Appropriate Scale Mechanization Consortium
The Appropriate Scale Mechanization Consortium (ASMC), led by Dr. Prasanta Kalita at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will introduce multifunctional and modular mechanized technologies that are technically, environmentally, and economically appropriate for use by smallholder farmers with the flexibility to accommodate different power sources. These technologies will contribute to enhanced labor productivity and increased land productivity, thus sustainably reducing poverty among smallholders. 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.
The ASMC includes members with substantial institutional capacity and expertise, and active collaborations with institutions and entry point organizations in four designated countries in South Asia, East Africa and West Africa: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ethiopia and Burkina Faso.
The operational strategy includes the following six key functions:
- Engage entry point organizations to establish Innovation Hubs
- Assess country specific mechanization challenges, opportunities, and priorities
- Implement country specific activities utilizing participatory research methods
- Build human capacity with gender emphasis
- Monitor and evaluate impact of activities
- Share knowledge with in-country stakeholders
Dr. Prasanta Kalita
Leader of Appropriate Scale Mechanization Consortium
Dr. Prasanta Kalita is a professor of agricultural & biological engineering, and a Presidential Fellow of the University of Illinois System. He provides leadership and develops and coordinates research priorities for the Discovery Partners Institute for the Water and Environment Group. He previously served as the director of the ADM Institute for the Prevention of Postharvest Loss, Associate Dean for Academic Programs, and Assistant Dean of Research in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. A Fellow of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) and Indian Society for Agricultural Engineering (ISAE), Dr. Kalita’s areas of research include water resources management and environmental sustainability, food security, agricultural mechanization, food loss and waste reduction, and water quality. He is widely recognized for his excellence in teaching, research, and international engagement. He has worked extensively in educational development and capacity building, water resources, food production, and food security issues around the world. He has published more than 200 articles in journals and conferences and served as editor-in-chief and associate editor for three international journals.