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Tuesday, 19 July 2016

FAO: The EU has a role in Africa’s agriculture mechanisation

What are the main challenges of Africa’s mechanization? Several unsuccessful efforts were made in the past, what is different now? From the colonial times, it was part of the Ministry of Agriculture’s role to provide services to farmers. African countries continued this, although it was heavily subsided by loans from the World Bank, and the whole process was getting very expensive and inefficient. There were public servants providing services for the mechanization sector. For instance, they stopped working at 17:00 on Friday, and therefore there were no services provided on Saturday morning. These things normally do not happen in the private sector. It became also insufficient because a lot of smallholders never saw these tractors; so tractors did not really work for all. And by the time the World Bank decided to do structural adjustment, basically closing down all these extension programmes, the whole business started shaking and the mechanization services totally collapsed.