ARTI assist with rice harvest 25.11.2010

Dr Karve and Mr Prabunhe from ARTI (Appropriate Rural Technology Institute – India) assisted with harvesting the rice on the last of the trial plots in Chireve Commune, near Siem Reap town. The same trial design, and same treatments was used as the Nagathom farmers, and this farmer also used the same variety of seed – one of the reasons for selecting this farmer. This farm was planted over a month later however than the Nagathom farmers, and yields were significantly lower an average yield of 0.32 t/ha of paddy and 0.71 t/ha of rice straw. There was some rat damage reported by the farmer, and the height of the rice was noticeably lower (which also made it easier to harvest!). The picture shows the string which is measured to include only the part of the plot which is to be harvested for the data collection. The farmer can then harvest the remaining rice in the field – we compensate farmers for this inconvenience.

Harvesting in Chireve - within the plot boundaries. Photo by Mr Prabhune.

Some useful comments were made by the ARTI team, who suggested that simple management changes could lead to higher yields. The main comment, was that the rice was harvested early, and another 15 days would likely see higher yields. However the farmer may have been reluctant to do this since surrounding farmers were harvesting and leaving the rice in the field would lead to it being susceptible to further damage from pests. The method of threshing was also discussed. The farmers use a traditional method when the rice is wet – using their feet to pound the rice straw to break off the paddy. This led to some of the paddy being still left on the straw – which is subsequently used as fodder so not wasted, but does mean that the potential revenue for the harvest or amount for human consumption is reduced. When the rice straw and paddy is drier, it is beaten with a stick to remove the paddy which may be more effective.

Threshing rice, Chireve 25.11.2010. Photo by P. Karve.

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