Training Manual for Two-wheel tractor and ancillary equipment for operators, service providers, extension experts and workshop owners
Mechanization is a term used to describe tools, implements and machinery applied to improve the productivity of farm land and labour force, including crop processing after harvest. Mechanization covers broadly the entire process of on and off farm operations and mechanization may use either human, animal or motorized power, or a combination of these. In practice, therefore, it involves the provision and use of all forms of power sources and mechanical assistance to agriculture, from simple hand tools to draught animal power and to motorized power technologies. In Ethiopia, smallholder farming experiences high drudgery at all stages of crop husbandry and post-harvest processing. Field operations are performed using human and animal power (Mrema et al., 2008). Smallholder farmers without animal power use a lot of human power on crop husbandry and harvesting operations (Daum et al., 2020). Postharvest threshing and shelling are performed using human power but, in some countries like Ethiopia, farmers use livestock (cattle, donkeys and horses) for wheat, barley and teff threshing (Mohammed and Tadesse, 2018). The use of tractor power is low in Ethiopia and the government aims to increase farm power available to Ethiopian farmers 10 folds (from the current 0.1 Kw ha-1 to 1 kW ha-1 ) by 2025, with at least half of this power is derived from fossil fuel and electric engines. The government of Ethiopia aims to increase farm power using two-wheel tractors on smallholder farms in addition to four-wheel tractors that are already in use. Two-wheel tractors are sources of power designed to perform most field operations. Due to the size of two-wheel tractors, they have become an economic alternative for smallholder farming. In addition, twowheel tractors are also more productive than animal traction and they require less time for attendance and preparation, giving the individual farmer more independence and contact with modern technology. Also, due to their simple design, local manufacturing of two-wheel tractors has been implemented in several countries successfully, increasing employment opportunities in the process.