FAO/AGP has published a new website and publication on Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization


The new Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization website provides an overview of Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization (SAM), describes technical aspects and explains FAO’s work in this area.  

What is SAM?
Sustainable mechanization is a means to an end. Farmers who have access to improved agricultural tools and powered technologies can shift from subsistence farming to more market-oriented farming, making the agricultural sector more attractive to rural youth. Sustainable mechanization supports the development of food supply chains through improved agricultural practices for increased production and enhanced food security. It considers technological, economic, social, environmental and cultural aspects when contributing to the sustainable development of the food and agricultural sector.

What FAO does
FAO provides support for the development of mechanization strategies and strengthening of public sector capacity for informed decision making on both national and regional levels while fostering public-private dialogue and facilitating the development of small-scale enterprises, cooperatives and local organizations to ensure access and uptake of mechanization services, especially for smallholder farmers.

FAO identifies viable business models, builds capacity, provides related training materials, and supports the development of an enabling environment for private sector involvement and development so that farmers can set up hire service businesses offering animal and/or motor powered mechanized services.

FAO aims to increase knowledge exchange on agricultural equipment and sustainable practices by fostering partnerships with public and private sector institutions that promote innovation and build on existing technology. FAO provides technical assistance to projects and programmes to implement sustainable agricultural mechanization practices adapted to the local context. FAO is also involved in activities emanating from emergency situations providing beneficiaries with basic kits – containing seeds, fertilizer and a hand tool (usually a hoe, a sickle or other) – to enable them to start up farming operations as soon as possible.

Agricultural mechanization. A key input for sub-Saharan African smallholders
This publication is part of AGP’s Integrated Crop Management series. It focuses on the opportunities provided by mechanization for intensifying production in a sustainable manner and in value addition and agri-food value chain development, and the inherent opportunities implied for improved local economies and livelihoods. Mechanization plays a key role in enabling the growth of commercial agri-food systems and the efficiency of post-harvest handling, processing and marketing operations, and as such can be a major determinant in the availability and accessibility of food, the food prices paid by urban and rural poor, as well as contributing to increased household food security. The publication is available in English and French.