JUST IN: Mechanisation Boosting Smallholder Farmers’ Productivity – Report

Mechanisation Boosting Smallholder Farmers’ Productivity – Report

Mechanisation Boosting Smallholder Farmers’ Productivity – Report


A global nonprofit organisation working to end hunger and poverty through sustainable farming, Heifer International has released a report highlighting how thousands of smallholder African farmers have seen their livelihoods transformed by a tech-driven mechanisation initiative.

The report released yesterday in Nairobi, Kenya,  titled: “Mechanisation for Africa: Innovative Financing for Agricultural Transformation and Youth Job Creation”, examines the role and benefits of agricultural innovation, mechanization, and catalytic financing in empowering smallholder farming communities in Africa while creating new opportunities in agriculture for Africa’s youth population.

It showcased how Heifer’s support and investment in innovation and youth catalysed the expansion of an agritech initiative to power large scale affordable access to tractors for smallholder farmers. The resultant increased mechanization spurred enhanced productivity, leading to improved livelihoods for smallholding farming communities across the pilot countries in Africa.

Heifer International senior vice president, Africa Programmes, Adesuwa Ifedi, said smallholder farmers are the backbone of Africa’s food systems, accounting for up to 80 percent of food production in sub-Saharan Africa.

“Equipping them with the right tools and resources, including appropriate and sustainable mechanization, is essential for increased productivity.


Ifedi said, “As this report shows, access to affordable tractors increased incomes of smallholder farmers by 227 percent within the beneficiaries’ pool, leading to not just enhanced productivity, but a plethora of critical transformational pathways – increased inclusion, an energised ecosystem, and job creation for Africa’s energetic youth.”


Key findings of the report include the value of catalytic financing and partnerships to scale innovative agricultural solutions, as well as the effect of affordable mechanization on improved agricultural yields, labour efficiency, and household income for smallholder farmers. The importance and advantage of incorporating local contexts, farmer needs, and gender equity into new technologies is also emphasized.


The report revealed that the initiative provided service to 21,048 smallholder farmers in need of mechanization services in the three pilot countries of Nigeria, Kenya, and Uganda, as of December 2022. A total of 104 farmers became tractor owners through a Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) model. The project also created 368 direct jobs for youth serving as booking agents, tractor operators and technicians, and 784 indirect jobs across target communities.

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