Evaluation of Box Type Paddy Dryers in South Sumatra, Indonesia

R. Bhandari, H. Gaese

Abstract


Indonesia is the third biggest paddy producing country worldwide with its annual production of around 54 million ton. South Sumatra Province has an annual paddy production of around 2.32 million ton. Paddy has high moisture content, up to 24%, when it is harvested. Moist paddy needs immediate drying after it is harvested to reduce its moisture content to 14% or less for milling or for safe storage, respectively. Sun drying of paddy has been practiced for years despite many problems associated with it. Different studies show that the post harvest loss of the paddy lies in between 10% and 37%, in which drying related losses might be from 1% up to 10%. Like in any other parts of the country, South Sumatra Province also has no commercial paddy drying systems in practice. In 2004, as a first prototype of such type, a box type paddy dryer with a rice husk burning oven was introduced in Upang village. Now there are already more than 30 box dryers installed in three neighbouring villages – Muliasari, Upang and Upangceria - where this study was carried out. The drying capacity of each dryer varies between 3.5 ton and 10 ton of harvested paddy. Although the widespread of dryers is rapid in these villages, none of the field experiments were carried out so far to evaluate their technical, economical and social performances. This study aimed to conduct the experiments on the selected dryers and to assess their technical performances at first. Three dryers were chosen for the experiments and altogether eight experiments were carried out. Parallel sun drying experiments were carried out for quality test of rice yielded from milling the paddy dried in box dryer and dried in sun drying. Based on the observed data, economic analysis of paddy drying considering two important stakeholders – investors and farmers is presented in this paper.

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