Mechanized: Transforming Africa’s agriculture value chains
This report (PDF) by the Malabo Montpellier Panel summarizes findings of a systematic analysis of what countries at the forefront of progress in mechanization have done right. Africa currently has the highest rates of growth in population, urbanization, and middle-class consumers, which combined are fuelling a sharp increase in food demand. More needs to be done to meet future food demands and accelerate agricultural growth and transformation. Technological strategies and innovations along the food value chain could help to meet the demands. Yet the use of mechanization and new technologies along the agriculture value chain still remains low. This report shows thata number of African countries have shown how to successfully improve the uptake of mechanization along the entire agriculture value chain. As a result, they have achieved high machinery growth coupled with high agricultural growth rates and generating new off-farm employment opportunities. In many other African countries, however, progress remains limited in particular with respect to mechanizing downstream value chain segments. Targeted efforts and interventions are needed to promote mechanization in each segment of the value chain and at scale. This leverages the potential of agriculture to drive growth and employment, particularly in rural economies. The Panel comes with a number of recommendations: 1) Elevate national agricultural mechanization investment strategies to a priority within countries’ national agricultural investment plan; 2) Design mechanization pathways in a way that they are socially sustainable; 3) Prioritize mechanization in every segment of the agriculture value chain; 4) Increase investment in the development of supportive infrastructure and vocational training; 5) Incentivize the private sector to take mechanization to scale by creating a conducive business and services environment; 6) Develop an African agricultural mechanization industry through strong public-private partnerships ; 7) Empower smallholder farmers and women by involving them in the development of locally adapted machines and technologies.
An infographic of the report can be found here.