• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Title Page
 Preface
 Table of Contents
 List of Tables
 List of Figures
 Introduction
 Agricultural mechanization in Latin...
 Description of agro-mechanical...
 Conclusions and recommendation...
 Reference
 Bibliography






Group Title: Agro-mechanical technologies in Latin-America: a survey of applications in selected countries
Title: Agro-mechanical technologies in Latin-America
CITATION PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE PAGE TEXT
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00055278/00001
 Material Information
Title: Agro-mechanical technologies in Latin-America a survey of applications in selected countries
Physical Description: 79 p. : ill. ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Patrick, J. Michael.
Clark, Rex Lee, 1941-
Davis, L. Harlan.
Inter-American Development Bank -- Economic and Social Development Dept
Southern Consortium for International Education
Publisher: Inter-American Development Bank
Place of Publication: Washington
Publication Date: 1978
 Subjects
Subject: Farm mechanization -- Latin America   ( nal )
Agricultural machinery -- Economic Aspects -- Latin America   ( nal )
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. 69-79).
Statement of Responsibility: J. Michael Patrick, Rex L. Clark, L. Harlan Davis.
General Note: At head of title: Inter-American Development Bank.
Funding: Electronic resources created as part of a prototype UF Institutional Repository and Faculty Papers project by the University of Florida.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00055278
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 05302897

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Title Page
        Title Page
    Preface
        Page i
    Table of Contents
        Page ii
    List of Tables
        Page iii
    List of Figures
        Page iv
    Introduction
        Page 1
        The problem
            Page 1
            Page 2
        Objectives of the report
            Page 3
        Small farmers and mechanical technology: Some considerations and definitions
            Page 4
            Page 5
    Agricultural mechanization in Latin America: Its impact on food production, employment and income problems
        Page 6
        The choice of technologies available to developing countries: A general discussion
            Page 6
            Page 7
        The choice of agricultural technology
            Page 8
            Page 9
        Role of selective agricultural mechanization
            Page 10
            Page 11
        Nature, extent, and consequences of agricultural mechanization in Latin America: Some evidence
            Page 12
            Page 13
            Page 14
            Page 15
            Page 16
            Page 17
            Page 18
            Page 19
            Page 20
            Page 21
            Page 22
            Page 23
            Page 24
            Page 25
        Costs and returns of tractor ownership and use in selected Latin American countries
            Page 26
            Page 27
            Page 28
            Page 29
            Page 30
            Page 31
            Page 32
            Page 33
            Page 34
            Page 35
            Page 36
    Description of agro-mechanical technologies with emphasis on small farms in selected Latin American countries
        Page 37
        Primary and secondary tillage: Power sources and implements
            Page 37
            Page 38
            Page 39
            Page 40
            Page 41
            Page 42
            Page 43
            Page 44
            Page 45
            Page 46
            Page 47
            Page 48
            Page 49
        Irrigation
            Page 50
            Page 51
        Harvesting
            Page 52
            Page 53
            Page 54
            Page 55
            Page 56
            Page 57
        Crop storage
            Page 58
            Page 59
            Page 60
            Page 61
            Page 62
        Summary
            Page 63
        Promoting development of agro-mechanical technologies for small farmers
            Page 64
            Page 65
    Conclusions and recommendations
        Page 66
        Conclusions
            Page 66
            Page 67
        Recommendations
            Page 68
    Reference
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
    Bibliography
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
Full Text

Inter-American Development Bank (Z 2


agro-mechanical technologies
in latin america:
a survey of applications
in selected countries


Economic and Social Development Department
in collaboration with the Southern Consortium
for International Education, Atlanta, Georgia.
August 1978










INTER-AMERICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK


AGRO-MECHANICAL TECHNOLOGIES IN LATIN AMERICA:
A SURVEY OF APPLICATIONS IN SELECTED COUNTRIES





J. Michael Patrick
Rex L. Clark
L. Harlan Davis*










Agricultural Economics Section
General Studies Division
Economic and Social Development Department
In collaboration with the Southern Consortium
for International Education, Atlanta, Georgia




August 1978




* Agricultural Economist, Rural Development Center, University of Georgia;
Associate Professor, Department of Agricultural Engineering, University
of Georgia; and Director of International Programs and Studies, University
System of Georgia, respectively.












PREFACE



This study of agro-mechanical technologies reflects the Inter-
American Development Bank's concern for the use of technologies which are
appropriate to conditions in the developing member countries. Bank poli-
cies in this area include both ensuring that appropriate technologies are
utilized in Bank financed projects, and obtaining and disseminating infor-
mation on the subject.

Agro-mechanical technologies are of particular interest because
while they can play a positive role in increasing output, there is a po-
tential for labor displacement if inappropriate technologies are widely
applied. Since a large proportion of the Latin American labor force is
employed in agriculture (about forty percent) and productive employment
opportunities in urban areas are limited, the technological alternatives
must be carefully considered. Another concern of the study is the extent
to which improvements in mechanical technology are designed to meet the
needs of small farmers and are available to them.

Because the mechanization issue has not been analyzed in Latin
America to the extent that it has in other developing regions, this study
was planned to be executed in two stages. This report represents the
first stage effort, which aims at describing the extent of agricultural
mechanization in selected Latin American countries and variations in me-
chanical technology in the region. It also deals with analytical and
policy questions in a tentative manner. The proposed second stage of the
study will deal with these issues more definitively and in greater depth.

The study was carried out under a consulting arrangement with L.
Harlan Davis, Director of International Programs and Studies of the Uni-
versity System of Georgia. Dr. Davis collaborated with Rex L. Clark,
Associate Professor of Agricultural Engineering and J. Michael Patrick,
Agricultural Economist, both with the University of Georgia. Supervision
of the study was the responsibility of James R. Taylor of the Agricultural
Economics Section of the General Studies Division.












TABLE OF CONTENTS


SECTION


I. Introduction . . . . . .

A. The Problem . . . . .
B. Objectives of the Report . . . .
C. Small Farmers and Mechanical Technology:
Some Considerations and Definitions . .

'I. Agricultural Mechanization in Latin America:
Its Impact on Food Production, Employment
and Income Problems . . . . .


A. The Choice of Technologies Available
to Developing Countries: A General
Discussion . . . .
B. The Choice of Agricultural
Technologies . ..
C. Role of Selective Agricultural
Mechanization . . .
D. Nature, Extent, and Consequences of
Agricultural Mechanization in Latin
America: Some Evidence . .
E. Costs and Returns of Tractor Ownership
and Use in Selected Latin American
Countries . . . .

III. Description of Agro-Mechanical Technologies
With Emphasis on Small Farms in Selected
Latin American Countries . .


A. Primary and Secondary Tillage: Power
Sources and Implements . . .
B. Irrigation . . . .
C. Harvesting . . . .
D. Storage of Crops . . . .
E. Summary . . . .
F. Promoting Development of Agro-Mechanical
Technologies for Small Farmers . .


IV. Conclusions and Recommendations . . .

A. Conclusions . . . . .
B. Recommendations . . . . .


References . . . . .
Bibliography . . . .


6

8
. . 6

. . 8

. 10


. . 12


. .. 26


PAGE












LIST OF TABLES


TABLE PAGE

1. Tractor Use in Selected Countries of
Latin America . . . . ... 13

2. Effect of Agricultural Machinery on the
Production Levels of Selected Crops,
Colombia, 1971 . . . .... 16

3. Labor Requirements Per Hectare, with and
without Mechanization, for Some Main
Field Crops in Selected Countries
(man-days per hectare) . . . ... 18

4. Labor Displaced Due to Mechanization,
Selected Crops and Countries . . ... 20

5. Labor Saved and Labor--Agricultural
Machinery Rate of Substitution for
Selected Crops, Colombia, 1970 . . ... 21

6. Labor Requirements per Hectare, with and
without Mechanization, for Selected Crops,
Colombia, 1970
(Man-Days per Hectare) . . . ... 23

7. Honduras: Labor Use in Production of
One Hectare of Corn on Farms with
Different Levels of Mechanization,
1966 . . . . .... 24

8. Costa Rica: Number of Tractors and
Labor Requirements on Farms of Three
Different Sizes, 1970 . . . ... 25

9. Performance Comparison for the Three
Types of Traction Power . . . ... 29

10. Comparison of Operating and Financial
Aspects of Selected Tractors in
Nicaragua . . . . ... .... 31

11. Estimated Costs and Revenues for Corn,
Sesame, and Wheat per Manzana . . .... 33

12. Hand Labor vs. "Rapid" Tractor Costs in
the Cultivation of One Hectare of
Potatoes, Costa Rica. . . . . 35












LIST OF TABLES (continued)


TABLE


PAGE


Normal Draft Power of Various Animals ...... .43

Draft Requirements of Some Farm
Implements for Operations on
Medium Loam Soils . . . ... .46

Advantages and Disadvantages of Sack
and Bulk Storage . . . .... .59

Traditional (or Producer) Storage
Methods . . . . ... 60


LIST OF FIGURES


FIGURE


Power available per hectare for the major
areas of the world . . .

12.5 hp diesel powered tractor with
rototiller in Guatemala . . .

Reversible ox-drawn plow for hillside
plowing in Colombia . . .

Mountainous terrain under cultivation in
Central America . . .

Farmer in Colombia with air-cooled
gasoline engine powered irrigation pump

IRRI axial flow thresher . . .
Specifications . . . .

Friedrich threshing machines . .


Various models and principal characteristics


PAGE


S. 45


. 48


of the Friedrich Threshing Machines . . .










I. Introduction



A. The Problem

The optimism of the 1960s portrayed by the accomplishments of the
Green Revolution has given way to growing pessimism. There are doubts con-
cerning future production trends, and problems of unemployment and inequi-
table income distribution are widespread. Although the outlook in most of
Latin America is not nearly so serious as it is for many African and Asian
countries, meeting expanding food and fiber production requirements in the
region continues to be a matter of critical concern.

In 1976 Latin America as a whole became a net food grain importer,
after being a net food grain exporter in the early 1970 (Burki & Goering,
1977, p.15). In recent years bad weather has been just one of the factors
adversely affecting agricultural production. Higher fertilizer prices
have also been influential. At the same time, demand continues to rise,
fueled by a rapidly growing population and rising per capital incomes.

Another pressing problem in Latin America is open and disguised
unemployment. While a rapid growing industry in many urban areas has been
able to absorb a large number of workers, this sector has not fulfilled
earlier employment promises. Recent studies indicate that while the manu-
facturing share of nation output in Latin American countries has risen
from approximately 17 percent to 24 percent during the 1940-1970 period,
its share of employment remains almost constant at 14 percent (Ramos 1974;
ILO, 1977). Said differently, technological advances in the manufacturing
sector of many Latin American countries in the past three decades have
generated few new jobs. Similar employment trends are occurring in the
agriculture sector; this point will be discussed in greater detail later
in the report.

FAO estimates that "unused labor" in the region may be as high as
28 percent of the labor force in 1970 (FAO, 1973). Thorbecke (1970) says
that unemployment and underemployment together may reach 25 percent, over
half which is in the rural sector. The problem is more serious in some
countries than others; it is acute in certain regions within countries.
The economic and social effects of unemployment are many--whenever re-
sources are not used to their maximum capacity, production is sacrificed
and income is foregone. Further, unemployment breeds political unrest,
anomie, and even violence.

A third pressing issue in Latin America is the great disparity in
income and wealth patterns. Despite the Alliance for Progress which in
1961 promised a concerted and massive effort on this problem, it has con-
tinued to persist. In the countryside of most Latin American countries
the best land is still in the hands of a few. Ownership of factories and
plants which have grown rapidly over the region in recent years is highly










I. Introduction



A. The Problem

The optimism of the 1960s portrayed by the accomplishments of the
Green Revolution has given way to growing pessimism. There are doubts con-
cerning future production trends, and problems of unemployment and inequi-
table income distribution are widespread. Although the outlook in most of
Latin America is not nearly so serious as it is for many African and Asian
countries, meeting expanding food and fiber production requirements in the
region continues to be a matter of critical concern.

In 1976 Latin America as a whole became a net food grain importer,
after being a net food grain exporter in the early 1970 (Burki & Goering,
1977, p.15). In recent years bad weather has been just one of the factors
adversely affecting agricultural production. Higher fertilizer prices
have also been influential. At the same time, demand continues to rise,
fueled by a rapidly growing population and rising per capital incomes.

Another pressing problem in Latin America is open and disguised
unemployment. While a rapid growing industry in many urban areas has been
able to absorb a large number of workers, this sector has not fulfilled
earlier employment promises. Recent studies indicate that while the manu-
facturing share of nation output in Latin American countries has risen
from approximately 17 percent to 24 percent during the 1940-1970 period,
its share of employment remains almost constant at 14 percent (Ramos 1974;
ILO, 1977). Said differently, technological advances in the manufacturing
sector of many Latin American countries in the past three decades have
generated few new jobs. Similar employment trends are occurring in the
agriculture sector; this point will be discussed in greater detail later
in the report.

FAO estimates that "unused labor" in the region may be as high as
28 percent of the labor force in 1970 (FAO, 1973). Thorbecke (1970) says
that unemployment and underemployment together may reach 25 percent, over
half which is in the rural sector. The problem is more serious in some
countries than others; it is acute in certain regions within countries.
The economic and social effects of unemployment are many--whenever re-
sources are not used to their maximum capacity, production is sacrificed
and income is foregone. Further, unemployment breeds political unrest,
anomie, and even violence.

A third pressing issue in Latin America is the great disparity in
income and wealth patterns. Despite the Alliance for Progress which in
1961 promised a concerted and massive effort on this problem, it has con-
tinued to persist. In the countryside of most Latin American countries
the best land is still in the hands of a few. Ownership of factories and
plants which have grown rapidly over the region in recent years is highly





-2-


concentrated. High production growth rates in selected industries have
accentuated income disparities. For example, Baer's (1973) research shows
that in Brazil income distribution has become highly skewed since 1970 and
the minimum wage, expressed in constant terms, has changed little since
1966. A recent study of the Colombian economy shows that large sections
of the population have realized little benefit from recent annual GNP growth
rates exceeding five percent (ILO, 1976). The same study goes on to show
that the poorest one-third of the population is not much better off than
it was in the 1930s.

Designing rural development programs to address the problems of
food supply, unemployment, and income and wealth disparity is a challenging
task for planners and policy makers in Latin America. It is complicated
by the fact that emphasis in one direction can aggravate the situation in
another. A program to increase food and fiber production might have small
effects on employment and income distribution; one that addresses employ-
ment and income problems might not contribute to food production.

Among the broad options for increasing food supply are:

1. Bringing new areas into cultivation through the expansion
of the agricultural frontier; and

2. Increasing intensity of production on presently cropped
areas thereby raising productivity per hectare.

Except for a few countries, most notably Brazil, option one is not viable.
Even there studies show the useful frontier is rapidly diminishing in most
settled areas. In Bahia, a state about the size of France, the potentially
useful frontier could be fully incorporated into crop and animal production
by the late 1980s (Davis, 1975).

Option two, however, is viable in most of Latin America. Although
no systematic study of the situation is available, there is a substantial
difference between potential and actual farm yields in most countries. It
might be argued that the most expeditious way to raise productivity would
be to undertake a massive program of technology development, diffusion, me-
chanization, credit and marketing improvements for large commercial farms.
Such a strategy, however, could well aggravate problems of unemployment and
income distribution, particularly in the countryside.

On the other hand, if programs designed to raise land and labor
productivity were targeted to Latin America's small farmers, it might be
feasible to increase food production as well as improve their employment
and income opportunities. Raising small farm productivity, however, is
a challenging proposition. Innovative efforts have been and are being
tested throughout the Hemisphere, although no major breakthroughs can be
reported. In some instances there has been limited success with transfer-
ring known technologies and providing complementary inputs and services to
small operators (Davis, 1974). But for the most part the problem seems to
be more complicated.





- 3-


B. Objectives of the Report

The question has been raised by the Inter-American Development Bank,
where and how does agro-mechanical technology fit into agricultural develop-
ment in Latin America, and especially small farmer development strategies?
With a recently adopted Appropriate Technology Policy (November 1976), and
a continuing interest in raising small farm productivity, the purpose of this
report is to learn more about the potential for agro-mechanical technology on
small farms in Latin America for purposes of guiding Bank policy and establi-
shing lending possibilities. For this purpose, agro-mechanical technology
is defined here as any set of power units (human, animal or motorized) and
associated equipment, for use in field operations from land preparation to
harvest. 1/

The objectives of this report may be summarized as follows:

1. To provide a description of the various agro-mechanical technolo-
gies presently used for crop production in the region, with emphasis given to
technologies that are appropriate in terms of their labor requirements, acqui-
sition costs, and feasibility for small-scale production units. The descrip-
tion will include technical specifications and data on economic performance
(cost and return data for specific crops) when possible. It will cover a li-
mited number of crops, countries and natural regions.

2. To provide an interpretative discussion of the actual and poten-
tial role of agro-mechanical technologies. This will include judgements as
to their appropriateness, conditions and policies which influence the degree
to which they are employed, technologies developed in other regions of the
world which might be advantageously transferred to Latin America, recommenda-
tions for specific research and development activities intended to create
improved mechanical technologies, and other relevant considerations.

As one paper has noted, "of the various technological innovations
that have been applied to agriculture in developing nations, none has been
subject to as much controversy as mechanization" (Taylor,1977). Careful
examination of the literature and field studies in Colombia, Costa Rica,
Guatemala and Honduras confirm that controversy over agricultural mechaniza-
tion in Latin American agriculture does exist. While this report does not
seek to resolve the controversy, it does attempt to clarify it through the
presentation and interpretation of available information. The goal is to
identify key issues concerning mechanization which, through further research,
can lead to more informed policy making on this important aspect of agricul-
tural development in Latin America.

