Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Paddy Harvesting in Polonnaruwa
These images show how things have changed in such a short space of time in rural Sri Lanka. Last season saw a sprinkling of Combine Harvesters, but this season has seen a complete takeover by them. The owners, finance the purchase of these Chinese build machines, from a leasing company hoping to completely pay for it in four seasons or two years.
I have seen so many of these around this week, that I wonder how much business each person will get in numbers of properties to harvest. I will not recommend anyone to buy these as they will not be able to make it profitable with only the Chinese manufacturer and the local agent along with the finance company transferring wealth from the village to the financiers and China.
It is great to see my hectare getting cut, threshed and bagged in less than 150 minutes, something that usually takes days. It cost me Rs22,500 and if I had used manual labor to cut the paddy it would have cost me more at today's wage rate.
I am not complaining, and I was watching the proceedings with interest. We can now have the paddy bagged for each field if we want, and especially, as different fields have different levels of maturity, those that are more green can be separated and dried as required, something we could not do in the past.
The one requirement for these machines is that the field cannot be waterlogged when cutting, as the combine running on rubber tracks can get stuck due to its 2,800kg weight.