Agricultural mechanization in Ethiopian: Experience, status and prospects

  • Friew Kelemu

Abstract

Agricultural Mechanization deals with the use of any mechanical aid in agricultural production. These mechanical aids could be simple hand tools, animal drawn implements or sophisticated mechanically powered agricultural machines. The source of energy ranges from humans, animals to engine or electrical power. Generally these are categorized as hand tool,, animal and mechanically powered technology. The productivity of each level depends on the power source. Humans being inefficient one can hardly cultivate a hectare of land per season, where as animal powered technology is of no use beyond three hectares where as mechanical powered technology is good enough to cultivate a minimum of 40 hectares even in sub moist zones where the window of operation time does not exceed 15 days. The three levels of mechanization have existed in this country for many years now. During Imperial Ethiopia, there were big farms operating as share companies, where mechanically powered technologies were used in areas like Dubti, which were highly productive and produced competitive product in the then world market. During the time of the Derg and now most of the big farms are not producing to the level of the national average. Today you hear in the news that entrepreneurs have cleared the land, but not have started production yet. The mode of land clearing was not systematic and did not take precaution in terms environmental and social safe guards. It is not only the level of mechanization, but the discipline commitment in the mode of production that guarantees the sustainable production and productivity of the land to meet today’s need and the requirement of tomorrow’s generation. Land is a limited resource, besides the competition for land from the other economic sectors is paramount, despite the increasing population and the number of mouths to feed. Under these circumstances it is only a knowledge based agricultural mechanization system, where precision and efficiency are the pillars that will operate under this paradox of feeding increasing population in a situation of dwindling resource base.
Published
2016-08-29
Section
Articles

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 2415-2382
print ISSN: 0257-2605