17-01-2014 10:43 AM | Italy

Farm machinery and sustainable agriculture must evolve together

Farm machines have revolutionized agriculture and reduced drudgery for millions of farm families and workers, but the machinery of tomorrow will have to do more than that – it will also have to contribute to agriculture that is environmentally sustainable.

A new FAO book Mechanization for rural development, a review of patterns and progress from around the world, explores the inexorable rise of the use of machinery in farmers' fields, drawing lessons for policymakers and economists from some of the big winners and also the regions lagging behind.

For example, Bangladesh went from using human muscle and ox power in the early 1970s to being one of the most mechanized agricultural economies in South Asia, with 300 000 low-power 2-wheel tractors, a million diesel powered irrigation pumps and widespread mechanized crop threshing.
Full Story : Thomson Reuters Foundation