Commercialization of Small Scale Mechanization (CoSMec)
The Commercialization of Small Scale Mechanization (CoSMec) project began in July 2016 with the aim of improving smallholders’ access to mechanized farming services by developing a market for sustainable local service provision. The key objective of this project is to enable smallholder farmers to access farm mechanization through sustainable agriculture and activation of value chains. The CoSMec project has been working in the Rangpur, Dinajpur, and Nilphamary districts together with technical partners BARI (Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute) and CIMMYT (International Wheat and Maize Improvement Center), and its commercial partner The Metal (Pvt.) Ltd. It is a pilot project with a mandate and funding from CIMMYT to integrate the system with the Farmers’ Hub Franchise Business Model.
Due to rapid urbanization and the desire for higher income, laborers are migrating from villages to urban areas. Shortage of labor and rising wages during harvest is a cause for concern for many farmers. Higher wages increase the cost of production, prompting many farmers to carry out their harvest early, resulting in lower yields and incomes for farmers. This project aims to increase access to mechanization in order to ensure productivity, as well as reduce the cost of production for smallholder farmers. Sustainable solutions will come from linking the smallholders with national and local service providers, engaging with relevant stakeholders. Considering this, the key tasks of this project are:
- Identifying and sourcing a range of farm machinery
- Assembling and constructing farm machinery
- On-station testing and trials of these machines to ensure maximum performance
- Field demonstrations in multiple locations
- Plan for business expansion
This project also works on capacity-building for smallholder farmers through training in the use of mechanized agriculture; it strengthens commercial links to local manufacturers and/or distributors, and establishes close collaboration with public and private sector organizations at a local level to support the adoption of mechanization either directly by farmers or by farmer groups.
- A study conducted with smallholders through the project identified the potential for mechanized farming and a pressing need for access to a variety of machines such as maize planters, potato planters and harvesters, tillers, shellers, seedling transplanters, etc.
- Five types of farm machinery have been imported to be assembled and tested locally.
- Work with local manufacturers is being undertaken for research center product development that fits within the local context.
- Fifteen machines have been tested and demonstrated at field level.
- Results show that mechanized cultivation reduces the time (62 percent), labor (73 percent), and costs (51 percent) involved in crop production.
- Farmers, local service providers and national manufacturers are showing interest in new mechanization services.
- Interest in this project highlights its scaling-up potential.