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Agricultural Mechanizasion as a Solution to Food Insecurity in Africa

Achieving meals safety in its totality continues to be a challenge for ever increasing inhabitants of Africa. A approaches are employed in creating nations however with much less success as a end result of a number of components . this paper examines the causes of meals insecurity in African. Scanning through researchers works ,it was famous that over seventy % of the food insecure population in africa reside in the rural areas. The paper due to this fact recommends that, if the ever rising inhabitants of the african nations is to be fed, then mechanization of all agricultural operations ought to be embrace.

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In conclusion, efforts to phrases the development of the agricultural communities in Africa ought to be increased. Key words: agriculture, mechanization, meals safety, Africa, rural improvement. Introduction : Agriculture is the practices of cultivating the soil and elevating livestock to produce plant and animals helpful to people and sometimes animals {S. N, Asogwu and O. A Asogwu,2007}, Agriculture is a crucial occupation in Nigeria with over 7o% of her inhabitants depending on it instantly for livelihood.

It offers the bulk of employment, income and meals for the quickly rising population in addition to supplying uncooked supplies for agro-based industries. World present agricultural production as a mean development rate of 1. 8% as in comparability with the 3% in the 1960s and due to this fact at a lesser tempo than the demographic growth. The world financial institution has shown that in sub-saharan Africa (to which Nigeria belongs)the annual meals enhance wants to succeed in 4%, i. e. more than double the current determine so as to obtain food security.

She advised that this might be reached through a significant progress in plant and animal breeding that plays a key role in the growth of the agricultural sector in addition to a significant impression utilizing appropriate farm mechanization {Pawlat et al , 2002}. Due to variety of elements, which embrace rising population, growing pressure on land assets, natural and man-made disasters such as drought, desertification, soil erosion and degradation (Raoult-Wack and Bricas, 001), the issue of sustainable agricultural production in Nigeria has assumed higher importance than ever before. Agricultural development includes three approaches specifically bio-chemical, socio-economic, and engineering known as the trio of technologies (Mrema and Odigboh, 1993). The bio-chemical method includes the event of improved animal and plant species, animal and plant nutrients (fertilizer and feed) and plant and animal protection (veterinary medicine, pesticides and herbicides).

The socio-economic approach includes monetary packages and management programmes (economic, enterprise management, accounting, sociology, extension services, agricultural machines and tools (be they human, animal or mechanically powered) for manufacturing and publish harvest systems dealing with and storage techniques and farm constructions, erosion management measures, water resources improvement in addition to irrigation and drainage buildings, meteorological methods, and the applied sciences for optimally utilizing the above and their correct and economic use and management. Ani and Onwuala, 2002; Ampratwum et al, 2004; Onwuala and Pawa, 2004).

Agricultural mechanization implies using numerous power sources and improved farm tools and gear, with a view to cut back drudgery of the human beings and draught animals, improve the cropping intensity, precision and timeliness of efficiency of utilization of various crop inputs and cut back the losses at different phases of crop production. The end goal of farm mechanization is to reinforce the overall productivity and production with the bottom price of manufacturing.

The contribution of agricultural mechanization has been nicely recognized in enhancing the manufacturing together with irrigation, organic and chemical inputs of high yielding seed varieties, fertilizers, pesticides and mechanical power. Different researchers have concluded that farm mechanization enhances the production and productivity of various crops because of timeliness of operation, better high quality of operations and precision in the utility of the inputs.

According to NCAER (1980) survey overlaying 815 farming households in 85 villages, the rise was seventy two % within the case of sorghum, and 7 % within the case of cotton as compared to traditional bullock farms. ITES, Madras (1975) discovered that the productivity increase on tractor proudly owning and hiring farm ranged between 4. 1 and 54. eight p.c. The % increase was comparatively low on custom hiring farms as in comparison with tractor-owning farms as a outcome of higher level of inputs and better management on timeliness of operations. These productivity will increase, thus, have been attributed to higher doses of fertilizer, irrigation and mechanization.

Degree of mechanization is the ration of machine or technological work input to whole work enter (machine plus manual) into agricultural production. The importance of meals security to any nation can’t be over emphasized. The concern of food security grew to become distinguished in the 1970s and had been given considerable consideration since then. The World Food Programme Report in 1979 conceptualized meals security, equating it with an “assurance of supplies and a balanced supply-demand scenario of staple foods within the worldwide market”.

