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Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization

Hand tools for emergencies

FAO has been involved with emergency programmes for many decades. Under these circumstances, it is essential to ensure that the assistance is sufficient in quantity and quality. One of the objectives of emergency interventions is to encourage a sustainable recovery, and agricultural hand tools are a key element to achieve it. FAO's standard emergency response to a crisis is to provide basic kits to enable people to start up farming operations as soon as possible.

Hand tools may appear simple objects. However, selecting the correct tool for the agricultural and socio economic context and ensuring its quality is fundamental for the success of any recovery programme. The right choice of the right tool will help farmers to recover from the impact and can also be means to introduce more sustainable practices. For example, the jab planter allows direct seeding and is an entry point to Conservation Agriculture practices. Other advantages of using adequate tools include drudgery reduction and improving working conditions.

FAO's publication on "Agricultural Hand Tools in Emergencies: Guidelines for Technical and Field Officers" enables FAO Field Officers to clearly identify the agricultural hand tools required for emergency projects. It also provide technical details of tools which is intended to be used by FAO staff together with suppliers and inspection companies. Its objective is to clearly indicate FAO procurement procedures in order to enable staff to provide detailed technical specifications for a range of agricultural hand tools and to describe how to test the quality of these tools and inspect them prior to thier delivery.