AGRICULTURAL AND FOOD ENGINEERING TECHNICAL REPORT 2

AGRICULTURAL AND FOOD ENGINEERING TECHNICAL REPORT 2

Contribution of farm power
to smallholder livelihoods
in sub-Saharan Africa

by
Clare Bishop-Sambrook
FAO Consultant


FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS

Rome, 2005

 

Table of Contents


The Agricultural and Food Engineering Technical Reports bring to a broad audience the results of studies and field experience related to agricultural and food engineering within agrifood systems. The reports help us take stock of what we know and clearly identify what we do not know; and in so doing they provide information to both the public and private sectors. The Agricultural and Food Engineering Technical Reports serve to direct further work within agrifood systems. The views expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

ISSN 1814-1137

The designations employed and the presentation of material in this information product do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations concerning the legal or development status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

The mention or omission of specific companies, their products or brand names does not imply any endorsement or judgement by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

All rights reserved. Reproduction and dissemination of material in this information product for educational or other non-commercial purposes are authorized without any prior written permission from the copyright holders provided the source is fully acknowledged. Reproduction of material in this information product for resale or other commercial purposes is prohibited without written permission of the copyright holders.

Applications for such permission should be addressed to:

Chief
Publishing Management Service
Information Division
FAO
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00100 Rome, Italy
or by e-mail to:
copyright@fao.org

© FAO 2005


Contents

Foreword

Acknowledgements

List of abbreviations

Executive summary

Developments in farm-power systems
Livelihoods analysis of farm-power systems at community level
Role of farm power in smallholder livelihoods
Role of government and the private sector
The impact of HIV/AIDS and other diseases on human-power resources
Outlook for farm-power systems in the study communities
Recommendations

Chapter 1. Introduction

Farm power in the context of smallholder livelihoods
Purpose and scope of the study
Study methodology
Structure of the report

Chapter 2. Country and field-site characteristics

National economy
Agriculture sector
Field-site characteristics

Chapter 3. Developments in farm-power systems

Changes in sources of farm power for primary tillage
Phase of expansion in farm mechanization

DAP mechanization
Tractor mechanization

Phase of contraction in farm mechanization

Decline in tractor use
Decline in DAP use

Technological developments

Developments in hand-tool technology
Developments in DAP technology

Chapter 4. Livelihoods analysis of farm-power systems at community level

Present farm-power systems
Livelihoods in predominantly hoe-cultivation communities
Livelihoods in predominantly DAP communities
Livelihoods in communities with tractors as a significant power source
Outlook for farm-power systems in the study communities

Chapter 5. Analysis of livelihood asset base of individual farm-power groups

Composition of asset base of individual farm-power groups
Review of individual household farm-power assets

Human assets
Physical assets
Financial assets
Social assets

Association between source of farm power and strength of asset base
Supporting infrastructure

Multipurpose organizations
Availability

Chapter 6. Analysis of livelihood strategies and outcomes for individual farm-power groups

Association between source of farm power and farm-based livelihood strategies

Area cultivated
Commercialization of crop production
Fallow
Interrelationships between farm-power groups
Non-farm activities

Association between source of farm power and farm-based livelihood outcomes

Food security
Other outcomes

Conclusion

Chapter 7. Conclusions and recommendations

Role of farm power in smallholder livelihoods

Farm power and household asset base
Farm power as a determinant of livelihood strategies and food security
Motivation for farm-power mechanization
Mutual interdependence between farm-power groups
Limited benefits from partial mechanization in the smallholder sector
Potential role of farm power as a lifeline in communities under labour stress

Vulnerabilities of farm-power systems

State of the economy and the profitability of agriculture
Role of government and the private sector
Impact of natural calamities on the asset base
Threats to the labour base
Vulnerabilities of household types to the loss of different sources of farm power

Recommendations for enhancing farm-power contribution to smallholder livelihoods

Domain 1 - immediate: emergency assistance to overcome labour constraints facing the most vulnerable households
Domain 2 - short term: stabilizing the existing farm-power base
Domain 3 - medium term: maximizing the potential of existing sources of farm power
Domain 4 - medium to long term: enabling households to adopt new sources of farm power
Modes of implementation

Possible follow-up activities for FAO

References

Annexes

Annex 1: Study team
Annex 2: Case studies of farm-power and livelihood systems

Conceptual framework

Livelihoods analysis

Fieldwork methodology

Site selection criteria
Data collection
Evaluation of fieldwork methods

Case study A - livelihoods in predominantly hoe-cultivation communities

Livelihoods analysis of mixed hand power - DAP communities in eastern and southern Africa
Livelihoods analysis of predominantly handpower communities using hired labour in West Africa
Outlook for predominantly hoe-cultivation communities

Case study B - livelihoods in predominantly draught animal power communities in eastern Africa

Overview of DAP-based communities
Livelihoods analysis of DAP-owning communities
Livelihoods analysis of DAP-hiring communities
Outlook for DAP-based communities

Case study C - livelihoods in communities with tractors as a significant power source

Livelihoods analysis of mixed hand-power - tractor communities
Outlook for communities with tractors as a significant power source

Case study D - social assets: arrangements for accessing farm power

Annex 3: Data tables

Back Cover