The report additionally emphasized that growing food manufacturing within the developing countries is a panacea to food security. The idea of meals security proposes that meals is on the market, accessible and reasonably priced, when and the place needed in sufficient amount and that this state of affair will proceed and be sustained (Agboola, P. O. , 2002). It is a situation by which sufficient food us out there at all times in the best quantity and quality, at affordable process.

To accomplish this, we should have a production system that produces enough food within the short run, sustainable in the long run and does not place undue dangers on agricultural producers and must reply rapidly to disruptions within the food provide due to illness epidemics, pure disasters, civil disturbances, environmental imbalances and other trigger (Agboola P. O. 2002). With these aims in thoughts, numerous efforts at the international, nationwide and local levels had been put in place at one cut-off date or another to boost agricultural manufacturing to make meals obtainable to the teaming inhabitants and the ever-increasing world population.

The world inhabitants. The world population explosion witnessed as at the finish of 1999, further increased the worry of these concerned about world meals safety. During this period, the worldwide inhabitants exceeded 6 billion. Leisinger, (2002), acknowledged that by no means earlier than in human historical past had the population of the earth been as nice as it is today, and by no means earlier than had it grown so rapidly within one century. He acknowledged additional that the doubling of world inhabitants over the past 40years had put huge pressure on the natural methods that assist all life on Earth.

This stress on natural resources also increased the burden of assuring food security for the complete world’s people worldwide Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI, 2001) acknowledged in one of her reports, that about seventy three millions folks could be added to world’s population every year between 1995 and 2010 rising it by 32 % to achieve 7. 5 billion. However, a lot of this population development is expected to occur within the developing world. If this prediction is to go by, then the meals security situation of the creating world wants constant evaluation by way of empirical research.

Joachim et depal (2004), wrote that these was a powerful direct relationship between agricultural productiveness, starvation and poverty. He said additional that three quarter of the world’s poor folks lived in rural areas and made their dwelling from agriculture. He due to this fact, concluded that the upper the proportion of the rural population that obtained its advantages from subsistence farming (without the advantage of pro poor applied sciences and entry to markets) the higher the incidence of meals insecurity.

Challenges to Food Security in Africa The root reason for meals insecurity in developing international locations is the inability of people to achieve entry to meals because of poverty. While the relaxation of the world has made significant progress in path of poverty alleviation, Africa, specifically Sub-Saharan Africa, continues to lag behind. Projections show that there might be an increase on this tendency until preventive measures are taken.

Many components have contributed to this tendency together with the high prevalence of HIV/AID; civil struggle, try and poor governance; frequent drought and famine; and agricultural dependency on the climate and setting. Food security on the continent has worsened since 1970 and the proportion of the malnourished population has remained within the 33 and 35 p.c range in Sub-Saharan Africa. The prevalence of malnutrition inside the continent varies by region. It is lowest in Northern Africa (4 percent) and highest in Central Africa (40 percent)

Over seventy percent of the food insecure population in Africa lives within the rural areas. Figure 1 exhibits the distribution of meals insecurity in Africa. Ironically, smallholder farmers, the producers of over ninety percent of the continent’s food supply, make up the majority (50 percent) of this population. The remainder of the meals insecure population consists of the landless poor in rural areas (30 percent) and the urban poor. Throughout the growing world, agriculture accounts for round 9 p.c of the GDP and greater than half of total employment.

In international locations the place more than 34 p.c of the population is undernourished, agriculture represents 30 p.c of GDP and almost 70 % of inhabitants depends on agriculture for their livelihood. This reality has up to now been utilized in assist of the argument as to why creating countries should move away from agriculture and spend money on technology. Because over 70 p.c of the poor reside in rural areas, where additionally the biggest proportion of the food insecure live, it’s evident that ;we can’t significantly and sustainably scale back meals insecurity with out reworking the dwelling circumstances in these areas.

The key lies in increasing the agricultural profitability of smallholder farmers and creating rural off-farm employment opportunities. The objective of this paper is to h8ighlight the challenges to meals safety in Africa whereas providing various options to the issue that might not solely enable for poverty alleviation but in addition wealth creation. While the primary target of this paper is in alleviating food insecurity in the rural areas, effort has been made to address the plight of the urban poor.

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