La Mecanización Agrícola en América Latina

Translated title of the contribution: Agricultural mechanization in Latin America

Luis Miguel Robles Flores, Pablo Elverdin, Valeria Piñeiro

Research output: Working paper


The objective of this document is to review the available evidence about the current situation of agricultural mechanization in Latin America in order to attract more attention to it. At present, the marginal value of the incorporation of machinery in Latin America still remains superior to the contribution of most of the globe, which indicates the relative lag of the region in this aspect. Even the gaps in the supply of machinery to the interior of the region remain significant. In particular, it is observed that the countries with the lowest number of hectares per farm have a smaller stock of machinery per worker, which highlights the fact that the size of the farm affects the ability of farmers to access modern agricultural technologies. At the same time, the supply of agricultural machinery is almost dominated by imported products with standardized features and few adaptations to the agroecological and cultural conditions of the region, which could be affecting the capacity of incorporating machinery in small farms. The future demand for mechanization will not only be driven by economic or productive issues, but will surely also take into account the need to preserve natural resources (or adapt to new climatic conditions) and the demands imposed by external markets on the productive systems; all this will determine the production system and the type of machinery to be incorporated into agriculture. Although mechanization is only one element of the set of factors that determine production, its efficient use promotes the incorporation of new inputs and an update of the production system. However, the cost of the machinery and the specific knowledge for its use generally constitute one of the great barriers to be overcome in mechanization strategies. Generating new models of organization of production and management of machinery through the creation of a market for agricultural mechanization services may be a more efficient alternative to reach the goal. The development of mechanization and the modernization of agriculture in Latin America will depend to a large extent on private initiative, but also on public policies aimed at improving the technical, financial and connectivity capacities of producers.
Translated title of the contributionAgricultural mechanization in Latin America
Original languageSpanish
Place of PublicationWashington, DC.
PublisherInstituto Internacional de Investigación sobre Políticas Alimentarias (IFPRI)
Number of pages39
StatePublished - 2018


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