Mechanise Harvesting in Houtal

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“It saves money and time. Less laborious and nomaterial cost “says Y Ibomcha of HoutalImphal East. I spend a sum of Rs 2500 to harvest 0 .62 Acre (1 Pari) of Rice Paddy field with the mechanise separation of grain from chopped rice plant.The mechanise harvesting is very popular in Houtal this time. Many have done it this way and it is my turn now. On rice plant chopping’s by our local women labour I have spent Rs 1800 and they have done it earlier before the grain separation.

A day’s labour of 12 men could be completed in 2 hours. Easy grain separations and loadings with assistance of 8 people to a harvesting machine attached to a Tractor which provides power source to the machine in the middle of a paddy field.

The sound of the tractor and the harvesting machine combine together gives a buzzing sound as the owner of the Rice paddy field watch the flowing grain at the open end of the machine outlet.

The team operational mode of eight people where one man takes responsibility of the power source by keeping the tractor on while another two men feed the chopped down Rice plant from the top end of the harvesting machine. Another two pass the chopped rice plant to the two feeders from the ground. Everyone is seen covered with cloths on their face and head to avoid the flying husk around the machine at the work station. Two men collect the flowing grain from the bottom outlet and put them into a sack. One man takes down the piling straw churn out from the machine after the separation in a projectile motion with an amazing speed.

We can harvest five to six dry paddy fields but when it is wet we can harvest only three in a day. If we go for 8 places with night lights we earn a lot. On fuel we spend up to 45 litres of diesel oil to keep the engine of the tractor a full day run. On machine men labour we pay a sum of Rupees 300 per day. With loadings of the grain up to the owners’ courtyard the charge is Rs 3000. It is a good seasonal business and we have bought the machine from a person at a price of Rupees 1 lakh 70 thousand says Wasim.

The chaffing is very perfect with the machine than the ordinary one and the grain separation is very perfect which is one advantage of the mechanise farming says Wasim. Sometimes people have to buy a lot of material from the market like the Bamboo mat, Cheirong(wooden thrasher) for the annual harvest, with the machine we can do away all the management and material costs.

The system has left many unemployed yet it saves time and money for many. With more machines there could be a revolution in the production of food grains in the State. The system seems to be welcome by the people of Houtal and perhaps many places in Manipur.

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