Why most farmers in West African countries still use traditional agricultural tools?

Do you ever ask yourself why in Africa the farmers still use machetes, knifes etc. as agricultural tools? Being from Africa and student in Agriculture in U.S. helps me to understand why we still use those tools and why we need to switch them with mechanic machines. I am from West Africa (Benin), so I will talk about this part of Africa only. In my country, the first big problem we have in agriculture is that we produce only for our own consumption even if agriculture is 70% of our economy. When I was there, I was thinking that our problem is that we don’t have the appropriate tools such as a tractor and other mechanic machines. Most of the farmer’s land size is like people’s yards here, and the farmer who can say he has a big field in comparison to here, will be like three people’s yards put together.

Benin farm land                                                   USA farm landdossidossi1

As the picture shows it is a very small field, and if we decide to use mechanic machines it will be helpful, but a loss for the farmer an economic sense. It is a  loss because the money the farmer will use to buy this machine, he won’t be able to gain it back since it is a small production, and it will take longer.

dossi 2dossi3

dossi4dossi6

By using his family and those small tools he will be able to make a profit. If we were in Africa to use the same machines with U.S. does, that means we will produce in larger quantities. Before producing in large quantities, we need to answer three questions. What we need to produce? how to produce them? and to who we need to produce for?  After answering those questions we need also to answer another question which is very important: how to store the product because in my country we don’t know how to do it.When we will know how to do all of those things, then we can start to learn how to use those machines to produce in large quantities.

Having a chance to study agriculture in two different countries helps me to understand that agriculture education plays a big role. I am saying this because it is thanks to those classes I am taking  at Western that I understand producing in large quantities is beneficial for the farmer and the economy.  In my country, we only learn grow crops. We learn about a small production. But at Western, everything I learn is about a large production, about storage, transformation, marketing , weather control,  etc. I think if we add those parts in our agriculture education in Africa we will increase our economy and we won’t have anymore famine.

My name is  Dossi Djiman. I am from West Africa (Benin). I got my bachelors degree in Agronomy in Africa. Now I am senior at Western Illinois University majoring in Ag Business. My first language is French. I am member of French club, and membership candidate at Sigma Alpha. My dream is to help my country to never suffer famine and live comfortably with the help of agriculture. I will finish with a quote of Thomas Jefferson, “Agriculture is our wisest pursuit, because it will in the end contribute most to real wealth, good morals, and happiness.”

http://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CAYQjB1qFQoTCLHR6viKn8gCFQEJkgodq04C_w&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.gps.gov%2Fapplications%2Fagriculture%2F&psig=AFQjCNHYkaDS8fD3aUt_1SQ64W7YCg4L3A&ust=1443713709102225farmer use in US.

http://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CAYQjB1qFQoTCIul7ZiLn8gCFQR8kgodVVEDtA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.alamy.com%2Fstock-photo-african-weapons-axe-axes-knives-scythes-knife-africa-tool-tools-agriculture-18107502.html&psig=AFQjCNGRoZ3AtdLHtnCbIVs_HVcw 0NRZCw&ust=1443713810135160

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