Research busts common myths about agricultural labor in Africa, suggests a shift in mechanization policy
- Impact Area
New farm-level research into agricultural labor in eastern and southern Africa found that a lack of farm power is costing smallholders in productivity, demonstrating a far higher demand for mechanization than commonly thought.
The study identified African farming households are far more dependent on labor markets than previously assumed, and thus far more inclined to hire mechanization services. The findings call on governments in the region to create an enabling environment to promote appropriate mechanization for small-scale farmers, said lead researcher Frédéric Baudron, systems agronomist with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT).