Development and Performance Evaluation of a Battery Operated Small- Scale Reaper
Abstract: In absence of appropriate mechanization, harvesting of both rice and wheat crop is a major production problem in Bangladesh. Acute labor shortages at harvest time cause delays in clearing fields leading to high grain and straw losses. This work is to help small-scale farmers to meet their technological support, by developing a battery operated reaper to harvest rice and wheat crops more efficiently. The research work is on ease of harvesting operation to the small land holders for harvesting rice and wheat crops in less time and at low cost by considering different factors as power requirement, cost of equipment, ease of operation, field condition, and time of operation. The performance was evaluated considering the technical parameters: cutting speed, operating speed, effective field capacity, cutting efficiency, power requirement, cost economics and percentage of grain losses. In this study, the cutting width of the reaper was 0.6m and the average cutting efficiency and effective field capacity were 98.24% and 0.13 ha/hr, respectively. Average forward speed of the reaper was 2.17km/hr. Labor requirements for developed reaper and manual harvesting were 7.69 man-hr/ha and 160 man-hr/ha, respectively. That’s why the harvesting cost of battery operated developed reaper was 85% less as compared with manual harvesting. The cost of this reaper is BDT 59,500 which is also affordable for the small-scale farmers.