(searched for: Business Viability of Small Combine Harvester in Haor Areas)
Published: 1 May 2021
European Journal of Agriculture and Food Sciences, Volume 3, pp 47-55; doi:10.24018/ejfood.2021.3.3.290
Haor areas are the most vulnerable areas in Bangladesh. Rice is the major food crops grown in the hoar areas despite natural threats during the harvesting period. The appropriate size of the mechanical harvester is one of the solutions to mitigate the natural calamities and labor shortage in the hoar regions. This paper examines the technical and financial performance of a small combine harvester with the aim of determining its market viability in Bangladesh's hoar areas. Based on the field test and economic assessment, data on field power, forward speed, fuel consumption, time allocation in harvesting, hire fee, and payback period of machine were determined. The study showed that the operation by width was 10% less than the operation by longitudinal. Plot length and area of the plot should be more than 25m and 400 m2, respectively, to operate the small combine harvester at full capacity. Harvesting speed ranged from 0.63-0.90 km hr-1, and actual field capacity ranged from 0.03-0.05 ha hr-1. Fuel consumption ranged from 25-32 L ha-1 due to slow cutting speed. The plant density was observed higher due to cultivating high yielding variety. The machine should be operated at a low speed, preferably walking speed, to avoid clogging in the conveying chain. The combine harvester has used 56% of the harvest time, and a remaining 44% for turning purposes and other inevitable uses. The small combine harvester recorded 1.12-1.40% loss of grain. However, grain damaged was not observed during harvesting. The small combine harvester becomes profitable for the investment cost of Tk 3,50,000 with a hiring rate of Tk 10,000 Tk ha-1 following 15 ha of harvesting area in a harvest capability of 0.04 ha hr-1. This machine is suitable for a small size of land where larger sizes of machines are inaccessible. This would offer small entrepreneur different choices of paddy harvesting mechanization to encourage future adoption of enhanced innovations.