How to Make Agriculture Equipment More Readily Available
The agricultural industry provides a stable economy. It ensures food security, improves nutrition and creates jobs. Yet, some countries — such as Africa — have limited access to resources. One reason for this may be due to the area’s climate. Climate change causes higher temperatures and small farmers aren’t equipped to handle this.
Also, there is minimal education and technology used in agricultural training processes. Despite this gap, this industry provides 14% of its gross domestic product, making it crucial to the survival of many. Here are some ways to increase resource availability.
Expand Private Sectors
Private sector initiatives can help introduce machines to small farmers by investing in equipment and providing hiring services. Farmers can use these tools for various purposes, such as running irrigation pumps. Fleet services can also offer rentals for transporting goods to local vendors. Private sectors let workers earn profits during the off-season and recover investment expenses.
These hiring programs also eliminate individual ownership costs. Increased services can even reduce the influx of small farmers leaving the industry.
Gather More Support from the Public
Africa has specific challenges that require support from the public and government. For example, African farmers prefer more expensive and larger horsepower tractors. Additionally, in the continent, farming equipment demands are more seasonal. One way to help is to acquire tractors through concessional loans from countries like Brazil.
These loans should include provisions to focus on maintenance and advertising strategies. Here are some of the revisions to consider adding:
- Supporting smaller services
- Scheduling free maintenance service, offering mobile workshop vans and providing spare parts
- Providing training programs
- Advertising multiple uses for tractors
- Offering diverse tractor brand options
Monitor the Effects of COVID-19 on Mechanization
One of the main factors causing resource issues is COVID-19 disrupting supply chains. Machines, attachments and spare parts may not be as readily available. Some service providers may experience staff shortages as well. Encouraging farmers to plan and order supplies early can help with this problem.
Another concern is on the demand side. Some workers may start to look for jobs that machines could do — then, farmers won’t need to use mechanization services as often. Keeping a balance between laborers and appliances is essential for productivity. As the pandemic causes setbacks, they must monitor these patterns and take action when needed.
With today’s technology expanding, agricultural equipment is becoming efficient. This can reduce production costs and increase supply. Higher supply can also increase demand at lower prices. With Africa’s growing need for advanced machinery, more tools are becoming available.
One area is automation and the collection of data. Farmers can now apply fertilizer and pesticides exactly where they’re needed. This also reduces the overuse of toxic chemicals and the negative environmental impacts.
Tractors are also now equipped with machine-sensing devices, such as video cameras. With the upgrades, some machines can even drive themselves. This cuts expenses and limits exposure to harmful pesticides.
Crops don’t always grow in neat rows — farmers sometimes cluster them together. Robotic arms could help make picking fruit easier and more efficient. The machines use sensors to feel and gather the produce. The arm then grasps the fruit and uses suction to pluck it from the tree branch.
Encourage the Sale of Used Equipment
Small farmers may not be able to afford new machinery. Purchasing gently used equipment can save money and provide equal opportunity. They should look for dealers since they often include a warranty. Additionally, there are now ways to search for companies in local areas or use online search tools, such as MachineFinder.com.
It’s essential to double-check the equipment before buying, examining for dents or worn tires. Farmers must ensure all the protective shields are in place. They can repair it or contact a dealer to get an estimate if there are any concerns. Some parts may be harder to find, so farmers have to do research before purchasing the machine. In addition, they could ask to see the device in operation.
Along with companies, farmers could consider borrowing equipment from trusted neighbors to lower costs. Having a written agreement is a good idea to prevent potential future miscommunication.
How to Increase Mechanization in Africa
Many people in Africa rely on agriculture to feed their families and make a living. Advancements in machinery make this process more efficient. Adding equipment rental options and providing governmental support help provide equal access.