The report is organized as follows. Section I is introductory. Section
II provides a brief discussion of the issues surrounding the introduction of
alternative technologies into developing countries, with emphasis on agro-
mechanical technology. The focus is on an interpretation of the actual and
potential role of agricultural mechanization, particularly tractors, in re-
solving the problems of food production, unemployment and income distribution
in Latin America. The discussion is based on a review of available literature


1/ Consideration is also given to storage in Section III.





-4-


and information obtained from field work in Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala and
Honduras. In Section III, a description of selected agro-mechanical technolo-
gies currently in use in the region is presented. The emphasis is on primary
tillage, although consideration is given to other phases of agricultural pro-
duction such as harvesting, irrigation and storage. The final section of the
report summarizes the findings, sets forth some conclusions and offers recommen-
dations.


C. Small Farmers and Mechanical Technology: Some Considerations and Definitions

Small farmers--a classification. At this point the question as to what
is meant by small farmers is raised. Agriculture in Latin America is very hete-
rogenous. Among others it varies by tenure system, farm size, crops raised,
topography, climate, soil types, location of farms, social background of farmers,
and the political-economic system in which it operates. A classification for
the purpose of describing and appraising the potential of mechanical technology
could be based on any or all of these criteria. But neither time nor resources
permits a complete discussion of all these types. Attention will be restricted
to the small producer "sub-family" or "family" units. In the middle sixties,
the Inter-American Committee for Agricultural Development (ICAD) defined a sub-
family unit as one that would provide effective employment for less than two
people while family units provide effective employment for 2 to 3.9 people (Barro-
clough & Domike, 1966). As the authors of the ICAD studies point out, most of
the farmers in Latin America fall into these categories, yet they own or operate
a relatively small share of the available farm land. This situation has not
changed substantially since their study was completed. While this typology
leaves much to be desired small farmers in this report refer to these "sub-family"
and "family" classifications.

Mechanical technologies in small operations. There are several stages
in the agricultural cycle that may require mechanical technologies:

1. The first of these is clearing the land for agricultural purposes.
This step very often involves the removing of heavy forest and brush growth.
Also, at times, this might require the removal of stumps or stones. Irrigation
ditches and drainage ditches may be constructed in this initial phase and at
times it might be desirable to level the topography of the terrain so that it
may be irrigated.

2. The second and very often most important step in the agricultural
process is tillage. Generally, there is primary tillage in which the ground
cover is destroyed by burning, turning over, or otherwise destroying the current
vegetative growth. This is the initial process in preparing the seedbed. After
the land is plowed for the first time, there may be a secondary tillage in which
the land is harrowed or pulverized by a disc-harrow in order to break up the
large clumps of soil and to further destroy vegetation. This secondary tillage
may at times go through two or three stages, from a disc-harrower to a spike-
toothed harrower or other techniques such as a hand rake to evenout all of the
clumps. Another secondary form of tillage is that of cultivating the soil after
the crops are up to destroy the weeds as well as to aerate the soil.





-5-


3. A third phase of the agricultural process involves fertilization
and application of other chemical applications to the soil or to the plants.
At times, it is necessary to spray a crop several times in order to destroy in-
sects and other pests. Also increasing chemicals may be used to eliminate
undesired vegetative growth.

An intermediate stage is irrigation. Often, crop failure may occur if
water is not applied when needed. Irrigation can involve a number of rather
complex tasks. For example, the water may have to be transported by gravity
a considerable distance to the field or it may be necessary to pump the wate
from a stream or a deep well. Mechanical technology has a considerable role
in the irrigation process.

4. Still another step in the agricultural process is harvesting. There
are some crops that can be easily harvested only by hand. This is especially
true of many fruits and vegetables. For other crops such as sugar cane, the
harvesting must involve the use of some kind of mechanical technology. With
others, such as wheat, oats, or corn, there are many levels of technology
possible, from the simple scythe in harvesting the small grains to the highly
complex corn picker.

5. After the crop is harvested there are several places in the storage
process for the use of mechanical technology. One facet is that many crops
need to be dried or otherwise processed before they may be stored. Coffee,
for example, cannot be stored permanently in the pulp stage and the pulp has
to be removed by drying or by a water fermentation process. After processing,
most agricultural products require storing. Even hay is stacked in such a
way that rain reaches only the outer layer. Other crops, such as small grains,
have to be dried before they can be stored to protect them from moisture, ro-
dents and insects. This storage requires some kind of mechanical technology.

6. Finally, transportation services are needed to move the crop from
the field to a place where it can be stored or to move seeds and fertilizers
to the field.

Thus, mechanical technology has multiple applications on the small
farm and any one of these might be the subject of a detailed study. Given
its relative importance in production and the potential for the application
of mechanical technology. In this report, the emphasis will be placed on the
tillage process. While this emphasis does not preclude a discussion and eva-
luation of other aspects of the agricultural cycle, it does permit the consi-
deration of a manageable problem.





-6-


II. Agricultural Mechanization in Latin America:
Its Impact on Food Production,
Employment and Income Problems


The purpose of this section is twofold. First, issues of concern re-
garding the choice of technologies available to developing countries are high-
lighted. Brief consideration is given to the choice among available agricul-
tural technologies. The major focus of this section, however, is on agricul-
tural mechanization in Latin America and its consequences.

A. The Choice of Available Technologies by Developing Countries: A General
Discussion

Economic development is a complex process. Not only does it involve
an improved allocation of existing resources, if growth is to be sustained
over time it requires the development of new resources and methods for increasing
resource productivity. Whether the fruits of economic development and growth
are shared by a few or many depends upon the social and institutional processes
through which economic and political groups influence the allocation of produc-
tive resources.

Technology plays a key role in every country's development efforts.
Technology, broadly defined, is "knowledge systematically applied to practical
tasks". It is embodied in processes and tangible goods, both of the producer
and consumer type. The technologies available at a given time and place are
determined by activities and policies related to invention, innovation, and
technological transfer. Public policy, reflecting private as well as public
interests, often influences the choice of technology, by affecting the prices
of available resources (factors of production).

Many developing countries are currently concerned with the choice of
technology. There is growing dissatisfaction with the performance of techno-
logies transferred from the Western industrialized nations. These technologies
are capital-intensive and labor-saving, reflecting the resource scarcities in
the industrialized countries.

In general, however, the factor endowments of developing countries re-
flect a very different distribution of resources--labor is abundant and capi-
tal is scarce. An outcome of introducing Western industrial technologies into
developing countries may be the inefficient use of available scarce resources,
slow economic growth and narrowly-based economic and social development. Con-
sequently, many developing countries are now evaluating alternative technologies
in light of their development goals and resource endowments.

According to one analyst, technology appropriate for developing countries





-6-


II. Agricultural Mechanization in Latin America:
Its Impact on Food Production,
Employment and Income Problems


The purpose of this section is twofold. First, issues of concern re-
garding the choice of technologies available to developing countries are high-
lighted. Brief consideration is given to the choice among available agricul-
tural technologies. The major focus of this section, however, is on agricul-
tural mechanization in Latin America and its consequences.

A. The Choice of Available Technologies by Developing Countries: A General
Discussion

Economic development is a complex process. Not only does it involve
an improved allocation of existing resources, if growth is to be sustained
over time it requires the development of new resources and methods for increasing
resource productivity. Whether the fruits of economic development and growth
are shared by a few or many depends upon the social and institutional processes
through which economic and political groups influence the allocation of produc-
tive resources.

Technology plays a key role in every country's development efforts.
Technology, broadly defined, is "knowledge systematically applied to practical
tasks". It is embodied in processes and tangible goods, both of the producer
and consumer type. The technologies available at a given time and place are
determined by activities and policies related to invention, innovation, and
technological transfer. Public policy, reflecting private as well as public
interests, often influences the choice of technology, by affecting the prices
of available resources (factors of production).

Many developing countries are currently concerned with the choice of
technology. There is growing dissatisfaction with the performance of techno-
logies transferred from the Western industrialized nations. These technologies
are capital-intensive and labor-saving, reflecting the resource scarcities in
the industrialized countries.

In general, however, the factor endowments of developing countries re-
flect a very different distribution of resources--labor is abundant and capi-
tal is scarce. An outcome of introducing Western industrial technologies into
developing countries may be the inefficient use of available scarce resources,
slow economic growth and narrowly-based economic and social development. Con-
sequently, many developing countries are now evaluating alternative technologies
in light of their development goals and resource endowments.

According to one analyst, technology appropriate for developing countries










"....should stimulate economic progress by making optimum
use of available resources...should be conducive to social
progress by enabling the mass of the population to share
the benefits and not just a privileged few...should repre-
sent technical progress, measured by improvements over
existing methods and not by reference to external standards
which may be irrelevant...and should be progressive in a
temporal sense, i.e., their characteristics will change
over time in response to the society's ability to pay for
them and capacity to employ them efficiently. In other
words, the concept is dynamic, not static." (Marsden, 1970)


Therefore, in the choice between capital and labor intensive techno-
logies, it is argued appropriate technologies for developing countries should
be labor intensive. A number of reasons have been offered to support this
contention (Marsden, 1970; Yudelman, 1971; Jackson, 1971; Brannon, 1977). A
few are listed below.

1. In developing countries, labor is generally the abundant
factor and capital is scarce. Markets are small and linkages
between them weak. Income distribution is skewed in favor of
a few, unemployment and underemployment are widespread and
high. Demand for traditional consumer goods is limited due
to the meager purchasing power of 90 to 95 percent of the
population.

2. The large-scale production requirements of capital-intensive
technology cannot be supported by the small size markets in most
developing countries. Consequently many large-scale modern fac-
tories will operate well below their capacity. In addition most
developing countries cannot afford the level of investment in in-
frastructure, input industries and market delivery systems which
these capital-intensive technologies require to be profitable.

3. Capital intensive technologies often ignore the use of available
raw materials of the countries into which they are introduced. And
importation of the necessary raw materials or components may add
substantially to the total cost for developing countries, both in
scarce foreign exchange and employment opportunities at home.

4. The design and processes of capital-intensive technologies are
often totally inappropriate for the developing countries' climate
or terrain.

5. Adoption of labor intensive technologies can spur broadbased
economic and social development. Because of their highly divisible
nature, labor intensive technologies lend themselves to the small-
scale operations of traditional economic activity in developing





-8-


countries. The small scale nature of the production units permits
them to spread throughout several towns where they can increase
the links with the rest of the economy, making fullest use of exist-
ing organizations, and managerial and entrepreneurial talents.

6. Labor-intensive technologies are likely to stimulate tradi-
tional sectors in which the majority of people live and work. The
number of productive jobs will increase, and demand for goods and
services from other industries will increase. Backward and forward
linkages with a variety of industries will generate additional em-
ployment opportunities and economic growth.


In sum, the argument is that labor intensive technologies will make
better use of developing countries' resources, produce higher rates of econo-
mic growth, increase employment opportunities and lead to a more equal distri-
bution of income.

B. The Choice of Agricultural Technologies

Agricultural technologies for increasing production at the farm level
can be distinguished by two basic forms:

1. biological-chemical
2. agro-mechanical

Biological-chemical technology is yield-increasing and labor-using,
raising total output for a given land base. The new seed varieties and inor-
ganic fertilizer "packages", referred to widely as the "Green Revolution",
typify biological-chemical technology.

In contrast, agro-mechanical technology is land-using and labor-
saving, raising total output by expanding acreage under cultivation and/or by
facilitating multiple cropping patterns. Tractors and complementary equipment
for tillage are the types of mechanical technology most often associated with
agriculture in developing countries. Other machinery and equipment, however,
such as threshers, irrigation pumps, new hand tools, and animal-drawn implements,
are important forms of mechanical technology.

Agricultural mechanization programs, particularly those that promote
the wholesale introduction of tractors into developing countries, are opposed
by some government officials and economists on the grounds they are not appro-
priate. The most frequently made arguments against agricultural mechanization
are:

1. Capital, and in some cases land, is scarce in developing coun-
tries while labor is abundant and inexpensive. Agricultural tech-
nologies should be adopted that use labor and conserve capital.

2. Land holdings are often fragmented and inaccessible, making
the use of some types of agricultural machinery, particularly
tractors, difficult and uneconomical.





-9-


3. The adoption of agricultural mechinery frequently displaces
labor; at the same time jobs outside agriculture are not available
for even a small fraction of workers entering the labor market.

4. Agricultural mechanization encourages the large farm to
grow larger. Only these farms can obtain the capital, justify
the investment and afford to take the risks of experimenting with
complex and uncertain technology.

5. Large scale agricultural mechanization encourages landowners
to assume more direct personal control of the farming operations,
thus converting renter-tenants to sharecroppers and laborers.

6. Agricultural mechanization often contributes to social problems
by intensifying already highly unequal patterns of rural wealth and
income distribution.

On the other hand, several authors (Shaw, 1970; Eicher, 1970; Aber-
crombie, 1972; Stout & Downing, 1976) offer a number of reasons for supporting
the adoption of agricultural machinery:

1. It may overcome labor shortages due to peak demand periods,
immobility of labor, the unwillingness of labor to do some types
of work, and the low renumeration of agricultural work;

2. It may reduce production costs;

3. It may increase the rate at which various farm operations can
be performed;

4. It may, in conjunction with irrigation, increase total production
by making multiple cropping possible;

5. It may reduce crop losses through effective application of pes-
ticides and utilization of on-farm storage and drying facilities;
and

6. It may make possible the performance of tasks that cannot be
done effectively by hand or with animals.

More specifically, a number of arguments have been made supporting
the use of tractors in developing countries. Brannon (1977) has summarized
a few of these arguments, five of which are presented below.

1. The lack of power for land preparation may constrain the
amount of land that can be planted in a single year. Rapid land
preparation with power equipment makes possible multi-cropping
and holds considerable potential for increasing employment in the
planting, transplanting, fertilizing, weeding, spraying, cultiva-
ting, harvesting, transporting and marketing of crops.





- 10 -


2. In areas where virgin or second growth land is available for
clearing, shaping and bringing into production, power equipment
can be effectively utilized to expand the cultivable area. Parti-
cular soil conditions such as clay hard pan may also require power
equipment for successful exploitation.

3. Even under "ordinary" conditions, some argue that land prepara-
tion with power results in significantly higher output because a
superior seedbed is provided and weed competition is reduced.

4. Tractor power does not always substitute directly for human
labor; it may substitute instead for animal power. Additional land
previously needed for producing animal feed is thus released, though
(albeit skilled) human labor to operate the machinery is still re-
quired.

5. The argument is also made that new employment generated in the
manufacture, sales, distribution and servicing of tractors and other
forms of machinery may offset any negative employment impacts that
might occur at the farm level.

The degree to which these arguments for and against the use of agri-
cultural machinery, particularly tractors, apply in the Latin American context
will be examined later in this and subsequent sections.


C. Role of Selective Agricultural Mechanization

While the displacement of labor in labor-abundant economies has been
one of the central arguments against agricultural mechanization, there is evi-
dence that selective mechanization can increase employment opportunities as
well as increase food production.

The introduction of new seed varieties and inorganic fertilizers
(the Green Revolution), for example, has created a number of production bottle-
necks requiring selective mechanization. Experience shows high yielding va-
rieties require accurate placement of seeds and fertilizers, and metering of
herbicides and insecticides can only be done accurately by mechanical means.
The production of high quality crops requires timely harvesting, threshing and
handling, which is often difficult to achieve with traditional implements and
methods. Engine-driven pumps are often required to provide water for irriga-
tion to supplement rainfall and promote double and triple cropping. Multiple
cropping in turn requires that one crop be removed quickly and a seedbed pre-
pared and another crop planted in a short interval of time, which again, cannot
be achieved with traditional implements and methods. Experience in many Asian
countries also indicates that the selective introduction of tractors, seeders,
harvesters and other agricultural machinery does not result in the automatic
loss of jobs, but rather leads to an increased demand for labor (Brannon, 1977).

Review of available literature provides evidence of the impact selec-
tive agricultural mechanization has had on food production, employment and in-
come distribution in various developing countries. For illustrative purposes
a few cases are summarized below.






- 11 -


The introduction of pump sets in India proved to be labor generating,
i.e., labor was required for leveling fields, making channels and bunds, and
for diverting and controlling water during the growing season. Because of
higher yields and multiple cropping resulting from irrigation, more labor was
required for harvest operations (Drew & Bondurant, 1972).

Shambough reported a situation in northeastern Nigeria where a local
sorghum is commonly planted by poking a hole in the ground with a stick and
dropping a few seeds in. Weather and seasonal conditions are such that the
grass grows tall prior to planting time. The factor limiting the amount of
sorghum that can be planted is the labor requirement of cutting and removing
the grass. Experiments with a tractor-powered rotary mower eliminated this
bottleneck and permitted an increase in production and manual labor employed
during the remainder of the season (Yudelman, 1971).

Child and Kaneda report that Green Revolution-related production
bottlenecks in West Pakistan have generated opportunities for innovation,
capital formation and employment at the local level. In their study of West
Pakistan agriculture, the authors determined the new fertilizer-responsive
dwarf varieties of grain accounted for most of the increase in wheat (79 per-
cent) and rice (61 percent) production from 1966 to 1969. A concomitant of
this rapid growth of the agriculture sector was the burgeoning of a small-
scale engineering industry which supplies key durable-goods inputs, mainly
diesel engines, pumps and strainers, but also various farm implements. Accord-
ing to the authors the industry has been a vehicle for marshalling indigenous
"minor" savings/investible funds, for the development of entreprenural and ma-
nagerial talent, and for the training of skilled and semi-skilled labor (Child
& Kaneda, 1975).

Chancellor found that the purchase and use of tractors by farmers
in Thailand and Malaysia have been increasing significantly in recent years,
despite their high expense. Furthermore, a tractor-contractor system has been
established giving virtually every farmer access to tractor service.

