Sceptical reports about the failure of agricultural projects to meet ambitious targets are often accompanied by photos of rusting, inappropriate farm equipment dating from the 1960s and 1970s. In the same way, pictures of inappropriate and unused windmills, or second-hand computers, are scattered across the pages of sceptical reports of development mistakes in the 1980s and 1990s. And yet a good craftsperson does not blame his or her tools, and if agricultural mechanisation has not lived up to its promises, the reasons lie not in the technologies, but in the decisions about how they are used ? and by whom. We take a look at strategies for real empowerment, for using human and animal muscle power and mechanical energy in ways that are better than ever for raising food production. Farmers mechanise to produce more for the same amount of labour, and to reduce drudgery, according to a recent study report undertaken for CTA and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Not that mechanisation should be confused with motorisation and tractorisation ?