Actual Productivity of Laborers for Pomegranate Harvesting: Application of Stop Watch Time Study Technique
Human power is the main resource in all production units like agriculture. Suitable working condition is essential to enhance job satisfaction and productivity of human resources. Stop watch time study was used in this study for the first time in Iran's horticulture sector in order to give correct estimation of laborers' productivity for pomegranate harvesting while mechanized harvester machines are limited. The pomegranate harvesting process was broken into its seven elements. The require time for doing each element was recorded and necessary allowances for each element was obtained from time study standards tables. Ten out of 37 gardens were randomly chosen and three laborers from each garden were testes with three replications. Level of job satisfaction was investigated using Job Descriptive Index (JDI) questionnaire to understand whether employing suitable number of laborers enhances job satisfaction. The results showed that two groups of laborers harvested pomegranate with different speeds, and old group (36-55 years) required more allowances than young group (20-35 years) of laborers. Statistical analysis revealed high correlation between frequencies of picking pomegranate task and observed time by 92% (inverse relation) meaning that the sample laborers worked highly similar. The average productivity of young and old groups of laborers were harvesting 37 kg/h and 29 kg/h pomegranate, respectively. Accordingly, it was determined that 6 laborers are needed from the young group or 8 laborers from the old group to harvest 22,000 kg/ha pomegranate in a working time of 12 days (8 h/day).Using a suitable number of laborers in any work would lead to employing actual laborers' productivity and on time work accomplishment besides reaching to high level of job satisfaction. The proposed methodology can be applied in other sectors/organizations with further investigation into enhancement of health and safety of laborers in different working conditions.