Limited usage of mechanical equipment in small-scale rice farming: a cause for concern

Gaudiose Mujawamariya, Elizabeth Kalema


The role of mechanization in agriculture is well documented in terms of improving productivity of farm labour and land and sustaining income status and welfare of small-scale farmers. In rice production, there is a high cost associated with labour intensive production practices especially in land preparation, weeding and harvesting, the limited adoption of mechanical equipment in these operations remains an issue of concern. The current study investigates the usage of mechanical equipment in a setting where majority of farmers are exposed to technologies but cases of non-usage/adoption are observed. The choice of usage of mechanical equipment is analysed through probit and poisson models. Mechanization generally has a positive effect on production. However, the cost associated with its usage high. The equipment should be made available and affordable to farmers especially because demand for rent is not met. Awareness is essential for adoption and ease of use of mechanization.

Full Text:



Alchian, A.A., Demsetz, H. 1973. The property rights paradigm. J. of Econ. His. Vol. 3(1):16-27.

Besley, T. 1995. Property rights and investment incentives: Theory and evidence from Ghana. J. of Pol. Econ. Vol. 103(5):903-937.

Besley, T., Case, A.C. 1993. Modeling Technology Adoption in Developing Countries. The Amer. Econ. Rev. Vol. 83(2): 396-402.

Bill & Melinda Gates foundation. 2012. Developing the rice industry in Africa, Tanzania assessment. analysis_external_.pdf. Accessed on 03 October 2013.

Binswanger, H.P. 1986. Agricultural mechanization: A comparative historical perspective. The World Bank Res. Obser. Vol 1(1), 27-56.

Curfs, H.P.F. 1976. Systems development in agricultural mechanization with special reference to soil tillage and weed control-A case study for West Africa. Wageningen University, 179p.

Diagne, A., Amovin-Assagba, E., Futakuchi, K., Wopereis, M.C.S. 2013. Estimation of cultivated area, number of farming households and yield for major rice-growing environments in Africa, in Wopereis, M.C.S., Johnson, D.E.,

Ahmadi, N. , Tollens, E. and Jalloh, A., eds., Realizing Africa’s Rice Promise. Wallingford: CABI. Pp. 35–45.

Diagne, A. Demont. M. 2007. Taking a new look at empirical models of adoption: Average Treatment Effect estimation of adoption rate and its determinants. Agric. Econ. Vol. 37, 201-210.

Diederen, P., van Meijl, H., Wolters A. 2003. Modernisation in agriculture: what makes a farmer adopt an innovation? Int. J. of Agric. Res. Gov. Ecol. Vol. 2(¾), 328-342.

Feder, G. R., Just, E. Zilberman, D. 1985. Adoption of agricultural innovations in developing countries: A Survey. Econ. Dev.Cult. Change Vol. 33(2): 255-298.

Hall, B., and Khan, B. 2003. Adoption of New Technology. NBER Working Paper 9730. NBER, Cambridge, MA.

Hatibu, N. 2013. Investing in Agricultural Mechanization for Development in East Africa. In Kienzle, J., Ashburner, J.E.,

Sims, B.G. (eds) Mechanization for Rural Development: A review of patterns and progress from around the world. Integrated Crop Management 20. Pp1-13.

Hazell, P., Wood, S. 2008. Drivers of change in global agriculture. Phil.Tran. of the Roy. Soc. Vol. 363, 495–515.

Kienzle, J. and Sims, B.G. 2014. Agricultural mechanization strategies for sustainable production intensification: Concepts and cases from (and for) sub-Saharan Africa. Available online: (accessed on 01 January 2016).

Panin, A. 1995. Empirical evidence of mechanization effects on smallholder crop production systems in Botswana. Agric. Sys. Vol. 47, 199-210.

Rodenburg, J., Saito, K., Irakiza, R., Makokha, D.W., Onyuka, E.A., Senthilkumar, K. 2015. Labor-saving weed technologies for lowland rice farmers in sub-Saharan Africa. Weed Tech. 29(4):751-757.

Seck, P. A., Touré, A. A., Coulibaly, J. Y., Diagne, A., Wopereis, M. C. S. 2013. Africa’s rice economy before and after the 2008 rice crisis, in Wopereis, M.C.S., Johnson, D.E., Ahmadi, N. , Tollens, E. and Jalloh, A., eds., Realizing Africa’s Rice Promise. Wallingford: CABI. Pp. 24–34.

Sims, B., Alexandra Röttger and Saidi Mkomwa. 2011. Hire services by farmers for farmers. Diversification booklet number 19. FAO Rome. 89p.