Almost every farmer hiring a tractor service combined the time
saved and other resources to produce additional income. Although the enter-
prises varied, 65 percent (of 233) Thailand farmers and 75 percent (of 199)
Malaysian farmers chose enterprises based on agricultural intensification of
the type which would not displace labor. Real increases in agricultural pro-
duction resulted from the use of tractor power for tillage. The increases did
not take the presupposed form of better crop yields due to substituting ma-
chine for hand or animal methods of tillage. Rather, it freed the farmers'
time to get involved in other productive activities in agriculture, i.e.,
many farmers diversified their operations. Only through the use of a tractor-
contractor system, however, was it possible to reduce tractor charges to each
farmer to a level where they could buy back their time from basic tillage ac-
tivities at a cost low enough to permit them to re-invest their time in new
productive enterprises (Chancellor, 1970).





- 12 -


The rapid expansion of tractor use was also the source of non-farm
employment opportunities in Thailand and Malaysia. A large number of small
manufacturing workshops produced spare tractor parts, tractor-attached imple-
ments, special wheel equipment for tractors, simple 2-wheel tractors, and power
driven puddling machines. Also many tractor repair workshops sprang up. The
establishmentof these local businesses not only facilitated the purchase and
use of tractor services, it also served as an important source of employment
and vocational training. The increase in employment raised incomes and gene-
rated a much needed demand for a wide range of consumer goods.

Yudelman (1971) provides further empirical evidence, from developing
countries around the world showing that mechanization of certain agricultural
operations often leads to increased labor utilization as well as increased out-
put.


D. Nature, Extent, and Consequences of Agricultural Mechanization in Latin
America: Some Evidence

The purpose of this section is to synthesize available literature on
agricultural mechanization in Latin America. Agricultural mechanization is con-
sidered primarily in terms of tractors and their use in the tillage process. The
tractor is the "general factotum" of farm machinery, i.e., the purchase of one
usually implies the purchase of auxiliary equipment as well (Abercrombie, 1972,
p. 17).

Our discussion will focus on numbers and distribution of tractors;
public policies that encourage tractor use; and, the effect of tractor use on
crop production levels and employment opportunities.

Agricultural Mechanization. Abercrombie (1972, p. 10) notes that agri-
cultural production is on the whole much more mechanized in Latin America than
in other developing regions of the world. Although mechanization has been quite
rapid (occurring primarily after W.W. II), it has penetrated only a small part
of Latin America agriculture. It is mainly confined to some of the larger farms,
and in most countries to the larger farms in certain geographical areas. Field
visits, as part of this study, to Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Honduras
confirm most of the region's agricultural population still works without the
help of either machinery or other technological improvements.

In Argentina, for example, 70 percent of the machinery is found in
the pampas; in Brazil 95 percent is in the Central-South zone; in Colombia 70
percent is in eight departments (out of a total of 21); in Mexico 70 percent is
in the North and Pacific zones and in Uruguay 80 percent is in the South and
West (Abercrombie, 1972, p. 19).

The geographical concentration of tractors and farm machinery has a
number of causes:





Table 1. Tractor Use in Selected Countries of Latin America


Culti- Horse- Number of
vated power economi- Per
area2 per cally active head Percentage
Number Average per culti- persons in in- of
Sof horse tractor vated agriculture3 come4 population
Country Year Tractors power (ha) ha3 per tractor (US$) urbanized

Cuba 1969 48,800 N/A 63 N/A 18 N/A 59
Uruguay 1968 28,000 40 90 0.45 6 628 76
Argentina 1968 180,000 48 155 0.31 8 851 75
Venezuela 1968 15,850 50 164 0.31 51 765 68
Chile 1968 25,000 41 180 0.23 28 585 67
Colombia 1968 23,000 53 220 0.24 109 336 51
Peru 1968 10,000 43 280 0.15 164 386 44
Costa Rica 1965 3,000 40 291 0.14 71 521 32
Nicaragua 1965 2,850 40 351 0.11 105 299 37
Brazil 1969 100,000 56 360 0.16 126 314 44
Mexico 1968 70,000 40 370 0.11 100 631 58
Guatemala 1965 3,800 40 418 0.10 224 337 29
El Salvador 1965 1,590 40 477 0.08 349 307 34
Paraguay 1969 1,700 50 590 0.08 203 257 32
Honduras 1965 1,400 40 640 0.06 300 229 24
Ecuador 1968 2,500 45 1,290 0.03 330 286 43
Bolivia 1968 1,600 50 1,930 0.03 583 184 33


3
Ranked in ascending order of cultivated area per tractor. Arable
31965. 4Gross domestic product per head at factor cost, 1968.


land and land under permanent crops.


Sources: LAFTA, op. cit., p. 7; estimates for Central American countries from unpublished studies by
the FAO Advisory Group for Central American Economic Integration; "Dos anos de desarrollo agro-
cuario cubano, 1968-1970," op. cit., p. 49; FAO: Production Yearbook 1969 (Rome, 1970), Vol. 23,
pp. 21. United Nations: Statistical Bulletin for Latin America, Vol. VI, No. 2, Sep. 1969 (New
York, Sales No. E 70.II.G.2), p. 23; United Nations, Economic Commission for Latin America:
Economic Survey of Latin America 1968 (New York, Sales No. E 70.II.G.1), pp. 39-40.

Source: K. C. Abercrombie, "Agricultural Mechanization and Employment in Latin America," International
Labor Organization Review, 106(1), July 1972, p. 18.





- 14 -


1. Because of the generally abundant land resources in Latin
America, in most countries only limited zones have so far been
intensively developed for agricultural production.

2. Many areas with steeply sloping land do not lend themselves
easily to mechanization.

3. Certain crops, such as cereals, oilseeds, cotton, sugar-cane,
potatoes and fodder crops like alfalfa are more susceptible to
mechanization than others, and in many countries mechanization is
heavily concentrated on a few of them.

4. The vast majority of farm holdings in Latin America are too
small for the economical use of a tractor, or for their owners to
be able to afford one. In a few countries, however, the possibility
of renting farm equipment exists.

Tractor Distribution. Table 1 presents some basic information on
tractor use for 17 Latin America countries for which fairly comparable recent
estimates are available. As can be seen, the intensity of tractor use in re-
lation to the cultivated area varies sharply among the different countries.
Cuba which has engaged in very large imports of tractors in recent years emerges
as the Latin American country whose agriculture is most intensively "tractorized."
Evidently, labor shortages during various phases of sugar-cane production--land
preparation, planting and harvesting--have encouraged this mechanization. In
Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Uruguay and Venezuela there is one tractor for roughly
every 100 to 200 hectares which is close to the level found in some developed
countries with fairly extensive agriculture such as Australia and the USSR. At
the other extreme, mechanization is almost negligible in Bolivia and Ecuador.
Most of the remaining countries have one tractor for between 300 and 600 hectares.
If the intensity of tractor use is measured against the agricultural labor force
instead of the cultivated area, there is the same wide range of values among the
countries, and their ranking remains more or less the same. The degree of tractor
use appears to be quite closely related to the level of per capital income (Aber-
crombie, 1972, pp. 18-19).

Public Policies Encouraging Tractor Use. The policies of many Latin
American countries have encouraged the adoption of agro-mechanical technology--
tractor and other equipment. Abercrombie (1972, pp. 31-36) identifies a number
of government policy related factors that enhance the profitability and conve-
nience of (labor-saving) tractors and other equipment used by large farmers.

1. Factor prices have tended to be distorted so that the private
entrepreneur has had to pay for capital at less than its opportunity
cost to society and considerably more for labor than its opportunity
cost.

2. Overvalued currency (exchange rates) encourages farmers in Latin
America to purchase imported tractors even though their prices are some-
times twice as much as those paid by farmers in the developed countries
where the tractors are produced.

3. Credit for the purchase of a tractor or other farm machinery is
obtainable from government institutions for 70 to 100 percent of the





- 15 -


purchase price at much less than the commercial rate of interest.
Also, in view of rapid inflation prevailing in many Latin American
countries, the average rate of interest effectively charged by public
institutions in recent years for agricultural machinery loans has
frequently been negligible or even negative. Many farmers have had
to pay back only from 50 to 80 percent of their loans.

4. Farm machinery is often exempt from import tariffs. At the
same time domestic production enjoys considerable tax concessions.

5. Many Latin American countries offer free training at government
schools for tractor drivers and mechanics, although this appears in
general to be insignificant.

A number of factors affecting labor use have also encouraged the
substitution of machinery for labor:

1. Minimum wage regulations and social security systems have greatly
increased the cost of employing labor. Although both of these measures
are much less effective in agriculture than in manufacturing, partly
because of the isolation of many rural areas and because a portion of
the agricultural wage is often paid in kind, they are gradually becoming
more effective, especially on large farms that have been the major em-
ployers of hired labor.

2. Even where labor is still cheap, it is much easier on large farms
to organize the work of a few skilled machinery operators and their
equipment than that of large numbers of unskilled workers and associa-
ted numerous draft animals.

3. Social unrest that is spreading increasingly from the towns to
the countryside in many Latin American countries is another incentive
to mechanize.

Other factors encouraging mechanization in Latin America include:

1. Prestige associated with the possession of tractors and other
mechanical equipment.

2. International loans have been fairly easy to obtain for mechani-
zation projects and have financed many credit schemes for machinery
purchases by farmers. Each of the Latin America Free Trade Associa-
tion (LAFTA) countries has received one or more agricultural machinery
loans from the World Bank, the United States Eximbank, or the United
States Agency for International Development.

3. Tractor manufacturers, operating substantially below full capacity,
are interested in expanding domestic markets and exporting under prefe-
rential regional arrangements.





- 16 -


Table 2: Effect of Agricultural Machinery on the Production Levels
of Selected Crops, Colombia, 1971



Production Levels


Percent Increase


Between Traditional1 Increase Due to Use
and Mechanized2 of Agricultural
Crop Farming Systems Machinery


Sesame 89.0 9.8

Cotton 118.0 10.1

Rice, Wet 101.0 14.8

Rice, Dry 41.0 15.6

Barley 31.0 14.9

Beans 51.0 9.4

Corn 162.0 10.0

Potatoes 61.0 15.0


Source: Juan Enrique Araya A., and Carlos Ossa E., La Mecanizacion en
La Agriculture Colombiana, Bogota, 1976, p. 78.


iTraditional farming systems.do not involve the use of modern inputs,
i.e., motorized farm machinery and equipment, and improved seed
varieties, chemical fertilizers, pesticides, etc.

2Mechanized farming systems involve the use of modern motorized farm
machinery and equipment, plus the use of improved seed varieties,
chemical fertilizers and pesticides.





- 17 -


Agricultural Mechanization and Crop Production Levels. As noted
earlier, the principal effect of tractor (and other farm equipment) use on
agricultural production levels is achieved, primarily, through the expansion
of cultivated area and opportunities afforded for multiple cropping. The
direct effect of tractors on yields per hectare is much smaller. It is ge-
nerally agreed that, improvements such as the use of better seeds, fertilizers,
pesticides, herbicides and water control have a far greater impact on yields,
even though some mechanization can sometimes be an essential part of the over-
all technological package.

Very little data is available documenting the impact of tractor
and other farm equipment use on agricultural production levels in Latin America.
In a recent study in Colombia, however, an attempt has been made to measure
the impact of agricultural mechanization on the production level of several
crops (Araya & Ossa, 1976). A Colombian Ministery of Agriculture study group
examined three different production technologies for nine principal crops.
The first production technology or system, called the mechanized system, in-
cludes the use of agricultural machinery and high levels of other inputs--
improved seeds, fertilizers, insecticides, and herbicides. The second produc-
tion system, the modern system, includes the use of improved seeds, etc., but
not agricultural machinery. The third production system, the traditional
system, includes neither agricultural machinery nor the biochemical inputs--
improved seed, chemical fertilizers, etc.

The reason for examining the three production systems was to isolate
the separate effects of mechanization on production levels from the effects of
the other modern inputs. Table 2 presents the results of the Colombian study.
In interpreting the information provided in Table 2, the reader should keep in
mind that the study made no mention of efforts to control for differences in
farm size, soil quality, topography, or management. Nor did the study indicate
the quantity or quality of agricultural machinery, improved seeds, fertilizers,
pesticides, and herbicides used. Consequently, to the extent wide variations
occur for these factors the degree to which the results can be generalized to
other regions and countries is limited.

As figures in Table 2 indicate, the production increases associated
with the mechanized, compared to the traditional system, range from 31 percent
for barley to 162 percent for corn. However, production level increases attri-
buted solely to the use of agricultural machinery are substantially less. In-
creases range from a low of 9.4 percent for beans to a high of 15.6 percent for
dry rice. The study concludes that the use of agricultural machinery does con-
tribute to increased crop production levels, but the use of bio-chemical inputs
(improved seeds, chemical fertilizers) is the major factor responsible for pro-
duction gains in many crops.

Unfortunately the study does not provide an economic analysis of the
costs and returns of tractors and other farm equipment used to produce the crops.
It may be that the returns earned from increased crop production levels for cer-
tain crops are not large enough to justify investment in the agricultural machi-
nery.







Table 3. Labor Requirements Per Hectare, with and without Mechanization, for some main
Selected Countries (man-days per hectare)


Field Crops in


Brazil1 Chile Colombia Guatemala Paraguay


Human With-
and out
Without With Modern Human mecha- mecha- Semi-
Crop Animal Mecha- mechani- mechani- Tradi- Modern mecha- energy nical niza- mecha-
traction nized zation zation tional nized only energy tion nized

Barley 273 83 44 (62) 6 -
Beans 703 503 62 (82) 18 57 \4 -
Cotton 984 774,5 82 (120) 66 107 94 57 26
Maize 69 43 603 353 49 (78) 30 56 44 48 8
Potatoes 753 653 125 (193) 156 162 1536 -
Rape seed 18 8 -
Rice, irrigated 48 33 71 (93) 36 103 54 85 26
Rice, rain fed 127 59 42 (54) 19 -
Sesame-seed 52 (68) 36 -
Soybeans 72 27 -
Sugar-beet 100 90 -
Sunflower seed 45 30 -
Wheat 263 103 32 (63) 7 103 47 16 6


Average8 52 37 62 (90) 41 98 73


IState of Sa Paulo. 2Theoretical situation of improved agriculture without mechanization. Irrigated. Excluding
harvesting. >With animal traction. 6116 with human, animal and mechanical energy. Fully mechanized. 8Unweighted.

Sources: Unpublished data for 1971-72 from Divisao de Economia da Producao, Instituto de Economia Agricola, Sao
Paulo; Banco del Estado de Chile, Servicio Agronomico; Ministerio de Agricultura: Consideraciones sobre
el papel de la maquinaria en la agriculture colombiano (Bogota), op. cit., table 4; Ministerio de Agri-
cultura: Sintesis de la situaci6n del sector agropecuario de Guatemala (Guatemala, 1963) (quoted in
Thorbecke and Stoutjesdijk, op. cit., p. 106); Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganaderia: Cuentas culturales,
principles, products agricolas, 1969-1970 (Asunci6n, 1971), pp. 3-6, 29-30, 53-54.

Source: K.C. Abercrombie, "Agricultural Mechanization and Employment in Latin America," International Labor Organi-
zation Review, 106(1), July 1972, p. 25.





- 19 -


Agricultural Mechanization and Employment. The possibility that
adoption of agro-mechanical technology will lead to the loss of jobs in the
agriculture sector concerns many people.

Open unemployment in Latin America at the end of the 1960s was es-
timated at 8.9 percent of the economically active population. When under-
employment is included, the total unused labor amounted to 28.2 percent of the
labor force (or 25 million persons) at the end of the decade (ILPES/CELADE,
1969, pp. 7-10). In the agricultural sector, underemployment appears generally
to be much more serious than open unemployment. According to Brazil's 1970
population census, 25 percent of the agricultural labor force worked less than
nine months in the year preceding the census and, in the six northeast states
the figure was 38 percent (Brochl, 1970, p.24). It has been estimated that in
Peru 57 percent of the available agricultural labor force work 200 or less days
a year. (Thorbecke & Stoutjesdijk, 1971, p. 49).

Seasonal fluctuations in the demand for agricultural labor is a major
feature of the agricultural employment situation in Latin America. Broadly
speaking, over the year the larger farms require a substantial amount of casual
and seasonal labor, whereas the smaller farms have a considerable labor surplus.
While there is a sizeable movement of labor between these two subsectors, they far
from balance one another. The seasonal peak demand on the larger farms rarely
coincides with the peak supply on the smaller farms, unless widely separated
geographical areas are considered (Abercrombie, 1972, p. 15).

One study estimated that in Chile the total demand for agricultural
labor in July is 63 percent of the demand in March (Ministerio de Agricultura,
1968, p. V-112). In Peru the demand in September is estimated at only 27 per-
cent of that in June, and in one province in February it is estimated to be
only 0.4 percent of the May level (Convenio para Estudios Econ6micos Basicos,
1970).

Seasonal labor shortages and other factors (discussed earlier) have
encouraged many Latin American farmers to mechanize, often resulting in the
displacement of farm labor. Estimates of the employment effects of the mecha-
nization of agriculture in selected Latin American countries are presented in
Table 3. Labor requirements per hectare with and without mechanization, for
selected field crops are shown for Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala and Para-
guay.

As can be seen, labor requirements differ substantially from crop to
crop, both with and without mechanization. Labor requirements for barley and
wheat have been sharply reduced by mechanization. On the other hand,
potatoes and sugar-beets, with the highest labor requirements of all crops, are
the least affected by mechanization.

Table 4 illustrates the job loss effect (measured in percentage terms)
of mechanization for selected crops and countries.





- 20 -


Table 4. Labor Displaced Due to Mechanization, Selected Crops and Countries



Labor Displaced Man-Days Per Hectare (Percent)


Country


Crop Brazil Chile Colombia Guatemala Paraguay


Beans 28 78 23

Maize 38 42 39 21 83

Potatoes 13 25 5

Wheat 62 72 54 59


Source: Derived from Table 3.



