AU Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture Josefa Sacko stressed that "doubling agricultural productivity and eliminating hunger and malnutrition in Africa by 2025 will be illusory if a major importance is not given to mechanization ".
It is in this sense that FAO and the African Union put in place a new framework for Africa called SAMA.
It aims at improving agricultural efficiency and reducing the hardship of the work in order to help African countries develop strategies for sustainable agricultural mechanization.
The UN agency notes that "more than three-quarters of farmers in sub-Saharan Africa are mainly using manual tools for their land, a practice that is synonymous with low productivity, particularly unattractive to youth and therefore incompatible with the goal of zero hunger ".
SAMA provides an overview of the history of machinery in Africa and suggests the way forward to address the challenges of farmers and create new opportunities to ensure the smooth mechanization process.
FAO Assistant General Director, Maria Helena Semedo emphasized that "African farmers should be able to use more modern agricultural technologies, both digital and mechanical, in order to stimulate the agricultural sector in a sustainable way".
The new framework identifies ten priorities to be incorporated into the national plans of AU member states, ranging from the need for a stable supply of machinery spare parts to innovative financing mechanisms and importance of regional collaborations that enable cross-border leasing services.
The framework indicates that cross-border initiatives with traders, distribution networks and tractor drivers can facilitate the use of these machines.
FAO and the AU hammered that agricultural mechanization in Africa will have to be done with the help of the private sector, in a climate smart, affordable way and taking into account small farmers.