The field survey was done to collect information on Closed Drum Thresher from farmers and different stakeholders in selected regions of Bangladesh. For this purpose, we developed a questionnaire for farmers to collect the information on types and models, advantageous locations, incurred capital cost, running costs items, expected economic life, usage operating hours and acres, cost savings in terms of labours and other factors. To find the farmers who are using the Closed Drum Thresher, we communicated with agro-machinery manufacturers, repairing workshops, local farmers, research organizations and the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) in the selected regions. After understanding the locations of farmers, we moved to farmer’s houses in the rural areas to get their views/data on agro-machine according to the questionnaire. Regarding the selection of regions, we consulted regional research organizations, the Department of Agricultural Extension, local private institutions and literature about current usage patterns of Closed Drum threshers (BBS, 1999; BRRI, 1997; Hatch, 2005; ITDG, 2003). Initially, we selected eight regions for the fieldwork which cover almost all the typical crops and agricultural practices used in Bangladesh. During field survey, we found 18 users of Closed Drum among which 1, 3, 3, 3, 5 and 3 interviewees were found in Bogra, Comilla, Dinajpur, Kustia, Mymensingh and Sylhet, respectively. However, we were unable to collect information from two regions (Jessore and Dhaka) because of the unavailability of selected agro-machine users.
This study examines variations in capital cost and performance characteristics (C) by comparing different types of agro-machinery. It looks at variations in substituted costs (L), by considering inter-regional differences in rural wage rates. And it the examines scale of production (S) or capacity utilization, i.e. the annual acreages of crop that is covered by the agro-machinery.
turn (IRR) generated by investments as these factors vary. In mathematical terms we would examine IRR as a function of variations in C, L and S. However, land-holdings in Bangladesh are very small (mean <2 acres, median <1 acre), the third factor [S] dominates the analysis of IRR (BBS, 2004). We could have arbitrarily selected a range of different land-holding sizes, and calculated the IRR for the agro-machine, but this would not produce very useful results and would have taken a huge amount of time. In mathematical terms, therefore, this study is slightly unusual in examining S as a function of variations in IRR, C, and L which is derived from the break-even concept used for agro-machinery as reported by Bainer et al. (1987) and Hunt (1995). The break-even area or scale of production (S) was calculated.