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.


Kalusudda said...

Perhaps now the manual labor force has learnt that they are too costly, they might reduce the price by next season and thus forcing the combine harvesters also drop the price in order to get business.
Next I like to see you using those planters from Japan. I have watched them plant rice in a quite a big plot in no time.
Also happy hear positive tone in your writings in this blog and others.

Rajaratarala said...

I agree that the labor rate is just too high, now that the demand for labor is dropping, but as you may know it is an impossible dream as we are a nation of lotus eaters who are willing to sit at home rather than drop our price. Note the 40,000 grads living off their parents for an average of 10 years with no job as they will not take what is available and are waiting for just the job they want.

On the transplanters, that I have also seen, I am surprised we dont use them as they were introduced over 30 years ago when transplanting was the rage, but now it has died because it is just easier to sow, even thoough yield is compromised!
The psyche of the populace never ceases to amaze me

Kalusudda said...

I am glad that you are doing what you really like and learning the ways and means.
I am surprised at the number of graduates wasting their time. I thought with low capacity and high demand for places in universities, these grads would be plucked off the graduation list by employers. Well you learn something every day!
Keep up the good work and the excellent writings, I for one looking forward to read them