Project final report

Farm mechanisation and conservation agriculture for sustainable intensification - final report

Date released
04 June 2020
Publication Code

Frédéric Baudron & Rahel Assefa, International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT)


This project aimed to accelerate delivery of two-wheel tractor-based technologies to smallholder farmers in Eastern and Southern Africa, and help them adopt the technology.

This improved access to mechanization, reduced labour drudgery, and minimised biomass trade-offs.

Sub-Saharan Africa needs sustainable intensification of agriculture. Research for development work is increasing the efficiency with which land, water and nutrients are being used, but farm power appears to be a forgotten resource.

Farm power in Sub-Saharan Africa countries is declining because most tractor hire schemes have collapsed, and the number of both draught animals and human labourers has declined. Low farm mechanization causes high labour drudgery, which disproportionally affects women.

For sustainable intensification in Sub-Saharan Africa to work, the farm power balance must be improved through increased power supply (via improved access to mechanization) and/or reduced power demand (via energy saving technologies such as conservation agriculture).

View project page.