The (percentage) figures presented in Table 4 suggest that the mecha-
nized production of certain crops leads to a sizeable displacement of labor.
Nevertheless, the data are incomplete for determining the full impact mechani-
zation has had on employment; information on the final fate of the displaced
labor is necessary before any conclusions can be drawn. It may be that labor
released from land preparation, for example, was employed in other phases of
the production process--planting, cultivating, harvesting, etc. The likelihood
of such an occurrence increases if mechanization leads to multiple cropping.
There is also a wide variance in labor displaced between countries for the same
crop. This may be due to the use of larger tractors in some countries, as com-
pared to others, and/or because certain countries have chosen to mechanize more
phases of the production of certain crops than others have. Field visits indi-
cated that agricultural mechanization, in general, is greater in Colombia than
in the other three countries visited--Costa Rica, Guatemala and Honduras.

In Colombia it was found that there has been a wide variation in labor
displacement (job loss) rates among crops following the adoption of agricultural
machinery, with or without the joint use of improved seed varieties, chemical
fertilizers and pesticides (Table 5). An explanation for the wide differences
in labor displacement rates among crops requires reference to the labor require-
ments of the various phases of production. In the production of some crops it
is easier to substitute machinery for labor. In wheat and barley production,
for example, labor is employed in land preparation, seeding, and harvest; phases
of production that are easily mechanized. The Colombian study indicates that
the rate of substitution of machinery for labor (between the mechanized system








Table 5. Labor Saved and Labor--Agricultural Machinery Rate of Substitution for Selected Crops,
Colombia, 1970


1
Mechanized System ve sus Mechanized System Nersus
Traditional System Modern System

Labor Saved, Rate of Substitution Labor Saved, Rate of Substitution
Crop Percent Man-Days/Machine Hours Percent Man-Days/Machine Hours


Sesame 48.0 4.18 46.0 2.89
Cotton 51.0 3.65 45.0 3.27
Rice, Wet 55.0 5.16 60.0 4.61
Rice, Dry 63.0 3.91 66.0 3.47
Barley 98.8 5.70 82.0 4.95
Wheat 89.0 5.30 88.0 5.10
Beans 73.0 4.91 78.0 4.28
Corn 42.0 5.18 61.5 4.08
Potatoes 4.0 1.22 20.0 2.44


Source: Juan Enrique Araya A., and
Bogota, 1976, p. 84.


Carlos Ossa E.,


La Mecanizacion en


la Agriculture Colombiana.


'Mechanized farm systems involve the use of modern, motorized farm machinery and equipment, plus the
use of improved seed varieties, chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
2
Traditional farm systems do not involve the use of modern inputs, i.e., motorized farm machinery
and equipment, and improved seed varieties, chemical fertilizers and insecticides.

3Modern farm systems involve the use of improved seed varieties, chemical fertilizers and insecticides,
but do not involve the use of motorized farm machinery and equipment.





- 22 -


and the modern system) is 3.4 man-days per machine-hour in land preparation
and seeding, 4.5 man-days per machine-hour in cultivation, and 5.3 man-days per
machine-hour in harvesting.

In other words, for the nine Colombian crops studied, on the average,
agricultural mechanization displaces the largest number of laborers in the har-
vest phase of crop production. The results are of special interest for the de-
sign of mechanization policies as they affect the objectives of production and
employment. According to the Colombian study land preparation and seeding are
the phases in which mechanization can achieve its greatest increase in crop
production levels; mechanization of these phases also results in fewer jobs lost,
relative to mechanization of harvesting (Araya & Ossa, 1976, p. 84-85). A
field visit to the Cauca Valley in Colombia found widespread use of tractors in
land preparation, seeding and cultivation of a number of crops on large farms.

Data from the Colombian study also reveal the effect bio-chemical in-
puts have on the demand for labor at the farm level. Table 6 compares the labor
requirements per hectare of the three production technologies--traditional, modern
and mechanized. Averaging labor requirements per hectare for the nine crops it
is found that shifting from a traditional system to a mechanized system without
modern inputs such as improved seed, fertilizer, etc., results in a 50 percent
reduction in labor requirements. However, when a shift is made from a traditional
system to a mechanized system also using improved seeds, fertilizers, and pesti-
cides, there is only a 34 percent drop in the demand for labor. The increased
demand for labor due to higher yields from the use of seeds, fertilizers, etc.,
partially offsets the decline in labor demanded due to mechanization.

Whether the rate and magnitude of labor displacement in the production
of selected Colombian crops due to mechanization is similar to other Latin Ame-
rican countries is an empirical question to be answered by future research.

A recent study of agricultural development efforts in several Central
American countries also documents the labor displacing (job loss) effects of
mechanization (GAFICA/SIECA, 1974). In Honduras, for example, it has been esti-
mated that mechanizing one hectare of corn production will result in an overall
decline of 53.5 man-days per hectare (Table 7). The relative displacement of
labor is even greater when all phases of corn production are considered. Mecha-
nization of soil preparation and seeding displaces 97 percent of the labor re-
quired by non-mechanized production; 61 percent and 57 percent of labor required
for the non-mechanized cultivation and harvesting phases, respectively, are re-
placed with mechanization. The displacement of labor is substantially less with
the substitution of animal traction or semi-mechanized traction for manual labor
in the production of one hectare of corn.










Table 6. Labor Requirements per Hectare, with and
Colombia, 1970 (Man-Days per Hectare)


without Mechanization,


for Selected Crops,


Farm Systems
2 3
Modern, but Mechanized, with Mechanized without
Crops Traditional Not Mechanized Modern Inputs Modern Inputs


Barley 44.0 62.0 6.0 0.5
Beans 62.0 82.0 18.0 16.0
Cotton 82.0 120.0 66.0 40.0
Corn 49.0 78.0 30.0 28.0
Potatoes 125.0 193.0 156.0 120.0
Rice, Wet 71.0 93.0 36.0 32.0
Rice, Dry 42.0 54.0 19.0 15.0
Sesame 52.0 68.0 36.0 27.0
Wheat 32.0 63.0 7.0 0.5
Average 62.0 90.0 41.0 31.0


Source: Juan Enrique Araya A.,
Bogota, 1976, p. 85.


and Carlos Ossa E., La Mecanizacion


en La Agricultura


Coloinbiana.


Traditional farm systems do not involve the use of modern inputs, i.e., motorized farm machinery
and equipment, and improved seed varieties, chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

2Modern farm systems involve the use of improved seed varieties, chemical fertilizers and insecti-
cides, but do not involve the use of motorized farm machinery and equipment.

3Mechanized farm systems involve the use of motorized farm machinery and equipment, plus the use
of improved seed varieties, chemical fertilizers and insecticides.


"





- 24 -


Table 7. Honduras: Labor Use in Production of One Hectare of Corn on
Farmsa with Different Levels of Mechanization, 1966.



Man-Days Per Hectare


Preparation of
Mechanization Soil & Seeding Cultivation Harvest Total



Mechanized 0.7 9.2 9.6 19.5

Partially 11.5 15.2 22.8 49.5
Mechanized

Animal Traction 17.6 17.3 22.5 57.4

Hand Labor 27.0 23.5 22.5 73.0


a
Farm size ranges from 1 to 7 hectares.

Source: GAFICA, based on "Costos de Produccion de Malz, Frijol, etc.,"
Secretaria de Recursos Naturales, Servicio Cooperativo de De-
sarrollo Rural, Tegucigalpa, C.A., 1968.



Information (Table 8)is available on the distribution of tractors and
labor requirements by farm size in Costa Rica.

In the past decade several Central and South American countries have
begun to extensively mechanize their agricultural export sectors. This has
sharply reduced employment opportunities for casual and seasonal labor, parti-
cularly in the production of cotton, sugar-cane and bananas. Imports of cotton
harvesters in Nicaragua, for example, have increased from 13 in 1963 to 200 in
1970. The cotton harvesters have reduced the demand for labor by 80 workers
per hectare per year (GAFICA/SIECA, 1974, pp. 51-53). In Bolivia where mecha-
nization of cotton production is occurring at a rapid pace, it has been argued
that labor shortages would disappear if wage rates were allowed to be determined
in the market place. Though wages would be higher than those fixed by the
cotton growers' association, the extra labor costs would be offset by increa-
sing revenue from the additional area harvested--up to 20 percent of the crop
was lost in the early and mid 1970s because of labor shortages (Zuvekas, 1977,
pp. 45-46).





- 25 -


Further, Zuvekas (1977, p. 46) argues that the present push of the
cotton growers' association to mechanize may be very short-sighted. A shift
to mechanical harvesters would not only displace tens of thousands of seaso-
nal laborers, but might be more expensive in the long run if erratic world
market conditions force some farmers to keep their machinery idle when prices
are unattractive. Moreover, mechanical harvesting lowers the quality of cotton,
thereby, reducing its competitiveness on the world market. On the other hand,
disregarding the social costs associated with the displaced labor, mechanization
of cotton may be profitable if it permits double-cropping with soybeans and
wheat.


Table 8. Costa Rica: Number of Tractors and Labor
Three Different Sizes, 1970


Requirements on Farms of


Less Than 4 to 35 More Than
Farm of: 4 Hectares Hectares 35 Hectares


Total Area Cultivated (Ha)a 44,900 278,300 726,500

Total Number of Tractors
Under Private Ownershipb 70 720 4,180

Total Labor Requirements
(Man-Years)c 10,160 58,660 111,700

Tractors per Hectare 0.0016 0.0026 0.0057

Labor Requirements per Hectare
(Man-Years) 0.2260 0.2106 0.1537

alncludes fallow land and land in cultivation, but does not include pasture.

b1970 figures were estimated by adding the number of tractors imported between
1963-1970 to 1963 Census figures.

CMan-years corresponds to 280 man-days per year, labor requirements are for
both cultivated and uncultivated land.

Source: GAFICA/SIECA, Perspectivas Para el Desarrollo y la Integraci6n de la
Agriculture en Centroameriea, Guatemala, 1974.





- 26 -


Selective Agricultural Mechanization. Colombian officials have acknow-
ledged the importance of selective mechanization in the agriculture sector. They
indicate that emphasis should be given to those types of mechanization that most
effectively complement other yield-increasing improvements--soil preparation,
planting, harvesting, and storage. This would help achieve the dual development
objectives of increased food production and the generation of employment opportu-
nities (Ministerio de Agricultura, 1971, pp. 31-35).

Summary. The following conclusions can be drawn from the information
presented in this section:

(1) Because many Latin American countries have, consciously or unconsciously,
encouraged agricultural mechanization through various policies that dis-
tort factor prices, overvalue currency, subsidize credit, etc., the net
benefits of mechanization of the agricultural sector are often in doubt.
Thirsk(1972), for example, conducted a study to determine whether the
Colombian government's policy of subsidizing credit (at half the market
rate) had increased or decreased GNP and employment, and whether the
benefits of mechanization had accrued to the owners of land, labor, or
capital. It was concluded that mechanization had lowered GNP, favored
the capital-owning segment of society and resulted in lower agricultural
employment (Thirsk, 1972, pp. 52-54; Gemmill & Eicher, 1973, pp. 37-38).

(2) Selective mechanization of phases of agricultural production cycle offers
potential for increasing food production and employment through intensive
use (multiple cropping) of given land holdings. Many of the larger farms
in Latin America, however, are notorious for their underutilization of
land and the owner's lack of interest in intensifying production. Con-
sequently, the opportunities for generating additional employment are
not realized. For example, substantial amounts of land at lower eleva-
tions in Guatemala is being farmed extensively. There is little evi-
dence of multiple cropping and substantial land areas appear to remain
fallow for two or three years between plantings.

(3) Selective agricultural mechanization, coupled with the use of new seed
varieties, chemical fertilizers and irrigation, offers the greatest
potential for increasing both food production and employment.


E. Costs and Returns of Tractor Ownership and Use in Selected Latin American
Countries

Financial and Economic Profitability A Distinction. A distinction
must be made between the profitability of tractor use to an individual (private
or financial profitability) and the profitability of tractor use to the country
as a whole (economic profitability) (Gittinger, 1972).

For the purposes of this section, attention is focused on the private or
financial profitability of tractor ownership and use. This does not mean that
the consequences--economic profitability--of tractor use on a regional or country
basis should be ignored. However, the focus here will be on the individual farmer.





- 27 -


A number of factors determine the profitability of tractor ownership
and use, a few of which are considered in this section. Tractors and auxiliary
equipment are "lumpy" inputs. They represent a fixed asset with a potential
flow of services over a period of time. To be utilized efficiently tractors,
for example, must achieve a minimum level of use. This level can be achieved
either through extensive use, i.e., expanding the total area cultivated, or
through intensive use, i.e., increasing the intensity of use on a given culti-
vable area. Generally the larger the tractor (H.P.) the greater the level of
minimum use required to achieve efficient use. The profitability of a large
tractor in the small farm sector requires spreading the "services" over a large
number of small farm units. This can be accomplished through either the provi-
sion of private tractor-hire services or a publicly sponsored tractor service
center.

Optimum Tractor Power. For the small farmer desiring to own a tractor
rather than purchase services from private or public sources, the question of
the optimum tractor size becomes important. The farmer requires sufficient
traction power to accomplish his farming operations on a timely basis, but
should avoid excess power that cannot be used profitably.

William J. Chancellor (1968) has developed a methodology for determining
the horsepower needs of a small farmer. He proposes that the optimum tractor
size can be estimated from the following formula:

H (optimum horsepower) = [LW(C + D) 1/
(AK)1/2
where
A = the ratio of annual fixed charges to initial tractor cost,

K = initial cost of tractor per rated horsepower,

C = operation costs which are proportional to time of operation,

L = land area worked per year,

W = rated horsepower hours required per year for each unit of land,

D = the average penalty in cost per hectare/working hour for the
delay between the time a cultural operation is started on a given
farm and the time it is completed (e.g., getting the crop planted
or harvested).

Presently, the lack of data for Latin American farm operations of
differing sizes prevents using Chancellor's formula to determine the optimum
tractor size. Farm level studies in the future are needed to provide such
information.

Chancellor (1968, pp. 509-511) shows that the optimum power rating
(H.P.) of the tractor to be selected by a farmer increases with:





- 28 -


a. increased land area handled (with added emphasis when timeliness
is important),
b. increased intensity of mechanical cultivation operations for
each hectare,
c. increased operator wage,
d. increased economic importance in avoiding delays in scheduling,
e. decreased cost per rated horsepower, and
f. decreased rate of fixed costs associated with tractor ownership.

Finally, in comparing highly mechanized areas with those in which
tractor mechanization is just beginning, Chancellor (1968, p. 510) finds that
the optimum tractor size selected by farmers in the latter area is generally
smaller. The reasons for this are:

a. farms are smaller,
b. fewer operations are suited to tractor power,
c. operator wages are lower, and
d. fixed costs are higher (due to higher interest rates
and more rapid deterioration of tractor materials).

It is generally accepted that tractors of 40 to 60 H.P. require an
arable area of more than 40 to 50 hectares for their economical use (Aber-
crombie, 1972, p. 19). In view of the present size distribution of land in
Latin America, the vast majority of holdings are far too small for the econo-
mical use of a large tractor.

Nevertheless, the availability of traction power is important for in-
creasing the productivity of the small farmer. But the question of what types
of traction power are appropriate for the small farmer remains to be answered.
A recent study in Venezuela sought to answer this question (Espinal & Cedeno,
1970). In the study three modes of traction power--four-wheel garden tractors,
two-wheel walking tractors, and a pair of burros--were compared on the following
performance criteria:

1. Field Capacity--the amount of work accomplished per unit
of time, i.e., hectares per hour,

2. Field Efficiency--the degree to which actual effective capa-
city achieves theoretical effective capacity, and

3. Variable Costs--including fuel, oil, repairs and maintenance,
and labor.

Although the three modes of traction power were tested at different
locations, efforts were made to control for differences in topography and soil
type. Also the three modes engaged in the same agricultural operations--
plowing, harrowing, cultivating, listering, and ridging.

The field test results are presented in Table 9. While the
four-wheel garden tractor costs more to operate, it was superior in field
efficiency and effective capacity. The variable costs for operating the
four-wheel garden tractor were 1.6 times higher than the two-wheel walking tractor,
and 6 times greater than the burros (Espinal & Cedeno, 1970, p. 24).










Table 9. Performance Comparison for the Three Types of Traction Power


Four-Wheeled Two-Wheeled
Activity Performance Criteria Garden Tractor Walking Tractor Two Burros

Field Efficiency (%) 72.60 52.00
Plowing Efficiency Capacity .88 .25
(Ha per 10 hrs)

Field Efficiency (%) 67.40 50.00
Harrowing Efficiency Capacity 2.94 .74 --
(Ha per 10 hrs)

Field Efficiency (%) 76.20 44.50 61.40
Cultivating Efficiency Capacity 4.11 .54 .60
(Ha per 10 hrs)

Field Efficiency (%) 78.90 83.00 68.60
Listering Efficiency Capacity 4.37 1.98 1.07
(Ha per 10 hrs)

Field Efficiency --- 69.60 78.00
Ridging Efficiency Capacity 1.83 1.22
(Ha per 10 hrs)


Tres Formas Diferentes


Source: Alfonso Perez Espenal and Oscar Cedeno, Estudio Comparativo de
de Mecanizacion en Labores Agricolas.





- 30 -


Other Factors Affecting the Profitability of Tractor Use. In addition
to power rating, a number of other factors influence the profitability of trac-
tor use by a small farmers, i.e., tractor design, initial cost, access to credit,
availability of repair service and spare parts, farmer's experience in tractor
use, and access to markets for surplus production to mention only a few.

Tractor and farm equipment implement design are particularly important
for many small farm plots. In some Latin American countries the majority of
small farms can be found in the highlands, on the side of steep hills, in ra-
vines and gullies. The land is often covered with rocks and tree stumps which
prevent tractors of standard design from operating effectively.

