COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF COST, RETURN, PROFITABILITY AND LABOR USE IN MECHANIZED AND TRADITIONAL RICE FARMS IN NEPAL
Prakash Acharya, Punya Prasad Regmi, Devendra Gauchan, Dilli Bahadur KC, Gopal Bahadur KC
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The main objective of the study was to assess cost, returns and labor use status between mechanized and traditional rice farms in the Tarai of Nepal. The study was conducted using multistage sampling technique in Jhapa, Sunsari and Bardiya districts covering 274 mechanized and 220 traditional rice farms. Farm budget analysis was used to compute the cost and yield returns from both type of rice farms. The study revealed that the per hectare average human labor used by traditional farm was significantly higher (141.6 man days/hectare) than mechanized rice farm (72.7 man days/per hectare). The per hectare average machine hour used in mechanized farm was 14.0 hours. Number of bullock labor required in traditional rice farm was more than 4 times higher than in mechanized rice farm and was significant. Per hectare total cost of production in mechanized and traditional farms was NRs 85,434.6 and NRs. 95,993.6, respectively and the mean difference was significant. The mechanized rice farm had significantly higher income (NRs. 112711.1/ha) than traditional rice farm (NRs.102064.9/ha). The benefit csot ratio per hectare was significantly higher in mechanized farm (1.32) as compared to traditional(1.06). The variable cost saved in mechanized farm in comparison to traditional rice farm was NRs. 20,366.8 per hectare, which was 24.80 % and was significant. The study indicated that the use of farm machines for rice cultivation would significantly save the human labor cost, reduce cost of production, increase the yield thereby removing drudgery; addressing the labor shortage issues and making mechanized rice farm more profitable.