Mechanization and Skills Development for Productivity Growth, Employment and Value Addition: Insights from KENYA

2020 | F. Makini | L. Mose | G. Kamau | N. Wawire | B. Salasya | W. Mulinge | M. Makelo | S. Makokha | E. Thuranira

Published as FARA Research Report Volume 5 No: 18 (2020).

Download the report here.

Abstract

In Africa, the importance of mechanization in agricultural transformation was recognized in the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) and the Malabo Declaration. In Kenya, agricultural mechanization is low and limited for smallholder farmers with labour intensive farming. This study was conducted to identify opportunities of mechanization policies and investments to increase productivity, incomes, employment opportunities and add value to African produce. In particular, the four research objectives were to: compare different institutional options for mechanization, including state-led procurement and distribution of machinery and private sector activities; assess opinions and policy beliefs with regard to policy instruments and effects on mechanization, youth and digitalization; assess the state of skills development for mechanization and; assess the effects of agricultural mechanization on rural communities.
The study was conducted in seven out of 47 counties, and a total of 187 privately owned tractor owners and 19 government (public) owned tractor respondents were interviewed. On policy representatives from the national government, research and nongovernment organizations, farmer organizations, youth associations, women organizations, county governments, and private companies were interviewed using a structured questionnaire. Fourteen institutions offering mechanization courses provided the required information on skills development. Participatory impact diagrams were used to gather information from farmers on the impact of agricultural mechanization.