Thinking Outside the Plot: Insights on Small-Scale Mechanisation from Case Studies in East Africa
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The changing agricultural sector and the challenges faced by smallholders call for the need for farm mechanisation suited to smallholder farming. Conventional four-wheeled tractors (4WTs) are not feasible for many smallholders owing to their high capital costs, unsuitability for fragmented holdings as well as topography and slope. More appropriate technologies are needed such as two-wheeled tractors (2WTs) and their requisite accessories. Our findings show that opportunities exist for the introduction of 2WTs in maize based systems through service provider models combining a number of operations that can be offered throughout the year and targeted to niche areas where 4WT access is unlikely. The paper also suggests that attention needs to be given concurrently to development of the 2WT supply chain to ensure that its profitability is sustainable.
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