A week-long workshop brought together PARI partners for the first meeting of newly established research cluster on mechanization in Kenya. Researchers from Kenya, Nigeria, Mali, and Benin developed common research approaches to maximize policy-relevant lessons across countries and tested the research tools in the field. The overall aim is to identify agricultural mechanization pathways which are sustainable from economic, social and environmental perspectives.
Agricultural mechanization has the potential to raise agricultural labor productivity. This would help to improve the incomes of millions of smallholder farmers in Africa. However, many open questions remain: What are the best institutional arrangements to enable smallholder farmers to access mechanization? What are the effects of agricultural mechanization on employment? How to best create knowledge and skills for mechanization? What are policy beliefs with regard to mechanization and do they differ between stakeholder groups?
To answer these questions, PARI 2.0 will focus heavily on agricultural mechanization. The research will be conducted in four African countries: Benin (by the Institut National des Recherches Agricoles du Bénin), Kenya (by the Kenyan Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization), Mali (by the Institut d’Economie Rurale) and Nigeria (by the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria). The research is led by the University of Hohenheim is a collaboration with the Center for Development Research (ZEF) and the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA).