Limitations of agricultural mechanization
- Economic Limitation
- The majority of Nigerian farmers live in poverty. They lack the funds to buy sophisticated farming machines.
- Commercial agricultural loans are not available.
iii. Food wastage is caused by poor roads, electricity, and processing facilities.
- Hiring tractor operators are expensive.
- It is difficult to maintain farm machinery because of insufficient or lack of hands.
- Most farmers are not literate. They are illiterate and cannot read or interpret manuals to operate farm machinery.
iii. There is low maintenance culture.
- Some farmers find it difficult to adopt modernization.
- Some machines have sophisticated modes of operation that require only skilled labor.
- Small Holdings
- Mechanization should be done on large areas of land. Nigeria’s land tenure system discourages farmers from acquiring sufficient land to support large-scale farming.
- Some systems encourage land fragmentation.
iii. Most Nigerian farmers are subsistence farmers and have occupied scattered farms where tractors can’t operate effectively.
- Seasonality of Farm Operations
- Most farmers only work during the rainy season. Some machines may become inactive during this time. This could cause serious damage to their health.
- Patronage for certain products during a season can affect productivity.
Prospects of Agricultural Mechanization
These are the solutions to agricultural mechanization problems:
- An amendment to the 1978 land use decree was made to reduce land fragmentation. This will allow for the acquisition of sufficient land to support agriculture in a particular place.
- More agricultural extension workers should educate farmers. These workers can help them learn how to use modern equipment.
- Technicians must be trained to service and handle complex farm machinery whenever and wherever they may be available.
- Local manufacturers should manufacture this equipment. This will lower production costs.
- Farmers who want to purchase modern farming equipment should access credit facilities.
- To avoid food waste, there should be an improvement in infrastructure facilities such as roads, electricity supply, processing, and storage.
- The government should take more steps to improve agricultural production.
- Rural areas should have agro-service centers to make tractor hire affordable.
- Machine spare parts should always be provided at a subsidized rate.