Mechanization covers all levels of farming and processing technologies, from simple and basic hand tools to more sophisticated and motorized equipment. It eases and reduces hard labour, relieves labour shortages, improves productivity and timeliness of agricultural operations, improves the efficient use of resources, enhances market access and contributes to mitigating climate related hazards.
Sustainable mechanization is applied to agricultural land preparation, supports timely seeding and planting, weed control, integrated pest management, precise fertilizer application, harvesting, preparation for storage, and value addition operations along the food supply chain in terms of on-farm processing, transport and marketing. Increasing levels of mechanization does not necessarily mean big investments in tractors and other machinery. Farmers need to choose the most appropriate power source for any operation depending on the work to be done and on who is performing it. The level of mechanization should meet their needs effectively and efficiently. Women play an important role in many farming based communities, and in some countries, up to 80 percent of the total farm labour comes from women. This implies that power sources (human, animal or motorbased) need to be adapted to such necessities from an ergonomic, social, cultural and economic point of view.