For many small farmers the lack of credit and high initial cost of a
tractor (and other farm equipment) prevent their purchase. For those small
farmers that secure credit the inability of many of them to repay their loans
results in debt and further problems. In most cases, the farmer defaults on
his loan because of factors that prevent him from either realizing or marketing
the increase in production expected to result from the use of a tractor.1

Machinery dealers contacted on field visits to Colombia, Costa Rica,
Guatemala and Honduras repeatedly stated that the small farmer's lack of ex-
perience with tractors, his inability to make simple repairs, and his diffi-
culty in getting spare parts, and similar problems result in his tractor sitting
idle during important phases of crop production--land preparation, cultivation
and harvest. Consequently, the farmer frequently loses the opportunity for
multiple cropping and increased crop production. The failure to increase crop
production reduces the farmer's income, thereby reducing his ability to meet
his loan payment schedule.

A small farmer may expand his total crop production two- or
three-fold only to find that inadequate on-farm storage and lack of transporta-
tion prevent him from successfully marketing his crops. Again, the loss in
potential revenue can create loan repayment problems for the farmer. On-farm
storage is important in two respects: (1) it reduces the farmer's crop loss
thereby increasing the amount available to market, and (2) it allow the farmer
to hold his crop until market prices are favorable.

Tractor Costs and Returns. Tractor ownership and operating costs are
closely associated with tractor size, i.e., horsepower. Balis (1977, Appendix
J), in a study on appropriate mechanization in Nicaragua, presents data on
ownership and operating costs of different size tractors. A portion of his
data is presented in Table 10. Although Balis does not analyze the data pro-
vided in Table 10, it can be observed that:

1. Ownership and operating costs per hour fall with a decline in
horsepower, and



1For a more complete discussion of small farmer credit problems,
see Small Farmer Credit in South America, AID Spring Review of Small Farmer
Credit, Volume III, February 1973, No. SR 103, Country Papers.







Table 10. Comparison of Operating and Financial Aspects of Selected Tractorslin Nicaragua


Ownership Time to Complete
Ownership
Horse Purchase Operating & Operat- Farm Operations
Power Price Time Per ing Cost/ Farm Days/MZ
Make Model (H.P.) (C$) Year/Hrs Hr/ (C$) Operations Animal Tractor

John Deere 2130 79 95,625 2,000 53.44 Land prepa- 8 hrs. 2 hrs.
(11,475)* ( 6.41) rations and
seeding

Massey- 78,500 42.00 8 hrs. 1 hr.
265 69 2,000 8 hrs. 1 hr.
Ferguson ( 9,420) 2( 5.04)

David Brown 990 58 69,000 2,000 29.10 8 hrs. .5 hr.
( 8,280) 2_,3.41
59,680 39.20 ,,
John Deere 1020 49 ( ,162) 2,000 ( 4.70) 8 hrs. 1 hr.
39,850 20.77
Kubota L-285 30 ( 4,782) 2,000 (12.49) 8 hrs. 3 hrs.


Kubota L-225 24 38.650 2,000 18.58 8 hrs. 3 hrs.
D.T. ( 4,638) ( 2.23)

Satoh Beaver 15 22,694) 2,000 (14.00 8 hrs. 4 hrs.

31,500 13.76
Kubota B-600R 12.5 3,780) 2,000 (1.65) 8 hrs.
( 3,780) (.1.65)

Source: "Informacion Necessaria Para Evaluar El Projecto De Alquiler De Manquinera o Equipo,"
(Balis. J., 1977, Appendix J).
*Number in ( ) are US$.
1Where trade names are used no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by the Inter-American
Bank is implied.





- 32 -


2. Tractors require about one-fourth to one-half the time animals
require to complete the same tasks of soil preparation and seeding.

A recent study in Guatemala on increasing the productivity of small
farmers provides additional costs and return data on the use of tractors (BAN-
DESA, 1962). The study concludes (obvious to many) that a tractor for use by
small farmers should be well constructed, compact, and versatile and it should
be easy to handle, and low priced so that the small farmers can earn a satis-
factory return on their investments (BANDESA, 1972, p. 6).

For reasons not given in the study, the authors focus on a 24 H.P.
tractor and auxiliary equipment. Given a 24 H.P. tractor, they conclude that
the minimum size farm necessary to justify mechanization is 23 manzanas or 16
hectares (BANDESA, 1972, p. 12). The profitability of the tractor and auxilia-
ry equipment is illustrated with cost and revenue figures for three crops--corn,
sesame, and wheat (Table 11). The study suggest a high rate of return for
tractor use in the production of the three crops. The study is puzzling, however;
in that it proclaims a concern for small farmers, yet its focus is on a farm
size holding of 16 hectares, while the average farm size in Guatemala is 8
hectares, and the farm size of 90 percent of the farmers is well below the
average (Fletcher, et al., 1970).

Additional information on the level of tractor use in Latin America
was acquired through direct interviews with government officials, farm equip-
ment and implement dealers, and small farmers in several countries.

Discussions with several farm equipment and implement dealers in Guate-
mala indicate that a variety of tractors and auxiliary equipment are being
marketed. Although the tractors are small (below 35 H.P.) relative to tractors
being sold in most Latin American countries (see Table 1), few are being pur-
chased by small farmers. Lack of credit and aversion to risk are the primary
reasons given for the small farmers' low level of tractor purchases.

A firm in Guatemala sells a twin cylinder 30-35 H.P. tractor called
the Nibbi. The smallest Nibbi unit sells for $4,900 and the largest for
$6,900 and sales are approximately one per month. Nibbi sales have been mostly
to large sugar cane producers for disking and harrowing between rows. The
Nibbi has allowed the producers to plant their sugar cane rows closer together,
thereby increasing total production. Another consequence, according to the
distribution of the use of the Nibbi has been the displacement of labor on
sugar cane plantations. Estimates on the number of laborers displaced per
hectare, or per Nibbi, were not available.

A second popular tractor being purchased by large sugar cane producers
in Guatemala is the 12.5 H.P. Kubota. Sales have increased sharply from 60
units in 1970 to 200 units in 1977 and projected sales for 1978 are for 250-300
units. The Kubota with implements for plowing and disking sells for $4,250.

Even though the Kubota is inexpensive relative to most tractors in
Latin America, the majority of farmers in Guatemala cannot afford it.







Table 11. Estimated Costs and Revenues for Corn, Sesame, and Wheat Per Manzana

Guatemala, 1972
(Q = quetzal)


CORN

Tractor and Auxiliary Equipment' Costs . ... Q 51.72
Land Preparation Q 17.12
Seeding Q 4.02
Cultivation Q 18.08
Harvest Q 12.50

Bio-Chemical Costs . . . . Q 28.00
Seeds Q 3.00
Fertilizer Q 20.00
Insecticides Q 5.00

Cost per Manzana . . . .... Q 79.72

Yield per Manzana (in quintales) 55 qq

Gross Revenue per Manzana . . .... Q 112.50
(50 qq x Q 2.2M

Net Revenue per Manzana . . .... Q 32.78

Net Revenue for 24 Manzanas (16 hectares). . ... Q 786.72

Net Revenue for 2 Harvests (per Year) . ... Q1573.44

Rate of Return . . . .... 41.25%


SESAME

Q 45.47
Q 17.12 Q 1
Q 4.02 Q
Q 13.08 Q
Q 11.25 Q

Q 31.00
Q 1.00 Q1
Q 20.00 Q 2
Q 10.00 Q 1

Q 76.47

15 qq 2

Q 225.00
) (25 qq x Q 9.00)

Q 148.53

Q3564.72

N/A

110.28%


WHEAT

Q 35.43
7.12
4.02
8.04
6.25

Q 40.00
0.00
0.00
0.00

Q 75.43

5 qq
Q 150.00
(25 qq x Q 6.00)
Q 74.57

Q1789.68

N/A

98.68%


1Tractor 24 H.P., two-bottom plow, harrow, two-furrow seeder, and two-furrow cultivator.

Source: Considerciones Generales Para Dotar De Maquinaria Agricola al Mediano Y Pequeno Agricultor,
BANDESA Guatemala, 1972.





- 34 -


It has been estimated that eight manzanas of intensive crops are needed to
justify the purchase of a Kubota. Over 70 percent of the farms in Guatema-
la, however, are less than 6 manzanas and are not cropped intensively (Fletcher,
et al., 1970). Although credit to purchase the Kubota and other tractors is
available --40 percent down, 14 percent interest and up to two years to pay
(AGRITROP, 1977)-- the average income of the small Guatemalan farmer ($50-$150
annually) is clearly inadequate. The down payment required is 11 to 34 times
greater than the average farmer's annual income.

According to an official of SIECA, several studies in Guatemala show
that farmers who own tractors are underutilizing them by as much as 50 percent
of their potential operating time. The reasons given for this are frequent
breakdowns, lack of qualified drivers, and the unwillingness of the large
farmers to cultivate their land on an intensive basis.

Field visits in Costa Rica indicate that there are seven firms selling
small tractors in San Jose. Two or three of the firms plan to discontinue
their sale of small tractors because the profit per unit sold is small and the
marketing costs are high.

The head of the production department of UNACOOP, a cooperative con-
federation with about 35,000 members and 70 percent small farmers, strongly
supported a Swiss-made, small tractor, called "Rapid." It sells for about
$3,100 and all the auxiliary equipment adds another $1,500. Sales have been
slow (17 units in 24 months). Again, high capital costs and unwillingness of
the small farmer to risk such an investment were the reasons given for the
poor sales. Credit terms for purchasing the "Rapid" appear to be more favor-
able than those for the Kubota in Guatemala. The farmer would have to pay
10 percent down, 11 percent interest and is given up to four years to repay
the loan. Even though the average income for a small farmer in Costa Rica
is about twice ($100-$250) that of his counterpart in Guatemala, he would
still have to make a down payment that is two to four times his annual income.
In addition, few small farmers are willing to mortgage their land and other
possessions to secure a loan. Even if the small farmer could, somehow, ob-
tain the down payment there is very little hope he could increase his annual
income enough to pay off the loan in four years.

An UNACOOP study indicated that at least eight hectares of potatoes
are required to justify the purchase of a "Rapid." Yet 50 percent of all
farms in Costa Rica are less than five hectares (BIO, 1977). The study
showed that the gains from substituting tractor power for hand power in the
cultivation of potatoes are doubtful. On the basis of cost-effectiveness,
tractors have only a slight advantage ($20 per hectare) over hand labor in
the cultivation of one hectare of potatoes (Table 12).

Justification of tractor use on such a slim cost advantage seems
questionable, particularly when capital risks are taken into consideration.
However, the farmer may improve the return to his investment by using the
tractor in the production of other crops or by hiring out tractor services.




- 35 -


Table 12. Hand Labor vs. "Rapid" Tractor Costs in the Cultivation of One
Hectare of Potatoes, Costa Rica.



Power Labor Costs Equipment Costs Total Costs
Source Hours (hr) (hectare) coloness)


Hand Labor 304 4 colones/hr -- 1216

"Rapid" 166 4 colones/hr $532 1196



Source: Mr. Roland Abinden R., Chief, Production Department, UNACOOP, San
Jose, Costa Rica, November 29, 1977.

There are other reasons to consider besides ownership and operating
costs for the small farm family when purchasing a "Rapid" or similar tractor.
In the case of potato production presented here, the farmer can employ him-
self and his family labor over 300 hours using hand labor, but slightly less
than half of this time when using the "Rapid." When on-farm and off-farm
employment is limited, the farmer may choose to use hand labor.

Summary. The limited nature of available data and information pre-
vents drawing firm conclusions about the economics of tractor ownership and
use in Latin America. However, based on the material reviewed in this section
and field visits, a few observations can be made.

1. Although small tractors (12-35 H.P.) are available on a limited
basis in many Latin America countries, few small farmers own
or make use of their services. There are a number of reasons
for this, including the size and topography of small farm holdings;
financial barriers to tractor (and other farm equipment) ownership,
high down payments, high interest rates, short repayment periods;
and the strong reluctance of small farmers to take capital risks.

2. Large farmers in Latin America are purchasing tractors, of all
sizes, at an increasing rate. Government policies that distort
factor prices make the substitution of tractors for hand labor
profitable. Imperfections in rural labor markets contribute to
seasonal labor shortages and high priced labor, further encouraging
the substitution of agricultural machinery for farm labor. In
addition, the availability of "cheap" agricultural machinery
often encourages large land owners oriented to the export market
to dissolve rental agreements with small farmers so that large
tracts of land can be put together to accommodate the use of 80
and 90 H.P. tractors and combines. It would appear that if current
agricultural mechanization policies and trends in many Latin American
countries continue the outcome will be greater concentration of land





36 -



use in the hands of a few, greater unemployment in the rural areas,
and probably little, if any, increases in food production levels.

3. If small farmers are to take advantage of available modern agri-
cultural technologies, government policies sensitive to their
needs and conditions are needed. For example, a credit program
that underwrites the costs (e.g., initial costs and finance char-
ges) of small farmer ownership of farm equipment should be con-
sidered. Likewise, consideration should be given to financial
incentives and organizational assistance necessary to encourage
small farmers to form farm equipment cooperatives. Also,
public and/or private tractor-hire schemes, should be evaluated
-they have worked successfully in other parts of the world.





- 37 -


III. Description of Agro-Mechanical Technologies
With Emphasis on Small Farms in
Selected Latin American Countries


The purpose of this section is to provide technical information on
small farm agro-mechanical technology. A constraint to increased production
in many instances is the time required for certain field operations, in par-
ticular tillage and harvesting. In such cases, adequate mechanization to
overcome time constraints can lead to multiple cropping, increased food
production and employment opportunities. Storage and irrigation are also
phases of the agricultural production cycle that affect food supply levels
and employment opportunities.

Section III contains six sub-sections. Sub-section A focuses on
tillage with technical comments on power sources for tillage implements.
(These power sources are also applicable to other operations.) Sub-sections
B-F discuss irrigation, harvesting, storage and considerations in promoting
agro-mechanical technologies.

A. Primary and Secondary Tillage: Power Sources and Implements

The basic purpose of tillage is to properly prepare soil to receive
either seeds, young plants, tubers, or other forms of plant life for subse-
quent optimum production of food or fiber. Primary tillage can be defined
as the initial loosening or breaking up of the soil for subsequent refinement
by secondary tillage. Stout (1966) elaborated on this simplistic definition,
mainly for rice production, but the concepts apply to other crops. Primary
tillage may also aerate the soil when excessively wet, initiate the process
of cutting and distributing organic matter and killing grass and weeds. Se-
condary tillage is the process of further soil refinement which usually creates
an environment favorable for the seed and plant to grow, but it may also act
to kill grass and weeds and help to incorporate organic matter.

By the nature of the operation, tillage imposes one of the main power
requirements on farming. According to Hunt (1973), over half of the power
expended in a highly mechanized system is used for tillage. Hand and animal
powered systems also expend about one-half of the total energy expended on
tillage. Thus tillage is usually an important process to mechanize early.

The following discussion centers on alternative engine power sources
for tillage implements.

Engine Power. Engine power for farm implements comes in a variety of
forms. The single axle tiller is the simplest form and usually has horsepower
ranging from less than 2.5 to 25 H.P. These tillers normally have an air-
cooled engine that burns gasoline. In many countries the cost and availability
of gasoline is a problem. Tillers that burn diesel fuel are available but have
a higher initial cost and weight. Discussions with machinery manufacturers and
farmers in Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Honduras, however, suggest these
air-cooled engines have a reputation for needing frequent repairs. For the un-
educated small farmer, this problem of engine maintenance is a major barrier.





- 37 -


III. Description of Agro-Mechanical Technologies
With Emphasis on Small Farms in
Selected Latin American Countries


The purpose of this section is to provide technical information on
small farm agro-mechanical technology. A constraint to increased production
in many instances is the time required for certain field operations, in par-
ticular tillage and harvesting. In such cases, adequate mechanization to
overcome time constraints can lead to multiple cropping, increased food
production and employment opportunities. Storage and irrigation are also
phases of the agricultural production cycle that affect food supply levels
and employment opportunities.

Section III contains six sub-sections. Sub-section A focuses on
tillage with technical comments on power sources for tillage implements.
(These power sources are also applicable to other operations.) Sub-sections
B-F discuss irrigation, harvesting, storage and considerations in promoting
agro-mechanical technologies.

A. Primary and Secondary Tillage: Power Sources and Implements

The basic purpose of tillage is to properly prepare soil to receive
either seeds, young plants, tubers, or other forms of plant life for subse-
quent optimum production of food or fiber. Primary tillage can be defined
as the initial loosening or breaking up of the soil for subsequent refinement
by secondary tillage. Stout (1966) elaborated on this simplistic definition,
mainly for rice production, but the concepts apply to other crops. Primary
tillage may also aerate the soil when excessively wet, initiate the process
of cutting and distributing organic matter and killing grass and weeds. Se-
condary tillage is the process of further soil refinement which usually creates
an environment favorable for the seed and plant to grow, but it may also act
to kill grass and weeds and help to incorporate organic matter.

By the nature of the operation, tillage imposes one of the main power
requirements on farming. According to Hunt (1973), over half of the power
expended in a highly mechanized system is used for tillage. Hand and animal
powered systems also expend about one-half of the total energy expended on
tillage. Thus tillage is usually an important process to mechanize early.

The following discussion centers on alternative engine power sources
for tillage implements.

Engine Power. Engine power for farm implements comes in a variety of
forms. The single axle tiller is the simplest form and usually has horsepower
ranging from less than 2.5 to 25 H.P. These tillers normally have an air-
cooled engine that burns gasoline. In many countries the cost and availability
of gasoline is a problem. Tillers that burn diesel fuel are available but have
a higher initial cost and weight. Discussions with machinery manufacturers and
farmers in Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Honduras, however, suggest these
air-cooled engines have a reputation for needing frequent repairs. For the un-
educated small farmer, this problem of engine maintenance is a major barrier.




- 38 -


1.5 1.71 2.30




W 1.02
1.0

S.85 .935
S.75

W
.5 .37 .36
a: ,27 .27
Z .20 .21

T 5


Power available per hectare for the major areas of the world.
Fu o
Figure 1. Power available per hectare for the major areas of the world.





