Replacement of humans by machines on farms will lead to unemployment in Ghana
In 50 years, Ghana is going to be an industrialised mechanized society – Yaw Nyarko
Economics professor calls for a blend of mechanization and peasant farming in Ghana
A professor of economics at the New York University (NYU), Yaw Nyarko, Ghana is not fully prepared to embark on large scale agric mechanisation.
He believes the process could be costly for the country to bear at the moment and could also be brutal on the poor rural Ghanaian farmers.
Prof Nyarko said the replacement of human activities in farming with that of machines at the moment could lead to massive job losses and render most rural farmers unemployed.
He explained that even though mechanization raises the efficiency of labour and enhances the farm production per worker, it reduces the number of workers needed to produce an output. This he believes could also heighten national security issues in the country.
Speaking with Nana Yaa Mensah on Sunday Night, he said “Right now, it’s impossible to do large scale mechanisation across the entire country. There are just too many farmers in too many places with too many pieces of land here and there; first of all, it’s practically not possible [because] people own the land and also think of the economic implications; large scale agriculture means that you taking machines to replace people”.
He said during the rise of cocoa, Ghanaian farmers did it on small scale farming level and yet the country was the world’s largest producer of the commodity at a point, adding, “… so we are able to manage a world-class industry with the highest quality cocoa even though we used what they call peasant agriculture.”
“So, it can be done. We can have a blend of large-scale mechanized agriculture and peasant farming, and so the two are going to co-exist for a while and eventually over the next few decades you’ll see one shrinking and the other rising,” he said.
Nyarko added that, “So the only concern with centrally directed large scale agric mechanisation is that it may be way too costly, way too brutal and without enough common sense, that’s the only fear and yes, there has to be the involvement of government but it shouldn’t be too much. The economy has to get to a certain level …”