- January 31, 2023
- By: Massey Ferguson Ghana
- in: Agricultural Machinery, Massey Ferguson Tractors
Many farmers in Ghana still rely on traditional methods, such as using hand tools like cutlasses and hoes and transporting their goods on their heads in baskets and sacks. These labor-intensive production techniques restrict farmland and lead to significant output losses as a result of delayed or missed planting, weeding, harvesting, transport, and storage. Youth are becoming less interested in farming as a career due to the monotony of labor and the little rewards it provides. When it comes to agro-processing and the growth of agro-based enterprises, mechanizing agricultural output is often considered as the missing link.
The mechanization of farming is a hot topic in Ghana. However, it is not yet clear what approaches can be taken and what steps should be taken to reach this objective. The advancement of a country relies heavily on scientific research and technological innovation. Unfortunately, STI-related agriculture relies on primitive tools like hoes and cutlasses. Small amounts of mechanization, such as tractors, farm implements, other agricultural machinery and irrigation systems, are used. The lack of a strong mechanization policy component in Ghana’s development guidelines has been blamed for the failure of agricultural development plans in Ghana.
Potential of agricultural mechanization
In terms of national economic growth, agriculture plays a crucial role as the bedrock upon which all other industries are built. Global mechanization trends demonstrate definitively the close relationships between economic development and the adoption of agricultural machinery and mechanization. Countries that have had rapid economic development over the last three decades and have overcome their food security challenges are also among the most mechanized in the world. However, nations whose economies have stalled, leaving large segments of their populations living in abject poverty, have also fallen behind in agricultural mechanization.
Agricultural machinery and the mechanization of farms have been instrumental in the dramatic rise in agricultural output. Consequently, agricultural tasks must be mechanized. Many different considerations suggest that agricultural mechanization in Ghana should be bolstered. Mechanization has made it feasible to produce maximum yields from a variety of crops, but this has increased the value of efficiency in operation timing. For instance, if pre- and post-planting tasks are not completed on time, production and revenue from the farm would suffer. As far as efficiency in farming goes, mechanization is the ideal solution when big areas of land are being cultivated.
Another argument in favor of agricultural mechanization is that it increases land and labor productivity. The overall amount of labor required drops, yet production per hour rises. It is possible that the increasing production, repair, and service shops, as well as the related after-sale services, will absorb the displaced workers. Thus, all that happens is that people switch jobs. To a greater extent, labor costs may be reduced by the mechanization of agricultural processes through proper agricultural machinery.
It also lessens the possibility of bad weather or a lack of available workers, which in turn minimizes the likelihood of waste. Fast mechanical transport, cleaning, and handling all contribute to timely advertising. The increased area under plough, multiple cropping, and the growth of agro-industries and associated services are only some of the ways in which farm mechanization boosts job chances off the farm as well. However, human labor gets displaced and the need for semi-skilled workers rises as a result of the greater use of technology. As an added bonus, agricultural machinery can do unsanitary tasks, such as moving dung around a field that would otherwise need human labor.
Due to a lack of advancement in mechanization over the previous three decades, the topic is no longer prioritized by international development organizations or donor agencies and has a low profile in national agricultural development programs. This is a cause for alarm because it corresponds with a number of worrisome trends indicating that Ghanaian agriculture has fallen behind in key areas. These trends include falling food production per capita, falling agricultural value addition, rising agricultural imports relative to exports, and rising rates of undernourishment.
It is undeniable that agricultural mechanization has great promise for raising both agricultural output and farmers’ quality of life. Although there are certain benefits to agricultural mechanization, there are also some drawbacks. The first obstacle to mechanization is the often modest and dispersed size of individual farms. This leads to the widespread underutilization of agricultural machinery. Second, the bulk of regional farmers is financially strapped and cannot afford to invest in high-priced agricultural machinery such as tractors, farm implements, combine harvesters, etc.
Unemployment might result from the displacement of workers due to unanticipated mechanization. While an increase in agricultural machinery and agricultural mechanization would boost employment in the service and manufacturing sectors, it will reduce the need for human labor on farms. Fossil fuels are becoming more expensive worldwide and might be difficult to come by, which drives up the cost of operating machinery. Farming in the country is seasonal, therefore most of the time the agricultural machinery equipment sits idle. As a result, unless other, less expensive uses are found for agricultural machinery during the off-season, keeping it idle will incur unneeded expenditures. In addition, soil, temperature, and agroecological conditions might degrade more quickly when working equipment is poorly adapted to them.
It seems unlikely that Ghana’s agriculture industry would have the desired economic impact without substantial mechanization. However, buying tractors, farm implements and another agricultural machinery is just the first step toward a successful mechanization plan. Documents outlining such successful mechanization schemes should not be stored on shelves, but rather used to guide the government’s actual policymaking.
Massey Ferguson Ghana’s Role
Massey Ferguson Ghana is a company with a singular focus: helping the farmers of Ghana by making available high-quality agricultural machinery and tractors, including Massey Ferguson tractors, at reasonable prices and with flexible financing options. The services and products offered by Massey Ferguson Ghana extend beyond just the sale of tractors themselves. They put an emphasis on helping their customers.
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