This opinion is of a significant leader from one of the countries in the East Africa Region.
“I have not studied this subject in depth but I grew up in a village, which I visit at least twice a year. If my home village was a good representative of all African villages (I believe it’s not) then I would categorically argue that neither a hand hoe nor a tractor nor both of them (alone) will improve agriculture in this continent.
I have not done any counting but I believe if one counted the number of hand hoes in my home village in 1970s and counted again now there would be fewer hoes now than in 1970s mainly because ‘globalization’ has made the new generation lazier big time. The young guys are actually not working enough to sustain even their own basic needs and the older generation is just too old to keep working at the same old speed.
Another important point to note is the Government policies. The hand hoe will never transform the agriculture in any country. The current regime in my Country is doing a lot to correct land challenges but I believe they are doing it in the wrong way. The signal that is being sent by their tone is that owning more than 50 acres of land is a sin. So they are discouraging large scale farming probably without knowing.
So the challenges we face in this sector, the way I see it from my village perspective are around: Laziness and lack of innovation or education: Unfertile land – the land is also tired – new uncultivated land must be opened up; Lack of market for agriculture products – small industries to receive the agriculture products are badly needed; Low price of the products; and Poor infrastructure and Government policies.”