see Africa feed its own population, and become a net exporter of agricultural products.