Agricultural mechanization can increase the welfare of farm households and create positive dynamics and opportunities for economic growth in rural areas
CEMA, the European Agricultural Machinery Industry Association, calls on the new European Commission and on the EU Member States to mainstream Sustainable Agriculture Mechanization in Africa as a key enabler in the new Comprehensive Strategy for Africa announced by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
The European Commission has declared its willingness to build partnerships between Europe and Africa in the areas of food security, climate action, sustainable management of resources, rural job creation, sustainable investment and fair trade. It builds on the Africa-Europe Alliance for Sustainable Investment and Jobs as well as on the 2019 Africa-Europe alliance political declaration for a stronger partnership in agriculture, food and farming.
By far, the EU is Africa’s first partner in trade, in foreign investment and in development. Member States of the European Union collectively represent the largest global providers of Official Development Assistance (ODA), even if the effort remains fragmented at National EU Member State level. However, agronomic yields and agricultural mechanization in Africa remain low compared with other regions of the world, and food security concerns are exacerbated by the growing population and ever-increasing urbanisation.
In a position paper adopted today, CEMA recommends to build on the Sustainable Agriculture Mechanization framework for Africa prepared by the FAO and to implement a dual approach, whereby:
. the top-down approach develops the agricultural potential, human potential and financial framework needed, while
. the bottom-up approach takes into account the current practices and actual requirements of the farmers, involving local communities to identify their exact needs.
These tailored, inclusive and integrated approaches to agricultural mechanization have the potential to make a real difference, increasing the welfare of farm households and creating positive dynamics and opportunities for economic growth in rural areas.
Since 2015 CEMA has a Memorandum of Understanding with FAO, with the goal of promoting wider use of sustainable agricultural mechanization in Africa and develop capacity building activities in a continent where human muscle remains the most important power source for smallholder farmers.
You can read the full position paper by CEMA here.