Earthprint Ltd

Contribution of farm power to smallholder livelihoods in sub-Saharan Africa (English)

Series: Agricultural and food engineering technical reports

At the beginning of the new millennium, rural livelihoods in many parts of sub-Saharan Africa are under considerable strain. The economies and political environment in many countries are experiencing a period of significant transformation, and endemic poverty remains common. Agriculture, which forms the core of rural livelihoods, has a major influence on livelihood outcomes. Farm power (from human, animal and engine driven sources) is a crucial input in the agricultural production process.

Shortages of farm power compromise the ability of families to cultivate sufficient land and have long been recognized as a major contributory factor to the increasing prevalence of poverty in the region. This study discusses the farm-power theme through the livelihoods philosophy. It highlights the overall problem of the availability of farm power and its interrelationships with socio-economic parameters of rural life. The report illustrates the great complexity of farm-power interrelations and problem areas that are clustered around the farm-power theme. It makes clear that farm-power availability is not simply a matter of promoting a certain technology or equipment. It shows that all aspects of the livelihoods of a rural household are connected to and affected by the available farm-power base.
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