|Environmental Handbook Volume II: Agriculture, Mining/Energy, Trade/Industry (GTZ, 1995, 736 p.)|
|33. Agricultural engineering|
The fundamental components of agriculture are plant production and - based upon this - animal production. Agricultural machinery and implements are used by man for the purpose of influencing the natural process of plant and animal growth. Such mechanical aids can be divided into three categories on the basis of their energy source:
- hand-held implements
- animal-drawn implements
- motorised implements (with internal combustion engine or - less commonly - electric motor)
Agricultural engineering covers all aspects of using and manufacturing technical aids for agricultural production, the upstream and downstream sectors, and decentralised generation and use of energy in rural areas.
It is in plant production that agricultural engineering plays by far its most important role, although it is also becoming increasingly significant in livestock farming (intensive livestock husbandry). Mechanical aids are most commonly used in tillage and transportation, as well as in threshing and - where appropriate - for supplying water. As an area of project activity, agricultural engineering can thus be viewed in particular as an extension of the plant production sector; links frequently also exist with animal production, irrigation and agro-industry. The comments made in the relevant environmental briefs regarding objectives, impacts and protective measures apply by analogy.