Mechanisation and Peasant Agriculture

  • Eric Clayton
Chapter

Abstract

The uncertainty and marked seasonality of most tropical climates makes the use of hand labour for farm operations especially constraining. The hand labour economies of peasant agriculture are generally faced by ‘acute labour bottlenecks’ when the labour demands of seed-bed preparations, planting, weeding and often harvesting, can exceed the labour availability of the farm family. The need to ‘break these labour bottlenecks’ has encouraged the substitution of hand labour by animal and mechanical power to facilitate and speed up the performance of vital farm tasks. In many parts of the developing world, the use of mechanical farm power in smallholder agriculture has taken the form of the four-wheel tractor, being primarily used for cultivation and preparation of seed-beds. Although the decision to mechanise some farm operations can be taken on several grounds — economic, social, technical and political — the decision of the individual small farmer will generally be based on an economic criterion. In this case, a decision to mechanise will imply that the financial benefits of mechanisation will exceed the costs arising from it.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes and References

  1. 1.
    R. d’A. Shaw, Jobs in Agricultural Development (Washington: Overseas Development Council, 1970).Google Scholar
  2. Also H. P. Binswanger, The Economics of Tractors in the Indian Sub-ContinentAn Analytical Review, Economics Programme (ICRISAT, 1977).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    E. S. Clayton, ‘Mechanisation and Employment in East African Agriculture’, in Mechanisation and Employment in Agriculture (Geneva: ILO, 1973).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    C. H. Gotsch, ‘Tractor Mechanisation and Rural Development in Pakistan’, in Mechanisation and Employment in Agriculture (Geneva: ILO, 1973).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    G. Donaldson and J. McInerney, The Consequences of Farm Tractors in Pakistan, Staff Working Paper No. 210, (World Bank, 1975).Google Scholar
  6. 7.
    E. S. Clayton, Economic Planning in Peasant Agriculture, Agrarian Development Studies No. 1 (Wye College, 1965).Google Scholar
  7. 9.
    B. Lockwood and M. Munir, Farm Mechanisation in Punjab: Development in Faisalabad District, Occasional Study, Punjab (Economics Research Institute, Lahore, 1981).Google Scholar
  8. 10.
    J. de Wilde, Experiences with Agricultural Development in Tropical Africa, vol. 1 (World Bank, 1967) Ch. 6.Google Scholar
  9. 11.
    E. S. Clayton, ‘Mechanisation and Employment’, quoting M. Hall, A Review of Agricultural Mechanisation in Uganda, (Makerere University, 1969).Google Scholar
  10. 12.
    D. Hunt, Credit for Agricultural Development (Nairobi: 1975) Ch. 4.Google Scholar
  11. 13.
    T. W. Schultz, Big Tractors and Many Hoes, Office of Agricultural Economics Research, Paper 6006 (University of Chicago, 1960).Google Scholar
  12. 14.
    R. W. Herdt, ‘Changing Asian Rice Technology’, in Proceedings of the Agricultural Symposia (World Bank, 1980).Google Scholar
  13. 16.
    P. S. Barton, ‘Changes in the Demand and Design of Small Tractors’, The Agricultural Engineer, vol. 33 (1978) no. 2.Google Scholar
  14. 18.
    See E. S. Clayton, ‘Farm Mechanisation and Employment in Africa’, Ceres, vol. 9 (1976) no. 6, for full details.Google Scholar
  15. 19.
    G. F. Donaldson and J. P. McInerney, Changing Machine Technology and Agricultural Adjustment, paper presented to the Joint Conference of the American Agricultural Economics Society and the Canadian Agricultural Economics Society, Edmonton, Canada (1973).Google Scholar
  16. 20.
    C. Bell, Landlords, Landless and the Distribution of Income (mimeo) (IDS, University of Sussex, 1971).Google Scholar
  17. 21.
    K. C. Abercrombie, ‘Agricultural Mechanisation and Employment in Latin America’, International Labour Review (1972).Google Scholar
  18. 22.
    Carl H. Gotsch, ‘Tractor Mechanisation and Rural Development in Pakistan’, International Labour Review (1973).Google Scholar
  19. 23.
    E. S. Clayton, ‘Mechanisation and Employment in East African Agriculture’, International Labour Review (1972).Google Scholar
  20. 24.
    I. Inukai, ‘Farm Mechanisation, Output and Labour Input: A Case Study in Thailand’, International Labour Review (1970).Google Scholar
  21. 25.
    D. Forbes-Watt, Inter-relationships and the Allocation of Scarce Labour between Competing Cash and Food Crop Activities in a Peasant Economy, EDRP paper 104 (Makerere Institute of Social Research, Kampala, 1966).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Eric Clayton 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eric Clayton

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations