Journal of
Agricultural Extension and Rural Development

  • Abbreviation: J. Agric. Ext. Rural Dev
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2170
  • DOI: 10.5897/JAERD
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 486

Full Length Research Paper

Renewable energy and Mechanisation in the smallholder sector: Experiences from Wedza e-mobility pilot study

Dorah Mwenye
  • Dorah Mwenye
  • Mobility for Africa, 14 Hermes Rd, Harare, Zimbabwe.
  • Google Scholar
Shantha Bloemen
  • Shantha Bloemen
  • Mobility for Africa, 14 Hermes Rd, Harare, Zimbabwe.
  • Google Scholar


  •  Received: 13 April 2023
  •  Accepted: 15 May 2023
  •  Published: 30 November 2023

Abstract

Transport is often overlooked as a challenge to agriculture and agricultural value chains in development projects, despite the fact that one of the identified factors that could potentially accelerate mechanization in the smallholder sector is the provision of efficient and affordable transport. Women farmers bear the burden of manual work and reduced rural mobility disproportionately, as they spend a higher proportion of their time on both productive and reproductive work, thus compromising on the expected outputs when engaging in agricultural activities related to CSA. To evaluate the use of a 3 wheeler that runs on renewable energy by smallholder farmers, a pilot project was initiated in Wedza district of Zimbabwe, targeting 90 women in groups of 3. A mixed method research approach was used to collect both qualitative and quantitative data through surveys and case studies. Besides providing reliable and affordable first and last mile solutions, the 3 wheeler contributed to adaptation to climate change by providing alternate sources of non-farm based livelihoods options. 52% of women farmers used the 3 wheeler for agricultural mechanization; 23% for buying and selling various goods; 16% provided taxi transport services; and 9% did not specify its use. The initiative improved agricultural productivity by reducing drudgery, and it also contributed to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Keywords: Mechanisation, women farmers, renewable energy, rural mobility, E- mobility.