Agricultural Mechanizasion as a Solution to Food Insecurity in Africa

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AGRICULTURAL MECHANIZATION AS A SOLUTION TO FOOD
INSECURITY IN AFRICA
Abstract :
Achieving food security in its totality continues to be a challenge for ever increasing population of Africa. A approaches are employed in developing countries but with less success due to a number of factors . this paper examines the causes of food insecurity in African. Scanning through researchers works ,it was noted that over seventy percent of the food insecure population in africa live in the rural areas. The paper therefore recommends that, if the ever increasing population of the african countries is to be fed, then mechanization of all agricultural operations should be embrace. In conclusion, efforts to words the development of the rural communities in Africa should be increased. Key words: agriculture, mechanization, food security, Africa, rural development.

Introduction :
Agriculture is the practices of cultivating the soil and raising livestock to produce plant and animals useful to humans and sometimes animals {S.N, Asogwu and O.A Asogwu,2007}, Agriculture is an important occupation in Nigeria with over 7o% of her population depending on it directly for livelihood. It provides the bulk of employment, income and food for the rapidly growing population as well as supplying raw materials for agro-based industries. World current agricultural production as an average growth rate of 1.8% as compared to the 3% in the 1960s and therefore at a lesser pace than the demographic growth. The world bank has shown that in sub-saharan Africa (to which Nigeria belongs)the annual food increase needs to reach 4%, i.e. more than double the current figure in order to achieve food security (IBRD, 19890. She suggested that this can be reached through a significant progress in plant and animal breeding that plays a key role in the development of the agricultural sector as well as a significant impact using appropriate farm mechanization {Pawlat et al , 2002}.

Due to number of factors, which include rising population, increasing pressure on land resources, natural and man-made disasters such as drought, desertification, soil erosion and degradation (Raoult-Wack and Bricas, 2001), the problem of sustainable agricultural production in Nigeria has assumed greater importance than ever before.

Agricultural development involves three approaches namely bio-chemical, socio-economic, and engineering known as the trio of technologies (Mrema and Odigboh, 1993). The bio-chemical approach includes the development of improved animal and plant species, animal and plant nutrients (fertilizer and feed) and plant and animal protection (veterinary drugs, pesticides and herbicides). The socio-economic approach includes financial packages and management programmes (economic, business management, accounting, sociology, extension services, agricultural machines and equipment (be they human, animal or mechanically powered) for production and post harvest systems handling and storage systems and farm structures, erosion control measures, water resources development as well as irrigation and drainage structures, meteorological systems, and the technologies for optimally utilizing the above and their proper and economic use and management. (Ani and Onwuala, 2002; Ampratwum et al, 2004; Onwuala and Pawa, 2004).

Agricultural mechanization implies the use of various power sources and improved farm tools and equipment, with a view to reduce drudgery of the human beings and draught animals, enhance the cropping intensity, precision and timeliness of efficiency of utilization of various crop inputs and reduce the losses at different stages of crop production. The end objective of farm mechanization is to enhance the overall productivity and production with the lowest cost of production. The contribution of agricultural mechanization has been well recognized in enhancing the production together with irrigation, biological and chemical inputs of high...
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