- 39 -


In Latin America the more popular form of engine power is the four-
wheel tractor, with power ranging from 8 to over 200 H.P. Just as animal
power enables a man to work more land area, so engine power enables man to
work more acreage than animals. The actual amount of power required for a
given area will be discussed later.

Figure 1 (Hall, 1973) provides a comparative picture of the power
available per hectare of arable land and land under permanent crops for
1964-65. Figure 1 indicates that the developing countries have signifi-
cantly less engine power available; a more realistic picture, however, would
be a similar graph which would include an estimate of the power available from
the agricultural labor force and from draft animals. It is recognized that a
given amount of energy will be required to accomplish a particular task. Thus
to say that any area does not have enough power per hectare on the basis of en-
gine power alone is misleading.

From field visits it appears that most small farmers in Latin America
who make use of engine power, especially for tillage, do so either through
arrangements with large-scale farmers or through cooperatives. One small
farmer in the Cauca Valley of Colombia stated that a nearby large farmer
tills his ground when needed. Another farmer who had two hectares had pur-
chased a used tractor for working his own land as well as doing contract work
for neighbors. A cooperative representative in Guatemala stated that they
are taking a critical look at their mechanization program. They had purchased
five tractors (each about 50 H.P.) with tillage equipment and were losing
money.

A machinery dealer in Guatemala City who is successfully marketing a
four-wheel drive 12.5 H.P. diesel tractor made in Japan provided valuable in-
formation. He is an innovative dealer who has designed and built several
pieces of equipment to go with this tractor. However, the tractor is being
purchased mainly by large farmers in the coastal regions of Guatemala for
sugar cane cultivation. (This point is discussed in Section II, pp. 49-50.)
The dealer indicated the high initial cost of the tractor severely limits its
use among small farmers. In addition, the representative of a cooperative
which had purchased several of these small tractors stated that the small
wheels did not provide sufficient flotation for the tractor to work in the
loose volcanic type soils of the mountain regions of Guatemala. The tractor
is shown in Figure 2.

In the mountainous terrain of the countries visited it was obvious
that the slopes are too steep for the use of any currently available engine
powered machines. Many of the steep hillsides have been cleared, farmed
for short period of time, then abandoned when the fertile topsoil is washed
down the hillside. Two types of agriculture are possible in these regions:
(1) growing permanent perennial crops, in which case engine powered mechani-
zation is not required, or (2) proper terracing for annual crops so that the
soil can be conserved, in which case the use of appropriate agricultural ma-
chinery has its place.

The comment was frequently made, particularly in Guatemala, that a
way is needed to test various agro-mechanical technologies for their technical












I


I; C


rr


4'.


11r41 --, k

V.


x
^Y
Ife


rI' 7 4


Figure 2. 12.5 hp diesel powered tractor with rototiller in Guatemala


A-
-4
\ I


x .'4



CA;~
-j.ff





- 41 -


and economic appropriateness for small farmers. For example, the small inex-
pensive garden-type tiller in wide use in the U.S. may be appropriate for
many small farmers in Latin America. Nevertheless, field tests under various
conditions are necessary before widespread adoption of the garden tiller can
occur. To date, however, few field stations exist in Latin America to test
agro-mechanical technologies.

The next subsection deals briefly with the topic of the selection of
appropriate sized engines.

Selection of Engine Power. Chancellor (1968) provides an economic
framework to guide in choosing the appropriate size tractor (horsepower) ne-
cessary to meet the power requirements of small farmers. He develops a set
of equations of minimize total annual tractor costs (i.e., fixed costs, ope-
rating costs and time-related costs). (See Section II, pp. 40-42.)

Hunt (1973) presents a more complete approach to the problem of power
selection. Again based on the concept of minimizing annual cost, he presents
equations which can be solved to determine not only the appropriate tractor
horsepower for a specific farm, but includes the selection of appropirate size
implements to go with the farm. A computer program is available from Hunt
(1973) to solve his system of equations since manual solution for large farm
system is complex and tedious. The program finds the optimum systems for a
range of tractor power levels, allowing the machinery manager to insert person-
al judgement. Hunt's work was designed for and has been applied to the highly
mechanized systems of the United States, but might be adjusted for use in de-
veloping countries.

The work done by Chancellor (1968) and Hunt (1973) is applicable to
Latin America. However, use of their methods will require the collection of
data under prevailing conditions in Latin America.

In an examination of the agricultural practices of the Cauca Valley of
Colombia, it was found that the large farmers use relatively large tractors
(50 H.P. and above) for land preparation and transportation. Land preparation,
however, is the only time when farmers need all available (horsepower) power;
this is particularly true during the rainy season when timeliness of planting
is important for achieving maximum yields. Transportation, harvesting and
other activities normally require less horsepower and can be accomplished with
smaller tractors. Nevertheless, the low price and availability of fuel (30J
per gallon for diesel, 40J per gallon for gasoline), plus other factors dis-
cussed earlier, encourage farmers to use tractors that are larger than necessary.

Engine Powered Tillage Implements. The rotary tiller is a popular low-
power (usually less than 15 H.P.) method of providing primary tillage on small
acreages in Asia. The two basic types of rotary tillers are: (1) the rotary
blade assembly which sports the engine and frame, tills and provides forward
motion, and (2) wheels are used to provide forward motion and support the
engine and frame while the tiller is attached to the front or rear of the frame.
The rotary tiller pulverizes the soil in one pass and usually leaves a more
finely prepared seedbed than does a plow. Usually the only secondary tillage





- 42 -


required is minor raking with a hand rake. The wheel type tiller is much easier
to operate than the simple single axle type, but it often costs twice as much.
Operating costs will be similar if the horsepower is equivalent.

For small farmer mechanization the rotary tiller should be one initial
considered. Many different types and sizes of rotary tillers are manufactured
in the U.S. and Europe for gardening purposes. They are manufactured and used
extensively in Japan by full-time small farmers. The International Rice Re-
search institute (IRRI) initiated a unique research program to develop machinery
for small rice farmers with less than 10 hectares. McMennemy (1976) reported
that IRRI has developed a 5-7 H.P. tiller that makes maximum use of standard
machine components that are readily available in most developing countries. It
was found during field visits that IRRI has a subcontractor located in Cali,
Colombia (Kaeser, 1977). It was stated that one small manufacturer has made
three of the IRRI tillers in Palmira, Colombia but it appears that improved mar-
keting of the tiller is needed.

The moldboard plow and the disc plow are the two major tractor drawn
implements. (The moldboard plow is discussed in greater detail in the animal
powered implement section.) With sufficient horsepower, more than one plow
can be pulled to speed up the task. There are often two major problems in using
small four-wheeled riding tractors --insufficient clearance and inadequate trac-
tion for plowing.

As explained by Stone and Gulvin (1967),the disc plow is recommended for
plowing in adverse conditions such as wet, sticky soils and in soils with rocks
or stumps because it will ride over such obstacles, rather than hanging on them. At
tomatic tripping moldboard plows are available for such conditions, but at an
additional cost. The disc plow is made up of a group of sharpened discs that
use angle and weight for penetration. The disc plow does not leave a flat plow
sole (i.e., a flat hardened surface under the disturbed soil) as does a mold-
board plow. Maintenance costs on disc plows are usually less than for mold-
board plows. The draft of a disc plow will be approximately the same as for
a moldboard plow under similar conditions. The main advantages of a moldboard
plow are that it provides a more complete coverage and incorporation of organic
matter and provides better soil tilth. In general, the initial cost of either
tool will be similar per unit width. In discussions with emplement dealers and
farmers, it was found that the disc plow is used almost exclusively in the coun-
tries visited. The main reason given was that the disc plow is preferred for
its ability to perform well on rough terrain. Farmers in Colombia indicated a
preference for disc plows made in the U.S., though there are several manufac-
turers in Colombia and the imported disc plows are more costly. The reason given
was that the bearings and disc blades of locally made equipment have a signifi-
cantly shorter life, and it was felt that the increased initial cost of imported
equipment was offset by maintenance cost of indigenous equipment.

Following primary tillage by moldboard plow or disc plow, secondary tillage
is necessary. Either type pf primary tillage will leave large chunks of soil and
organic matter. The refinement of this seedbed is usually accomplished with a
disc harrow. The disc harrow is constructed much like the disc plow, except with
smaller diameter discs. A leading set of discs is turned in one direction and
the following set in the other direction so that soil is thrown in both directions
in one pass.





- 43 -


A spiked-tooth harrow is often used to follow the disc harrow for
final smoothing and refinement of the soil particles. It consists of a
wood or metal frame (usually metal for engine powered applications) with
metal spikes protruding downward which are drawn through the soil. The
steel framework is preferred for longer harrow life and also so that the
angle of the teeth can be adjusted.

Animal Power. A number of different animals are used in Latin
America to power farm implements. This includes the horse, mule, donkey,
and ox. The advantage of animal power over human power is that most ani-
mals can exert substantially more power on a continuous basis. They are
relatively inexpensive and they supply services other than power such as
milk and meat. They are "fueled" by a renewable energy source.

Hopfen (1969) provided the information shown in Table 13. He
pointed out that weight and size have an influence on power output of
suitable harnesses. Hopfen (1969) has an excellent description of har-
nesses. Stout (1966) discusses the power output of selected harnesses
and yokes.

Table 13. Normal Draft Power of Various Animals


Average
Animal Average Approximate speed of Power developed
weight draught work

Kg. Kg. M/s Kgm/s HP

Light horses 400-700 60-80 1.0 75 1.00
Bullocks 500-900 60-80 0.6-0.85 56 0.75
Buffaloes 400-900 50-80 0.8-0.9 55 0.75
Cows 400-600 50-60 0.7 35 0.45
Mules 350-500 50-60 0.9-1.0 52 0.70
Donkeys 200-300 30-40 0.7 25 0.35


Source: Hopfen, J. H., 1969. Farm Implements for Arid and Tropical Re-
gions. FAO Ag. Dev. Paper No. 91, FAO, Rome.


Table 14 provides information (Hopfen, 1969) on the average draft
requirements of selected farm implements. It can be seen that in most ope-
rations more than one animal is required to conduct the operation on a
continuous basis.

Discussions with engineers at the Instituto Colombiano Agropecua-
rio (ICA) experiment station in Bogota provided valuable insight into the
use of draft animals. For several years ICA has been developing new animal-
drawn equipment.





- 44 -


Animal-Powered Tillage Implements. The plow with its numerous
variations is the major animal-powered primary tillage implement. Two
main types of plows are found in Latin America--the symmetric breaking
type ("ard" is its ancient name) and the asymmetric type (commonly known
as moldboardd" plow) (Hopfen, 1969). Either plow consists of a beam, body,
handle and share. The share and point are usually steel to resist wear,
but the remainder may be wood or steel.

The ard (also called a "double moldboard" or Listerr" in U.S.)
throws soil in both directions, does not invert the soil and leaves vege-
tation on the surface to die. It is relatively easy to handle because of
symmetry. It is a shallow tillage implement for use in semiarid areas.
As explained by Stone and Gulvin (1967) the lister will prepare about twice
as much soil in a given time as a moldboard plow. The lister will form
ridges and furrows and the land under the ridge is not tilled.

The moldboard plow lifts a band of soil of a given width and depth,
while inverting and breaking the band. It will leave the field relatively
level with the organic matter burrowed. Because of the complete action of
tilling all soil to a given depth, the moldboard plow is generally the pre-
ferred animal-powered primary tillage implement.

An unusual type of animal-drawn moldboard plow was found at the
facilities of a small machinery manufacturer in Palmira, Colombia. According
to the manufacturer, a similar plow was brought from the U.S. years ago, and
he had copied the design. The moldboard and share are attached to a hinge
pin so that the position of the moldboard and share are reversible (see
Figure 3). This type of reversible plow is necessary when it is not feasible
to plow in a circular pattern, as is the case of the small mountain farmer.

ICA has developed in recent years a small disc plow to be pulled
by a team of oxen. Several manufacturers are constructing and selling
this plow to small farmers (0.5 to 1 hectare) in the Andean mountains
around Bogota and in the sourhtern region of Colombia. They supply engi-
neering plans to interested manufacturers and conduct a program of demons-
trating the use of the disc plow. These farmers have traditionally used
wooden plows for soil preparation. The disc plow costs about US$ 340. Since
it has a working width of 1.2 m as compared with 20 cm for a wooden plow,
the disc plow can prepare the same land area in about one-third the time
as a wooden plow. The disc plow also has a longer life. Engineers at ICA
stated that the small farmers in the mountains are showing some acceptance
of the oxen disc plow.

The most common type of animal-powered secondary tillage equipment
is the spiked-tooth harrow. This implement was previously described under
the sub-section on engine-powered tillage equipment.


















9' t





Br


"%,W







A-L-
-**'


-r


-mC


; 5?,,
A ._.-l


Reversible ox-drawn plow for hillside plowing in Colombia


y''<


* *, >r

:.^


. '*w '


Figure 3.





- 46 -


Table 14. Draft Requirements of some Farm Implements for Operations
on Medium Loam Soils



Operations Draft Requirements


Kg

Ploughing fallow land with single moldboard
11.4 cm wide, 12.7 cm deep . . ... 89
14.0 cm wide, 12.7 cm deep . . . 94
16.5 cm wide, 15.2 cm deep . . ..... 121
25.0 cm wide, 18.0 cm deep . .... 170

Ploughing fallow land with double moldboard
30 cm wide, 5.5 cm deep . . ... 116

Harrowing ploughed soil
18-tine peg tooth harrow, 6.3 cm deep . .. 46
5 spring tines, 11.4 cm deep . . .... 118
heavy harrowing 165-320 cm wide . ... 80-100
light harrowing 320 cm wide ........... 90

Levelling ploughed soil with a 180-cm-long board ridden
by a person of 53 kg weight . . .... 90
Rolling ............... . .. 96
Cultivating, 3-tine cultivator, 9 cm deep . .. 53
Seed drilling, 175-200 cm wide, 11-13 openers 90
Wheeled transport of loads up to 1 metric ton on average
farm roads . . . . .... .. 90-120



Source: Hopfen, H.J. 1969. Farm Implements for Arid and Tropical
Regions. FAO Ag. Dev. Paper No. 91, FAO, Rome.





- 47 r


Human Power. Man is one source of power that always exists in
agricultural production, whether to power or control an implement. However,
man is limited to a power output of about 0.1 horsepower (hereafter abbre-
viated H.P.) in heavy labor over extended periods (Bolz & Tuve, 1970). A
well-trained man has a physiological limit of 0.5 H.P. for steady work, can
exert 0.6 H.P. for a few minutes and can exert 2 H.P. for a few seconds.

A major limiting factor in continuous output and long-term health
is posture. Many hand tools such as the short-handled hoe are not designed
properly to maximize output while minimizing input. Research on the design
of a more efficient hoe may provide rich dividends.

Another limiting factor is the amount of force or torque required
of the human. In general, the maximum force that a young adult male can
exert for short terms as a steady push or pull is 45.4 kg. (100 Ibs.) (Bolz
& Tuve, 1970).

As pointed out by Hopfen (1969), a hand tool should be designed to
minimize fatigue. This can be accomplished by designing it so that the re-
quired working motions follow natural movement and in such a way that as
many muscles as possible are used in an alternating sequence.

It is generally found that one man and his family can farm from
one to seven hectares using simple hand tools such as the machete, hoe and
shovel. The area depends upon terrain, water supply, crops grown and their
sequence of production. Two small farms visited in the vicinity of Cali,
Colombia, of one hectare each were single family farms. One farm was in
the flat plain of the Cauca Valley where the farmer grew fruits and vegeta-
bles. The other farm was in the Andean mountains west of Cali and was on
extremely steep terrain which could only be farmed with hand tools and on
which fruits, vegetables, coffee and corn were grown. Another small farm
in the Cauca Valley had two hectares on which a father and his three sons
were growing corn and tomatoes in rotation. All work except primary tillage
was done by hand and/or with a hoe.

Among the highland Indian farmers of Guatemala it was found that
one man and his family were farming about two hectares, mainly with a hoe.
The unterraced terrain is often extremely steep for row crops (slopes as
much as 450 and 50) and thus can only be farmed for short periods of time
(see Figure 4). The principal crop is corn. Wheat and beans also produced,
and in some cases vegetables such as radishes and broccoli are grown to sell
in urban markets.

Small farmers use one of two basic types of machetes: the straight
or the hooked machete, with the straight machete being the most common. The
straight machete is usually about 76 cm. long; the hooked machete is about
36 cm. long. It is used not only for clearing, but also for cultivation,
chopping wood and woodworking. The machete is essentially a blade with
attached handle.




















































Fig.4- Many small farmers in Central America must
cultivate mountaneous terrain.






- 49 -


Farmer in Colombia with air-cooled gasoline engine
powered irrigation pump.


Figure 5.





- 50 -


Many different types of hoes were observed in the countries visited.
Hopfen (1969) comments on the design of hand implements such as the hoe. Hand
tools are made with a controlling handle (hand and/or foot) and the working
part. The working part of the hoe is steel to resit wear and stress. Proper
tempering is important to tool life. The controlling handles of a length,
diameter, weight and flexibility requiring a minimum of power from the operator
and easy to grasp and apply power must be securely attached to the working part.
The handle is usually made of wood which is preferably obtained from a sapling
grown on poor soil, with the root-end attached to the working part. Any nece-
ssary curves in the handle are obtained by steam bending, not by cutting across
the wood grain. A paint or varnish finish should not be applied to the handle.

In summary, it was found that small farmers (in the countries visited)
tilled by tractor, with animal drawn equipment, or the hoe, with the latter
being the predominant method. The key to the introduction of mechanized tillage
equipment is its economical and technical feasibility., It is obvious that
most small farmers cannot afford a four-wheel tractor and in many cases, espe-
cially mountainous terrain, neither is it technically appropriate. The expanded
use of draft animals is constrained by at least two factors--the time required
to increase the animal population and the area required to produce food for the
animals. The rotary tiller might supply the engine powered tillage require-
ments of many small farmers in Latin America. However, before any firm conclu-
sions can be reached, field tests under various conditions are required.

