Agriculture

Farmers urged to adopt mechanisation to boost productivity

by Josephine Okojie

June 22, 2016 | 2:16 pm
  |     |     |   Start Conversation

Dizengoff Nigeria has emphasised the need for farmers in the country to adopt mechanisation and do away with manual implements so as to boost productivity and increase local capacity towards self-sufficiency in local food production.

In a press statement made available to BusinessDay, the company identified lack of mechanisation in the agricultural sector the biggest challenges of farmers in the country.

Nigeria is listed among the least countries in the world with mechanised farming. The rate of the use of agricultural machinery is still below that which is considered necessary to meet the rising demand for food, as stipulated by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

“Dizengoff, through its Massey Ferguson brand of tractors, is committed to providing high-quality machinery and appropriate technology to suit all types of farming operations in Nigeria,” said Damisa Enahoro, commercial manager, tractor & implements, Dizengoff Nigeria.

Damisa assures farmers that the company is truly a full-line supplier of farm equipment, providing solutions to farmers no matter what their farm size or type of operation is.

Within mechanisation, there are a large number of possibilities and technologies available for farmers to choose from. These range from choosing between the different sources of additional farm power, to selecting from the various other production enhancing mechanical technologies available.

The cultivation of food in Nigeria is generally very labour intensive particularly with the small farmer holders. The manual work embarked by farmers and their families is very strenuous and time consuming. This is a major constraint towards achieving an increase in agricultural production.

In Nigeria, a significantly high proportion of arable land is still been cultivated by hand tools, thereby making the farming profession unattractive even among young people. To ensure a significant growth in the agricultural sector and making it an attractive business for young people, efficient and adequate farm machineries must be deployed to farms.

Farm cultivation can be substantially increased through mechanisation, which is labour saving and directly increases yields and production. Inputs of hard labour by farmers and their families can be substantially reduced if they have access to or use carefully selected machines and equipment.

The labour invested can be used for other productive activities. Deploying the appropriate equipment to farms can also have a direct impact on yields and the area under production. Such technological interventions are commonly referred to as agricultural mechanisation.

A mechanised farm with the appropriate machineries, take tractor for example, is able to sow 15 hectares a day, compared to if it is manually done with hoes, cutlasses and human labour- the best under a favourable condition is 1 hectare. Also, harvesting with hand tools such as cutlasses, which is inefficient, leads to high losses in the harvest and post-harvest process.

In order to achieve a mechanised agricultural system in Nigeria, there is an urgent need for a deliberate participation amongst government, private sector NGOs and the original tractors & equipment hiring associations.

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by Josephine Okojie

June 22, 2016 | 2:16 pm
  |     |     |   Start Conversation

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