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Mechanized Cassava Planting and Harvesting

Empowering Cassava Farmers: More Yield, Less Labor, Better Quality

Mechanized cassava planting and harvesting technology is a specialized machinery of two-row planters and harvesters, typically operated by tractors. This technology significantly improves the efficiency of cassava farming by reducing labor requirements, increasing productivity, and minimizing root damage during harvesting. It not only addresses the labor bottleneck associated with manual planting and harvesting but also plays a vital role in increasing cassava yields, making cassava farming more competitive, and reducing production costs.

This technology is TAAT1 validated.


Scaling readiness: idea maturity 8/9; level of use 7/9

Cost: $$$ 367 USD

Mechanical cassava production

50 %

Reduced of manual cost operation

13 USD/ha

Cost of mechanized planting

25 USD/ha

Cost of mechanized harvesting


Open source / open access


Mechanized cassava planting and harvesting technology addresses several key issues in cassava production in Africa:

  • Low Yields: Cassava farmers in Africa often struggle with low yields of 10t/ha, making them less competitive in the global market where higher yields are expected.
  • Labor-Intensive Operations: Manual planting and harvesting of cassava are labor-intensive and time-consuming processes, requiring a significant workforce.
  • Root Damage: Manual harvesting can result in high root damage, especially during the dry season, leading to yield losses.
  • Labor Bottleneck: The reliance on manual labor creates a bottleneck in cassava production and limits productivity.
  • Competitiveness: To enhance the competitiveness of the cassava sub-sector, there is a need to overcome these issues and increase yields while reducing production costs.


The mechanized cassava planting and harvesting technology offers several advantages:

Increased Yield: This technology significantly boosts cassava yields, aiming to achieve a 38% yield increase and minimum of 25 tons per hectare when combined with the right fertilizer use, improved varieties and weed management practices, making African cassava farmers more competitive in the global market.

Labor Efficiency: Mechanization reduces the labor-intensive nature of planting and harvesting cassava. For example, a two-row mechanical planter can plant 7-10 hectares in a day, far more efficiently than manual planting with 8 to 10 laborers.

Cost Savings: Mechanized planting and harvesting are more cost-effective, with a two-row mechanical planter being 50% cheaper than manual planting. This cost efficiency benefits cassava farmers.

Minimized Root Damage: Manual harvesting can lead to root damage, especially during the dry season. Mechanized harvesting reduces root damage, ensuring better crop quality.

Enhanced Competitiveness: Overall, this technology aims to enhance the competitiveness of the cassava sub-sector by increasing productivity and reducing production costs, aligning African cassava farming with global standards.

Key points to design your business plan

The Mechanized Cassava Planting and Harvesting technology may be of interest to fleet managers, and users (farmers).

Fleet managers

Introducing mechanized combines to the farming world can significantly reduce harvest losses commonly experienced. To effectively enter this market, consider the following steps:

Source the equipment from countries like Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Identify efficient transportation methods and suitable storage facilities for the equipment.

Determine the cost based on the size of the technology. Factor in transport costs, import duties, and taxes.

Enhance fleet management with tools like the Hello Tracteur app, available for free on the App Store. This app can optimize operational efficiency by providing detailed reports for precise adjustments.

Target potential customers such as farmers, development projects, and farmers' cooperatives or associations.


Utilizing mechanized cassava planting and harvesting technology can lead to significant improvements.

Key partners include sellers or fleet managers of mechanized equipment for cassava planting and harvesting.

In terms of cost structure,  considering the cost of mechanized planting (13 USD/ha) is relatively lower than manual planting (29 USD/ha). Harvesting cost under mechanized operation (25 USD/ha) is lower than under manual operation (61 USD/ha).. Factor in delivery costs, import duties, and taxes, considering the technology's sourcing from countries like Tanzania, Ghana, Nigeria, Zambia.


Positive or neutral impact

Adults 18 and over
Positive high
The poor
Positive low
Under 18
Positive low
Positive low

Positive or neutral impact

Climate adaptability
It adapts somewhat well
Adaptability for farmers
It helps a lot
It doesn't hurt them
Carbon footprint
It doesn't reduce emissions at all
It makes a big difference
Soil quality
It doesn't harm the soil's health and fertility
Water usage
It uses the same amount of water

Countries with a green colour
Tested & adopted
Countries with a bright green colour
Countries with a yellow colour
Egypt Equatorial Guinea Ethiopia Algeria Angola Benin Botswana Burundi Burkina Faso Democratic Republic of the Congo Djibouti Côte d’Ivoire Eritrea Gabon Gambia Ghana Guinea Guinea-Bissau Cameroon Kenya Libya Liberia Madagascar Mali Malawi Morocco Mauritania Mozambique Namibia Niger Nigeria Republic of the Congo Rwanda Zambia Senegal Sierra Leone Zimbabwe Somalia South Sudan Sudan South Africa Eswatini Tanzania Togo Tunisia Chad Uganda Western Sahara Central African Republic Lesotho
Countries where the technology has been tested and adopted
Country Tested Adopted
Ghana Tested Adopted
Nigeria Tested Adopted
Tanzania Tested Adopted
Zambia Tested Adopted

This technology can be used in the colored agro-ecological zones. Any zones shown in white are not suitable for this technology.

Agro-ecological zones where this technology can be used
AEZ Subtropic - warm Subtropic - cool Tropic - warm Tropic - cool

Source: HarvestChoice/IFPRI 2009

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals that are applicable to this technology.

Sustainable Development Goal 2: zero hunger
Goal 2: zero hunger
Sustainable Development Goal 5: gender equality
Goal 5: gender equality
Sustainable Development Goal 13: climate action
Goal 13: climate action

The steps involved in mechanized cassava planting and harvesting are:

Mechanical Planting:

  1. Farm Preparation: Prior to mechanical planting, prepare the farm for cassava cultivation.
  2. Choose the Planter: Select a two-row or four-row mechanical planter designed for flat ground.
  3. Tractor Selection: Ensure you have a tractor with a minimum power of 90 hp (67.14 kW) to operate the planter.
  4. Stake Cutting: Install a power take-off (PTO) driven circular saw to cut cassava stakes into cuttings, typically ranging from 14 ± 3 cm to 149 ± 3 cm in length.
  5. Planting Depth: Maintain a planting depth between 60 and 100 mm below the soil surface.
  6. Spacing: Plant cassava with a row spacing of 700 mm, and no ridges are needed for this model of planter.

Mechanical Harvesting:

  1. Select the Harvester: Choose a two-row or four-row harvester, similar to the planter, for mechanical harvesting.
  2. Tractor Requirements: Ensure you have a tractor with a minimum power of 120 hp (89.52 kW) to operate the harvester.
  3. Digging Depth: Maintain a digging depth between 300 to 400 mm.
  4. Harvesting Rate: Mechanical harvesting can achieve a rate between 0.3 and 0.5 hectares per hour (ha/h).

Last updated on 22 May 2024