Agricultural Mechanization: a Sustainability Tool for National Food Security

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AGRICULTURAL MECHANIZATION: A SUSTAINABILITY TOOL FOR NATIONAL FOOD SECURITY

Ola Rauf and Lateef, I A

Mechanical Engineering Department,

Osun State College Of Technology

P.M.B 1011,, Esa- Oke, Nigeria

baale_i@yahoo.com

ABSTRACT

Poverty is a state of insufficient of everything. The rate of poverty in developing country is very alarming and therefore required proper investigation. A nation in which 80% of her population consists of peasant famer that cannot provide enough food for his or her family, will not capable of feeding her population and hence lack food security. This paper discus the problem facing developing country food security with regards to agricultural production in relationship with peasant farmers that produces 90% of food. Application of Agricultural mechanization is examined as a means of sustaining developing nations as regards to food security problems.

Key words-Poverty, Peasant farmer, food security and Infrastructural amenities.

INTRODUCTION

Poverty is very severe in some of the developing country, most especially in rural areas where social services and infrastructure are limited or non-existence. Majority of these rural dwellers are classified as poor because they live in thatched home or rented one room apartment. They walk about bare footed, use wood to cook their food and have neither good source of water nor electricity. These people can hardly afford to send their children to school, hence referred to as peasant farmers.

Farmers practicing subsistence farming, producing what can hardly feed their immediate family all the year round and cannot meet other requirements of life are often referred to as peasant farmers. These peasant farmers are common in Africa country, most especially, Nigeria. They are the categories of people that cultivate less than 1 hectare of land in all and practice shifting cultivation. Their farm plots which are scattered about and in most cases their inheritance or got on lease, depend on rainfall rather than irrigation system. According to World Bank data of 1996, 44% of male farmers and 72% of female’s farmers cultivate less than 1 hectare of land per household in Nigeria. They have limited commercial orientation and the crop yields are usually below agronomic potentials due to climatic, cultural, social and economic factors (IFAD, 2007).As a matter of fact the country can not produce enough food to feed her populace.

Importance of Peasant Farming To National Food Security

Peasant farmer are making substantial contribution towards the attainment of food self-sufficiency at different times. Odigboh (2004) confirmed that peasant farmers are producing over 90% of the country’s food yet they suffered the most severe deprivation socially and economically. Despite the peasant strife to make both ends meet, their efforts and supports from policy makers over the years have not yielded the desired outcome in term of wealth creation.

Olomola (2005), when contributing to why peasant farmers remain poor, observed that agriculture has witnessed considerable changes over the years especially on account of changing technology, level of investment, marketing outlet s and policy direction. Still, there is no food security.

FOOD SECURITY

Food security is severally defined in term of access by all people at all times to sufficient food for active healthy lives (World Bank, 2002). As such food security depends not only on how much food is available but also on the access that individuals have to food whether by purchasing it or by producing it. This access however, depends on some economics variables such as food prices, household’s income, agricultural productivity, technology availability towards mechanization and quality of natural resources.

Limitations of Peasant Farmers.

The peasant farmers utilize only simple tools such as hoes and cutlasses. Farmers using only hand tools technology can...
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