About the Consortium

The Appropriate Scale Mechanization Consortium (ASMC), led by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is a subaward under the  Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Sustainable Intensification at Kansas State University funded by USAID. The Sustainable Intensification Innovation Lab (SIIL) supports collaborative research and development efforts to produce measurable impacts on reducing global hunger, reducing global poverty, and improving the nutrition of smallholder farmers. The SIIL supports nine research and development projects (including the Appropriate Scale Mechanization Consortium) in six focus countries: Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Senegal, and Tanzania.

Appropriate-Scale Mechanization for Sustainable Intensification

The overall objective of the Appropriate Scale Mechanization Consortium is to develop and deploy appropriate scalable mechanization technologies to enhance sustainable intensification for smallholder farmers.

sustainable-intensificationSustainable Intensification

What is sustainable intensification?

When you break down the concept of sustainable intensification, “sustainable” refers to the process of preserving the land and resources used to grow and produce crops. “Intensification” refers to amplifying the production and types of crops being grown to feed the increasing populations worldwide. The world today is encompassed by a short supply of water, land, energy and other inputs. Sustainable intensification is the response to these shortages and also a step forward in being proactive in preserving our resources to be able to feed the future.

The major goals of sustainable intensification are to increase the amount of food being produced while minimizing the negative impact to the environment. By implementing these goals, we hope to see a decline in global hunger, an improvement in the nutritional value of crops being grown, as well as a decrease in poverty.

Appropriate-Scale Mechanization

With a billion people living in extreme poverty, often relying on farming for meager livelihoods, and a growing population competing for limited land and water resources, there is an urgent need for a systems approach in developing appropriate-scale mechanization to advance sustainable intensification (SI) for smallholder farming systems. Inclusive SI approaches like integrated pest management, conservation farming, crop rotation, agro-forestry, improved timeliness in farm activities and precision application of seeds, fertilizer, herbicide, and water conservation technologies at appropriate scales.

The Appropriate Scale Mechanization Consortium (ASMC)  introduces mechanized technologies that are technically, environmentally, and economically appropriate for use by smallholder farmers. These technologies will contribute to enhanced labor productivity and increased land productivity, thus sustainably reducing poverty among smallholders.

Our team will create novel Innovation Hubs in each target country. The role of the Hub is to provide a centralized zone of activity, knowledge, training and innovation to support the process of sustainable intensification. The Hub will have a well-equipped workshop to support hands-on training of local stakeholders. Farmers will be involved in the entire process of identifying the greatest need for mechanization as well as providing input to technicians during design and development.

The overall objective of this project is to intensify smallholder farmers’ cropping systems and on-farm operations through mechanization in a sustainable manner. Sustainable intensification will integrate social, economic, and environmental impacts with a specific focus on easing the burden on women.

Read our  Mission Statement to find out more about the ASMC.