Don't get stuck in the mud: Combine harvester specifications, operation and design for wet rice field conditions in Bangladesh
Bangladesh is one of the most mechanized countries in Asia when it comes to land preparation. By contrast, the planting and harvesting of the 11 million hectares of rice grown every year in Bangladesh is still largely carried out by hand. At present, all crops grown in Bangladesh are largely planted, weeded, and harvested manually. Increasing labor costs and shortages of labor make growing these crops increasingly expensive and vulnerable to delayed planting and harvesting. Mechanizing these operations has been recognized by the Government of Bangladesh as an important priority in efforts to maintain national food security and to avoid dependence on imports, particularly of rice. With this objective in mind, the Government has introduced subsidy programs which support businesses to invest in advanced, appropriate crop-planting, and harvesting equipment. This is resulting in the rapid adoption of crop harvesting machinery such as combine harvesters and reapers and the planting of rice using rice transplanters.
The USAID Feed the Future Bangladesh Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia – Mechanization Extension Activity (CSISA-MEA) began in October 2019 and is implemented by CIMMYT in partnership with iDE and the Georgia Institute of Technology. The activity works in the Feed the Future zone of influence in southern Bangladesh and in the Rohingya crisis-impacted zones of the Cox’s Bazar district. CSISA-MEA aims to support the mechanization of agriculture in Bangladesh by developing the capacity of the private sector to develop, manufacture, and market innovative new technology which will enable the country’s farmers to appropriately mechanize agricultural production. The objective of CSISA-MEA is to enhance agricultural resilience through development of agricultural machinery light engineering companies, and develop a gender-inclusive workforce, with a special focus on the crisis-affected areas of Bangladesh.