On-farm energy

The term ‘mechanization’ is often misconstrued to mean modern mechanization based on fossil-fuel-driven agricultural equipment and machinery. However, mechanization in the wider context refers to the use of all farm equipment, ranging from traditional hand-held tools, to animal traction, to modern machinery powered by fossil fuel. Most farmers in developing countries spend more per year on farm power inputs than on fertilizer, seeds or agrochemicals.

Sustainable agricultural mechanization strategies

A farmer uses a tractor in the United Republic of Tanzania (FAO/Brian Sims)FAO is striving to assist member countries in finding mechanization solutions that can offer farmers the right choice of technology at the right price to increase agricultural productivity sustainably, reduce post-harvest losses and to safeguard food security. FAO’s  Agricultural Machinery and Infrastructure Unit in the Rural Infrastructure and Agro-Industries Division assists farms and agribusinesses in designing appropriate agricultural mechanization operations to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, competitiveness, and profitability of agricultural and food enterprises.

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Adequate mechanization for conservation agriculture

A key focal area in FAO's Sustainable Crop Production Intensification (SCPI) Programme, particularly in relation to conservation agriculture, is the identification of appropriate mechanization that can improve energy efficiency in crop production. Adopting conservation agriculture represents a fundamental change in soil systems management and the design and management of the cropping system. These changes in turn lead to adjustments in the required field operations and the related mechanization.

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last updated:  Tuesday, April 2, 2013