The practice probably cannot be continued indefinitely, however, because of increasing population pressure. The largest quantities of commercial tropical products originate in plantations, where skilled management is combined with sufficient capital to provide mechanized equipment.While the future role of autonomous power supply systems is likely to expand, the total contribution to agricultural mechanization energy is likely to be of modest proportion. In other words, farms of the future will depend primarily on a purchased energy supply (i.e. diesel fuel or renewable substitute/extender, and electricity) to which autonomous power may make a valuable but small contribution to those farmers who wish to pursue the available options.
This is based on the clear evidence of a global shift towards engine and motor driven mechanization systems. The situation is outlined in detail in Farm Machinery, (EOLSS on-line, 2002). Apart from the tractor, the farm machine that has captured the public imagination is the massive combine harvester, a miracle of modern technology.Soil tillage systems are predominantly concerned with the provision of an adequate seedbed to accommodate the subsequent crop seeding or planting operation and to provide an optimum environment for seed germination, plant establishment and vigorous crop growth. Traditional tillage systems involved breaking the soil crust with a human or animal powered implement or plow pushed or pulled through the soil.The rest of this section provides support for the following: Generalization 8. When new power sources become available, they are initially used only for selected operations for which their comparative advantage is greatest.Developing countries have a wide range of machine processes and basic engineering solutions from which to choose. They thus seldom need to solve basic engineering problems for operations they want to mechanize. Their bigger task is to foster a healthy climate for the reinvention, adaptation, and straightforward copying of existing designs.