The remaining technical sub-sections deal with the topics of irrigation,
harvesting, and storage. Though technical comments on planting and weeding are
not included in this report, it should be noted that the appropriate mechaniza-
tion of these two activities can be important, but especially planting. For
many annual crops, total production and timeliness of maturation are signifi-
cantly influenced by planting.


B. Irrigation

Crop yields can usually be significantly increased with the applica-
tion of the right amount of water at the right time through irrigation--time-
liness of application is a key factor. Irrigation requires certain implements
such as pumps that perform tasks that would be difficult if not impossible to
accomplish manually, therefore, irrigation should be given serious considera-
tion for early mechanization.

The timing and amount of rainfall are the two factors which control
the type and level of irrigation to be applied to an area. As noted by Wil-
kinson and Kidder (1973) agricultural areas can be divided into three fairly
distinct types in defining irrigation needs:

1. Arid and semi-arid areas where irrigation is essential to a
viable agriculture;

2. Areas that experience water shortages during the critical
growth periods of crop production. Annual rainfall may appear
to be sufficient, but the timing of the rainfall is not suffi-
cient; and





- 51 -


3. Humid areas that require occasional irrigation during some seasons
and some years.

Wilkinson and Kidder (1973) provide information on the area of irriga-
ted land in South American countries in 1963. More recent statistics were not
found. It is estimated that about 80 percent of the irrigated land of Latin
America is in Mexico, Chile, Peru and Argentina. They estimated that if capi-
tal were available and government support assured, more than 12 million hec-
tares of irrigated land could be developed. Among others Bolivia, Colombia,
and Ecuador have areas that potentially could benefit from irrigation.

Over the centuries the traditional methods of irrigation have been
flood and furrow irrigation. Both methods require land forming. Flood irri-
gation is accomplished by constructing a dike around various areas of a field
in which the change in ground elevation in the area is small. Then water is
pumped into the area, creating a pond of water. Depending on the soil type
and the existence of an impervious soil layer, the field may be flooded for
long or short periods. Furrow irrigation is achieved by leveling a field so
that there is a slight fall in elevation from one end to the other. The crop
is planted on top of ridges and water is allowed to run down the furrow adja-
cent to each ridge for a given period of time until the soil is properly satu-
rated. Very steep terrain has been adapted to flood irrigation in Southeast
Asia, especially Japan. But, flood or furrow irrigation are best suited for
level terrain. Low initial investments and operating costs are the main ad-
vantages of flood and furrow irrigation.

Another form of irrigation is known as sub-irrigation (Wilkinson &
Kidder, 1973). This type is appropriate to special soil conditions where
there is an impermeable soil layer of two meters depth, with permeable soil
above. Ditches about one meter deep are dug at intervals 30 to 100 meters
across the field. The ditch is kept full of water so that water moves through
the permeable layer.

Sprinkler irrigation is a new method of irrigation that is popular
in many parts of the world. This method requires a powered pump to produce
water flow with a good pressure, pipes to convey the water, and some type of
sprinkler to distribute the water. One distribution system that requires con-
siderable labor to move the system from field to field is one in which sprin-
klers are attached to short sections of pipe that have quick couplers on each
end. Mechanical systems that have been devised to overcome the labor require-
ments include:

1. pipes on wheels so they can be rolled by hand or towed by tractor,
2. center pivot systems, and
3. volume gun with drag hose.

All of these systems have high initial and operating costs and consume signi-
ficant amounts of energy. They do not require land forming and can operate on
both level and fairly steep terrain. They are suitable for essentially any
soil type. Thus the real advantage of sprinkler irrigation is its versatility
but because of high costs it is adaptable mainly to high value crops. Another





- 52 -


disadvantage of sprinkler irrigation is that evaporative losses can be high.

The newest method of irrigation adaptable to perennial crops such as
coffee and fruit is trickle or drip irrigation. With this technique, low-cost
plastic pipes are installed in a field, either temporarily on the surface or
permanently underground. At the location of each tree, one or more emitters
are attached to the pipe. These emitters allow small quantities of water to
slowly emerge and wet the soil in the vicinity of the emitter. Evaporative
losses are low and large areas can be irrigated simultaneously with a limited
water supply. The initial investments and the operating costs are lower than
sprinkler irrigation. Drip irrigation requires a clean water supply or the
emitters will clog.

For a more thorough explanation of these irrigation methods, including
engineering designs and costs, see Pillsbury (1968), Booher (1974), and Mole-
naar (1956).

Very little irrigation was observed among small farmers in field vi-
sits to Colombia and Central America. One farmer interviewed using furrow
irrigation raised fruits and vegetables on one hectare in the Cauca Valley of
Colombia and had a well and a small-pump driven by an air-cooled gasoline
engine (see Figure 5). Other types of irrigation observed included the chan-
neling of small streams to crops in the fields and the use of containers (bu-
ckets) to carry water to individual plants.

Irrigation can benefit the small farmer in a number of ways. First,
it permits the cultivation of a larger unit of land and can lead to multiple
cropping. In both cases, irrigation will likely result in increases in total
production and the demand for labor (and other inputs). Efforts to promote
irrigation in the small farm sector should include consideration of the follo-
wing points:

1. the use of furrow or flood irrigation appears to be feasible
and economical during the dry season if the terrain allows this
type, and

2. the use of drip irrigation for permanent crops such as coffee,
bananas or plaintains could be feasible and economical during
the dry season.

The major investment for either system would be an engine powered pump. In
many cases electricity is not available, therefore, a gasoline or diesel en-
gine would be required. In mountainous regions, irrigation can be accomplished
by the use of inexpensive plastic pipes and gravity flow and would be especially
applicable to perennial crops.


C. Harvesting

It appears from visits to Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Honduras
that mechanical harvesting occurs mainly for small grain crops and cotton and





- 53 -


then only by the large farmer. The grain, fruit, and vegetable crops grown
by the small farmer are all harvested by hand. This discussion is limited to
small grains.

The large farmers use grain combines made in the U.S. and Europe.
Since this report emphasizes the small farmer, a description of mobile grain
combines is presented here. For the small farmer it does not appear that the
use of mobile combines in small fields is feasible. For example, a 1976 CIAT
report (CIAT, 1976) indicated that:

Contract harvesting of rice by combines is available in Colombia
for approximately U.S. $16 per metric ton when there is sufficient
harvest area to utilize the combine for several days. Areas of
less than 10 hectares or harvests of less than 60 tons are probably
not sufficiently attractive for the contractor.

In Guatemala agricultural specialists stated that the use of modern mobile
combines on small farms appears to be uneconomical.

It was stated in field visits that harvesting of small grain is usually
done by hand in which the stalk is cut with a knife, sickle, or scythe; the
stalks are then tied in bundles and left standing in the field to dry. Following
drying, the grain is removed by hand or by stationary machine threshing. Thresh-
ing of small grain was not observed because it was not the harvest season in
the areas visited. However, several sources stated that hand threshing is
accomplished by several means of beating the dried plants against a hard surface.
Because of the number of plants and number of grains per plant, it is obvious
that this process requires a long period of time. If climatic conditions be-
come adverse or insect populations increase before all of the grain is properly
threshed and stored, losses may be extremely high. In addition, if the farmer
has to spend excessive time harvesting, multiple cropping is unlikely. For
these reasons, appropriate threshing machines for the small farmer are important.

In Colombia a hand thresher has been developed at the CIAT (1976) ex-
periment station. The device consists of a simple oil drum with deflecting
walls attached on three sides. A man beats the plants against a funnel-shaped
surface on top of the drum, causing the grain to fall through the funnel to
be collected in a container.

The CIAT (1976) station reported that they had obtained a small en-
gine powered thresher developed by IRRI (see McMennamy & Policarpio, 1977,
for a complete description). Photographs and specifications are given in
Figures 6a and 6b. A small machine shop in Palmira, Colombia has manufactured
and sold one of these threshers for US$ 2.121 and plans to build and market
three more this year.

CIAT (1976) reported comparative tests of their hand thresher and
the IRRI axial flow thresher. They found that the IRRI thresher had a higher
output but questioned its economic feasibility, particularly for smaller far-
mers.




54 -



IRRI axial flow thresher


.HV*'
Ar 9L
V 44


Threshes paddy, sorghum, soybeans, and other small grain crops.


Features

HIGH OUTPUT ................

LOW HORSEPOWER REQUIREMENT .....

LOW LABOR REQUIREMENT .........


EASE OF OPERATION ............


THRESHING AND WINNOWING COMBINED .


HIGHLY MOBILE......... ......
Figure 6a.


. . One ton per hour when threshing paddy

. . . . . 7 hp engine

. . . Three to four men to feed, thresh,
and bag grain

. . Simplicity of design reduces operation
and maintenance problems

. . ... Throw-in threshing combined with air
and screen cleaning mechanisms

............. Can be moved behind small hand
tractor, jeep or truck


I%~ ~
i' u
~
~d;a`
*r ,r I:n
~r~d~ldl





- 55 -


., ,. .
; t. ''', -L ; ^
r (^.^f


Threshing cylinder and upper concave exposed.




Machine specifications

PO W ER . . . . . .

WEIGHT (with engine) ............ .
LENGTH . . . . .

W IDTH . . . . . .

HEIGHT
W ith wheel . . . . .
Without wheel ...... .........
CAPACITY ...................

SEPARATION RECOVERY ..........

CYLINDER . . . . .

CONSTRUCTION ...............

COMPONENT SPEEDS
Cylinder . . . . .
Fan . . . . .. .
Oscillating screen (frequency) . .
Oscillating screen (stroke) ......... .

ADJUSTMENTS . . . .

LABOR REQUIREMENTS ..........


Throw-in design results in high output.


. . . . . 7 hp engine

. . . . . 430 kg

. .. .. .. ... 258.45 cm

. . . . . 130.18 cm


. . . . . 158.12 cm
. . . . . 111.76 cm
. ....... up to 1 t/h (rough rice)

.............. 98% (weight basis)

Spiketooth, 39.8 cm O.D. x 122.0 cm length

. . . . . A ll steel


................ 500-530 rpm
. . . . . 1,030 rpm
. . . 334-354 cycles/min
. . . . . 0.925 cm

. Angle of air deflector and engine speed

. . . . . 3-4 m en


For further particulars write: International Rice Research Institute, P. O. Box 933, Manila, Philippines
Cable: RICEFOUND, MANILA
Figure 6b






cnnt1 r s.1 c,.S...iiksC ;-@4 -
^ -j^- -w ^ .i~y^ ia s -


TRILLADORA FRIEDRICH Tipo E-600.
La mds perfect trilladora metdlica, provista de
exaustor y alimentador. Este mismo modelo se
present tambi6n en los tipos D-400 y F-800.

FRIEDRICH THRESHING MACHINE
Type E-600
The most perfect metallic threshing machine,
equipped with exhaust pipe and feeder. This kind
is also available for type D-400 and F-800


TRILLADORA FRIEDRICH TIpo C-300
Tiene exaustor de pajo, aspirador de polvo y
ruedas neumdticas. Este modelo es fabricado
tambien en los tipos B-200, D-400 y E-600.
FRIEDRICH THRESHING MACHINE
Type C-300
Equipped with husk exhaust-pipe, vacuum, and tire
wheels, this kind is also available for type
8-200 and E-600


TRILLADORA FRIEDRICH Tipo A-100.
Equipada con motor en posici6n de trobajo. Este
model viene tambidn en los tipos B-200 y C-300.

FRIEDRICH THRESHING MACHINE
Type A-100
Equipped with engine in working position. This kind
is also available for type 8-200 and C-300


Figure 7


- 56 -


__ I


-- -' '-- -"
...- !;I


'4. \





-:'i "--'., t*-l ^ ~------- -~-"

DIVERSOS TIPOS Y PRINCIPLES CARACTERISTICAS DE LAS TRILLAD(
VARIOUS MODELS AND PRINCIPAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE FRIEDRICH T
DIVERSOS TIPOS E PRINCIPALS CARACTERISTICAS DAS TRILHADEIR
L


"r



ORAS FRIEDRICH
HRESHING MACHINES
AS FRIEDRICH


PROD DE LOS SEGUiENIES PESO DE LAS CA 1HDAD
CEREALS (IKgjORA) RILLADORAS DNEiTES
CEREALES ( 1AMANO can DINTES nCAIiOES FUERZA MOIRIZ HP
PROD OF THE FOLLOWING WEIGHT OF TIE M O 1TIUR OZ
CEREALS (hg HOURi THRESHING MACHINES SIZE cm FANGS ROIAIONS HORSE POWER.hP
TAMANHO cm ROTACOES FORCA MOTRIZ HP :1
MODELO PROD DOS SEGUINIES PESO DAS OIUANIDADE RC
MODEL CEREAlS (I( H TRILHADEMRAS DENIES
MODELO 1-o0
1.0.5 A! coo In"us,
_I MA IS,~$ sr, wSt1 Foo6 cofm Inu'IO A.Mt0. C t l )S i
A 11.,M Co"I...t 1w "."DRO 'A"'US 54 1 = ,IOR A, 101.
Wl.r ir m.~-o s.rau .,,, I' ,."' 1~ *t1II *ihS' l t'r ill" *'' u..0l .. '.. .~r.J IM\0 W .oO ~FG
IL' 1 1L 11. .,% I Amu
A-100 7W1, u- 0i L")q0 w3.o6 sr3 1so 9 A) 8 0800 4.oW
B-200 1oco 000 1 500 1 2it 1 140-4-0 OOU r y, 41


I SW. 2250 1 3 0001 5c) is.:5W
I luf fltwfllool I~i~~C I j


14


+ .. -... .... .... ........ .. -. .. .. .. ......
SE-600 3000 4000 6000 3000 3000 1 550 .90 70 98 104 80 900 00 650 600 450 300 -- 26 30
I F-800 00 oo s000 7.5o 4 o.ooo -0- -- 2250 so 80 10 120 95s 1o 9Oo I s650 600 o 3 1 O 29 -




/i... A MORITZ FRIEDRICH S. A. o i AGRICOLA'
SCAIXA POSTAL, 217 VILA MARINA END. TELEGRAFICO: "FRIEDRICH" TEL.: 222041t
I- 1NSCR.: 015/0002360-96500 CACHOEIRA DO 8UL- RS -BRA81L-C.G.C.M.F. 87756037/0001-22 i





TrIlHdoras Friedrlch Friedrich Threshing Machines Trilhadelras Friedrich
Las trilladoros FRIEDRICH son sindnimo de Friedrich means a first class Threshing FRIEDRICH 6 sin6nimo de trilhadeira de
calidad. Machine. Wholly metallic, the Friedrich qualidade. Totalmente metdlicas, as
Totalmente metdlicas, rednen caracterlsticas Threshing Machines combine exceptional trilhadeiras Friedrich reunem caracteristicas
y ventoias excepcionales, destacando characteristics and improvements noted for e melhoramentos excepcionais, em que se
catenrnd m


: par suS
caldod y duraci6n
S funcionamiento simple y perfect
''. i acabodo esmerado
mdxima estabilidad y peso mlnimo
J extraordinaria capacidad de trabajo.
Los millares de trilladoras FRIEDRICH hasto
hoy producidas y vendidas comprueban
sus ventajas en el progress de la trilla.


I' long-lived quality
Sperect and simple working
. careful finish
greatest stability and lowest weight
enormous productive capacity.
Thousands of Threshing Machines already
produced by FRIEDRICH stand for the
right thresher of progress and
development.


Squalidade e durabilidade
funcionomento simples e perfeito
acabamento esmerado
m dxima estabilidade peso minimo
' extraordindria capacidade produtiva.
Milhares de trilhadeiros at6 hoje "
produzidas comprovam que FRIEDRICH estd
realmente no trilha certa do progress
e do desenvolvimento.
':''I <


:1 Figure 8


- 57 -


-I

I


Cc,

:1 -I
I-


~
9 ~:.`

i
~
p
a. :;
"
f- I.


C.300
1 n.0nn





- 58 -


In Guatemala most machine threshing is done by small threshers very
similar in design to the type used by the U.S. farmer at least 30 years ago.
Most are imported from Brazil. The threshers are usually owned by coopera-
tives or by individual farmers who contract with their neighbors. These
threshers cost from $3,200 to $10,000 depending on their size. The manufac-
turers' specifications for one of these threshers are shown in Figures 7a and
7b. One dealer stated that the small farmer in Guatemala who buys one of the
threshers and does contracting work will usually pay for the machine in one
or two years.

For the small farmer in Latin America who requires threshing machi-
nery, application of small stationary machines such as the design by IRRI or
the more conventional threshing machines such as the ones shown in Figure 8a
may be technically and economically appropriate. The eventual widespread
use of these threshers may require the development of manufacturing facilities
and dealers, proper training on use and maintenance of the equipment, and the
availability of parts.


D. Crop Storage

Crop storage is an aspect of crop production that is frequently not
given adequate consideration. Estimates place on-farm crop losses in Latin
America at 15 to 30 percent due to inadequate storage and drying facilities
(GIDA/ALC, 1977). At the same time countries are spending scarce foreign
exchange earnings to import feed grains. Field visits to small farms indi-
cated that storage was a problem.

Crop storage may be accomplished on an individual farm basis or by
a cooperative effort among a group of farmers. Of all the activities of the
crop production cycle, storage most easily lends itself to cooperative orga-
nization. The methods described here for storage may be used for either
individual or cooperative storage.

Crop losses may be related to one or more of the following factors
(Hall, 1970):

1. chemical changes,
2. micro organism growth,
3. value of produce,
4. climate,
5. transport system,
6. cost and availability of labor,
7. cost and availability of sacks, and
8. incidence of rodents and insects.

Table 15 provides a summary (Hall, 1970) of the advantages and disadvantages
of sack and bulk storage systems. All grain handling for both the small and
large farmer was done by sack in the countries visited. It is expected that
this will continue as long as inexpensive labor is available.





- 59 -


Table 15. Advantages and Disadvantages of Sack and Bulk Storage



Sacks Bulk


Flexibility of storage Inflexible storage
Partly mechanizable Mechanizable
Slow handling Rapid handling
Considerable spillage Little spillage
Low capital cost High capital cost
High operating costs Low operating costs
High rodent loss potential Low rodent loss potential
Reinfestation occurs Little protection against reinfestation
Requires more labor



Table 16 provides a summary of methods in tropical coun-
tries for individual storage. In general, all of these methods have elements
in their design that lead to significant losses. It was found that a wide
variety of storage methods are being used by the small farmer in Latin America.
Maize on the cob was usually stored hung from the ceiling in the house or piled
in the crotch of a tree and covered with palm or banana leaves. When shelled,
maize is stored in many different types of open or closed containers. These
containers include washtubs, metal drums, jars, and even specially fabricated
closed metal bins.

A summary (Hall, 1970) of the methods used for central or cooperative
storage is as follows:

1. storage in bulk on the ground or on special surfaces with no
cover,
2. storage in bulk in silos or warehouses,
3. storage in bulk in special containers,
4. bag storage covered with plastic or tarpaulin, and
5. bag storage in buildings.

Certainly the methods that provide only minimum weather, rodent and insect
protection lead to large losses. Even when permanent buildings or silos are
used, losses will be significant if the building is not adequately designed.

The following criteria provided by Hall (1970) should be considered
in designing storage facilities:

1. the structure should be entirely weatherproof,
2. the structure should be gastight to enable fumigation,
3. the structure should have controllable ventilation so that
both temperature and humidity can be controlled,







Traditional (or Producer) Storage Methods


Storage Method Special Measures Product


WITHOUT COVER

No structure


Vertical pole


Paddy
Groundnuts


Heaped on ground


Tied to poles


Horizontal cords or creepers


Vertical racks


Hung on these strands which are
tied between poles or trees

Hung on horizontal poles fixed
to vertical poles


Platform (timber and grass)



Open baskets (grass)



Sacks (woven plant material)


Heaped on platform


Maize
Pulses
Groundnuts

Paddy
Maize
Groundnuts


Raised 1 metre or more above ground



Placed on platform 1 metre high


Paddy


WITH COVER


Horizontal grid


Hung on horizontal poles; covered
with loose thatch roof

Heaped on platform; covered with
"straw hat" which rests on platform


Platform


Maize


Maize


Paddy


Paddy


Paddy
Maize


Table 16.






Table 16. (continued)


Storage Method Special Measures Product


Granary


(a) Simple type (usually
cylindrical

(b) Structure incorporating
clay

(c) Wall of clay mixed with
plant material supported by
timber frame


(d) As (c) but not supported
by timber frame


(e) Wall of clay only


Clay jar (usually kept in
living hut)


Constructed of plant material
raised above ground, with thatch roof

As (a) but with mud or clay worked
into floor and walls

Cylindrical or elliptical, raised
above ground



Jar-shaped, raised on "foot" of
clay or log. Sometimes divided
into compartments.

Various shapes, "straw hat"


Sealed with damp earth; sealed
with flat stone and clay; partially
baked before storage; produce mixed
with ash, jar sealed with clay;
produce mixed with ash.


All types


All types


Cereals
Paddy
Millet
Sorghum

Maize
Sorghum
Millet


Cereals
Groundnuts

Maize seed
All types of
grain
Maize meal
Maize
Sorghum


Sealed with clay
Plugged with stems of plant


Gourds


All types
Maize
Grain







Table 16. (continued)


Storage Method Special Measures Product


Baskets Usually placed in kitchen Groundnuts
Paddy (seed)
Beans

Commodity wrapped in matting Kept in living hut All types

Stored under roof of living hut Small bundles hung from roof above fire Cereals

Stored on floor of living hut Temporary storage Paddy

Underground storage Sometimes lined with cowdung and Cereals
fired. Opening sealed with clay or
grass thatch and thorns.

Communal store Large crib of millet stalks or Paddy
bamboo (12-ton capacity)

"Improved traditional" Square sided crib with timber frame Maize
and walls of wire netting


Source: Hall, D. W. 1970. Handling and
FAO Ag. Dev. Paper No. 90, FAO,


Storage of Food Grains in Tropical and Subtropical Areas.
Rome.






- 63 -


4. the structure should be rodent and bird proof,
5. the structure should not have ledges and corners where dust
and produce can lodge,
6. the roof of the structure should minimize the heat load, and
7. the structure should permit incorporation of fans in the walls
and ducts in the floor for special bulk storage requirements.

Most of the small farmers in Latin America grow fruits and vegetables
requiring marketing immediately following harvest. Thus, storage of fruits
and vegetables by the small farmer does not appear feasible, except for pro-
ducts such as potatoes. Excessive losses of potatoes occur every year because
of the lack of storage facilities. It would also appear that many fruits and
vegetables grown might be sun-dried, stored as dried fruits and vegetables and
then marketed or consumed by the farmer. Drying of fruits or vegetables was
not observed during the field mission.

The storage of grain for seeds is of importance to agricultural deve-
lopment. A modern seed processing and storage plant was visited in Palmira,
Colombia. The plant which included cold storage appeared to be well designed
and operated. It is one of the main seeds plants in Colombia. It is known,
however, that small farmers hold seed from one crop for planting the next crop
and that this process leads to poor quality seed and to disease problems.

In summary, it was evident that there is a need to promote the proper
storage of foods. The financial requirements for on-farm crop storage by the
small farmer may be minimal and the storage technology exists in other parts
of the world.


E. Summary

The purpose of this section is to summarize the previous sub-sections
on the technical aspects of mechanization for the small farmer in Latin America.

It was pointed out that tillage requires the highest energy input of
he various phases of annual crops production. Therefore, tillage and tillage
equipment has received prime consideration in this report. It was pointed out
that most tillage work by the small farmer is done by hand with a hoe. Only
a few small farmers in Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Honduras own or
otherwise have access to tractors and other powered primary tillage equipment.
Although the use of rotary tillers appears technically feasible for many small
farmers, their economic feasibility is doubtful, particularly on an individual
farmer basis. In this regard, there is a need to evaluate the performance of
foreign made rotary tillers in the Latin American context. Also the feasibili-
ty of "local" design and production of rotary tillers needs to be examined.
The successful introduction of rotary tillers will also require farmer train-
ing in operation and maintenance of the equipment, and the establishment of
reliable parts and repair service.

The development of irrigation practices are related to the availabi-
lity of water and terrain. In relatively flat terrain, the main requirement
is a small gasoline or diesel powered pump. If the soil type will allow furrow





- 64 -


irrigation, no further investments will be required. If furrow irrigation
cannot be practiced, inexpensive plastic pipe can be used in most situations.
The major investment required is the pump. The farmer should be trained on
how to operate and maintain the engine and parts must be made available.

Grain crops are the main type grown by small farmers which can
be harvested mechanically. Stationary threshers appear to be technically
feasible for small areas. However, their economic feasibility has not been
established. Major considerations in promoting the use of harvesting equipment
include the development of indigenous manufacturing facilities, establishment
of dealerships, farmer training, and the availability of parts.

Small farmers lack adequate crop storage facilities. The technology
is available, requires minimum investment, and very little training to operate
or maintain. However, the successful introduction of storage facilities re-
quires an education program to demonstrate the advantages of storage to the
small farmer, and in many cases, to provide simple plans on how to construct
a proper storage facility.

The successful use of the tillage, irrigation and harvesting equip-
ment described above requires that small farmers are trained in the operation
and maintenance of small air-cooled, diesel, and possibly alcohol engines. In
addition, the farmer must have quick access to suitable parts at reasonable
prices as well as adequate fuel and oil supplies.

One conclusion of this study is that there is a need to evaluate the
potential for developing indigeneous industries to produce agro-mechanical
equipment for small farmers in Latin America. Indigenous industries may
generate a number of benefits including saving scarece foreign exchange and
generating new jobs. Of equal importance, indigeneous industries might be
more responsive to the needs of small farmers in designing equipment for local
topography and climate. Finally, small farmers will have greater access to
repair parts if they are produced locally.


F. Promoting Development of Agro-Mechanical
Technologies for Small Farmers

With the above considerations in mind, the following major steps
are recommended in considering the development of agro-mechanical technolo-
gies for the small farmer in Latin America. It should be recognized that
other elements such as the interaction of social and economic factors, and
government policies also play an important part in the development and adop-
tion of new technologies.

1. Determine, on a world-wide basis, the availability of agro-
mechanical technology both past and present which might be
applicable to the small farmer in Latin America.

2. Evaluate the technical and economic feasibility of these tech-
nologies for selected crops and regions in Latin America.





- 65 -


3. For those technologies that appear feasible, text them under
controlled field conditions.

4. For those technologies that show economic as well as technical
promise, build several prototypes for testing by selected far-
mers.

5. With a proven technology develop the engineering plans and seek
out industry to manufacture the technology. Work with the ma-
nufacturer to be sure that the technology is build to specifi-
cations.

6. Assist industry in developing dealers for sales and parts.

7. Develop a training program, independently or in conjunction with
dealers, for the farmer on how to operate and maintain the tech-
nology.





- 66 -


IV. Conclusions and Recommendations


Most, if not all, Latin American countries are being challenged to
find solutions to the problems of (1) increasing food production, (2) crea-
ting more employment opportunities, and (3) reducing income and wealth dis-
parities. This study has sought to provide a preliminary evaluation of the
contribution that agro-mechanical technology has and can make toward resolving
these problems.

More specifically, this study has sought to evaluate the actual and
potential role of selected agro-mechanical technologies for increasing the
productivity of the small farmer in Latin America. Although the focus of this
study has been on the use of tractors and auxiliary equipment in primary and
secondary tillage, other phases of agricultural production have been considered,
i.e., harvesting, irrigation, and storage.

The procedure followed in this study has been to (1) review available
literature on agricultural mechanization in Latin America and (2) make field
visits to four countries--Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Honduras--to ob-
serve the extent, the nature, and the consequences of agricultural mechaniza-
tion.


A. Conclusions

A number of conclusions can be drawn from the work to date:

1. Tractor use is confined mainly to the large commercially oriented
farms, while most of the region's agricultural population still works the land
with hand tools and animal-drawn implements. Tractor use is geographically
concentrated in the fertile valleys and plains of a few countries. This geo-
graphical concentration occurs for a number of reasons: (a) much of the land
in the region is mountainous and steeply sloped, i.e., land that does not lend
itself to tractor use; (b) certain crops are more susceptible to mechanization
than others; and (c) the vast majority of farm holdings are too small to make
tractor use economical.

2. Although the region, in general, has a surplus of labor, and un-
employment and underemployment are widespread, a number of factors have en-
couraged tractorization, including (a) government policies that distort factor
prices, overvalue currency, and subsidize credit; (b) minimum wage laws and
social security systems, although less effective in the countryside, have in-
creased the cost of employing labor; (c) imperfections in rural labor markets
contribute to seasonal labor shortages; and (d) the relative ease which large
farms have in organizing the work of a few skilled tractor operators as opposed
to large numbers of unskilled workers.

3. The principal effect of mechanization on agricultural production
levels is achieved through expansion of the cultivatable land area, and mul-
tiple-cropping made possible by timely land preparation, cultivation and harvest.





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IV. Conclusions and Recommendations


Most, if not all, Latin American countries are being challenged to
find solutions to the problems of (1) increasing food production, (2) crea-
ting more employment opportunities, and (3) reducing income and wealth dis-
parities. This study has sought to provide a preliminary evaluation of the
contribution that agro-mechanical technology has and can make toward resolving
these problems.

More specifically, this study has sought to evaluate the actual and
potential role of selected agro-mechanical technologies for increasing the
productivity of the small farmer in Latin America. Although the focus of this
study has been on the use of tractors and auxiliary equipment in primary and
secondary tillage, other phases of agricultural production have been considered,
i.e., harvesting, irrigation, and storage.

The procedure followed in this study has been to (1) review available
literature on agricultural mechanization in Latin America and (2) make field
visits to four countries--Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Honduras--to ob-
serve the extent, the nature, and the consequences of agricultural mechaniza-
tion.


A. Conclusions

A number of conclusions can be drawn from the work to date:

1. Tractor use is confined mainly to the large commercially oriented
farms, while most of the region's agricultural population still works the land
with hand tools and animal-drawn implements. Tractor use is geographically
concentrated in the fertile valleys and plains of a few countries. This geo-
graphical concentration occurs for a number of reasons: (a) much of the land
in the region is mountainous and steeply sloped, i.e., land that does not lend
itself to tractor use; (b) certain crops are more susceptible to mechanization
than others; and (c) the vast majority of farm holdings are too small to make
tractor use economical.

2. Although the region, in general, has a surplus of labor, and un-
employment and underemployment are widespread, a number of factors have en-
couraged tractorization, including (a) government policies that distort factor
prices, overvalue currency, and subsidize credit; (b) minimum wage laws and
social security systems, although less effective in the countryside, have in-
creased the cost of employing labor; (c) imperfections in rural labor markets
contribute to seasonal labor shortages; and (d) the relative ease which large
farms have in organizing the work of a few skilled tractor operators as opposed
to large numbers of unskilled workers.

3. The principal effect of mechanization on agricultural production
levels is achieved through expansion of the cultivatable land area, and mul-
tiple-cropping made possible by timely land preparation, cultivation and harvest.





- 67 -


Yield increases for a given plot of land arise primarily from the use of better
seeds, fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides and water control. The greatest in-
creases in agricultural production are likely to result from these and the
selective use of tractors.

Although the evidence is limited and incomplete, it appears that se-
lective use of tractors in the agricultural production phases of various crops
and multiple cropping is not widespread in the region. To the contrary, it
appears that large farmers are not taking advantage of their access to tractor
power to intensify production.

4. Hand tools--the hoe and the machete--and animal drawn implements--
the disc plow and the spiked-tooth harrow--are the principal forms of mechanical
technology used by small farmers in the region. Although a few small farmers
own tractors and auxiliary equipment, field visits to Colombia, Costa Rica, Gua-
temala and Honduras suggest this is not the case for most farmers. A number of
factors contribute to the low level of tractor ownership among small farmers.
Many small farmers in the region live in areas where the terrain is too steep
to use tractors, and farm holdings are generally too small to make ownership of
even the smallest tractors economical. In addition, high initial costs, limited
access to credit, and unwillingness to take large capital risks discourage small
size farmers from purchasing tractors.

5. Examination of cost and return data for tractors in the lower horse-
power range (12 to 25 H.P.) indicates that a farmer must cultivate eight or more
hectares to justify ownership of a small tractor. The majority of farmers in
the region have land holdings of less than eight hectares. The downpayment on
even the smallest currently available tractors in the region is 5-20 times
greater than the small farmer's annual income. In addition, lack of operating
experience, inability to make simple repairs, and difficulty in getting spare
parts, contribute to the unprofitability of tractor ownership.

A few small farmers gain access to tractor services through rental
agreements with a large farmer or with a cooperative. Presently the provision
of tractor services via cooperatives is not widespread in the region, but
appears to be growing in popularity. Several countries in the region either
provide or are planning to provide publicly-supported tractor services through
regional service centers.

6. Improvements in irrigation and on-farm storage appear to be of
major importance in increasing small farm productivity. Water control can per-
mit intensification of production through multiple cropping. On-farm storage
increases the effective production level of the small farmer by reducing losses.

7. The development of indigenous industries to design and manufacture
agro-mechanical technologies that are economically and technically appropriate
for small farmers in Latin America may provide a number of benefits. For example,
scarce foreign exchange could be saved; new jobs in the manufacture, distribu-
tion, service and repair of the machinery would result; the design of the ma-
chinery is more likely to conform to the topographical and climatic conditions
of the region; and small farms would have greater access to repair parts and





- 68 -


and service. Presently Argentina, Brazil and Mexico are producing farm machi-
nery (tractors, combines, etc.) for domestic use and export. The machinery,
however, is designed primarily for larger farms. Investment in the production
of small farm technologies is needed.


B. Recommendations

Given the preliminary nature of this study, it would be inappropriate,
at this time, to recommend that the Bank establish specific policies or under-
take major investments related to small farm agromechanical technology in Latin
America without further investigation. In this regard it is recommended that
the Bank conduct additional research in a number of areas.

1. Cost and return data for the use of tractors and other agro-mecha-
nical technologies by small farmers is needed under alternative conditions, such
as topography, climate, soil types, farm size, land tenure systems, and marketing
systems.

2. Further research to determine the combined effect of selective
mechanization and use of new seeds, fertilizers, and irrigation on small farmer
income for different enterprises is needed.

3. The feasibility of establishing tractor-hire services should be
examined carefully. The benefits and costs of private services vs. publicly
supported service centers should be compared and analyzed.

4. Consideration should be given to the establishment of a regional
testing center to evaluate the technical and economic appropriateness of agro-
mechanical technologies for use by small farmers in Latin America, i.e., rotary
tillers, stationary harvesters, irrigation equipment and storage facilities.

5. Opportunities for promoting the establishment of indigenous in-
dustries in the region to manufacture small farm agro-mechanical equipment
should be examined.

6. An important aspect of any program to promote the development of
agro-mechanical technologies that use internal combustion engines is the availa-
bility and cost of fuel and oil. The rising cost of fossil fuels pose serious
problems for many countries. Research to determine the degree to which energy
will be a stumbling block to any concerted efforts to promote the use of agro-
mechanical technologies in Latin America should be undertaken.

7. To acquire a balanced view of agricultural mechanization in Latin
America and the role it is playing in improving the productivity and general wel-
fare of the small farmer requires that field visits be made to Argentina, Brazil
and Mexico. The agricultural sectors of these countries are more mechanized than
other countries, including those visited in the course of this study, Colombia,
Costa Rica, Guatemala and Honduras.

8. A study of current agricultural mechanization policies for each
Latin American country is necessary before the full technical, economic, and so-
cial consequences of those policies can be determined, and desired changes made.





- 69 -


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