ECONOMIC IMPACT OF AGRICULTURAL MECHANIZATION IN RICE FARMING IN SHIVASATAKSHI MUNICIPALITY OF JHAPA DISTRICT, NEPAL
Dikshya Khatiwada, Jaya Prakash Dutta, Kalyani Shrestha, Gaurav Adhikari, Hikmat Paudel
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A study was conducted in Shivasatakshi municipality of Jhapa district to assess the economic impact of agricultural mechanization in rice farming in 2020. Altogether, 40 rice farmers were selected randomly and surveyed using a semi-structured interview schedule. Based on the use of machinery, farmers were categorized into mechanized and non-mechanized farmers. Cost and revenue were calculated among both categories. T-test was used to compare the mean cost and revenue between mechanized and non-mechanized rice farmers. The average cost of production of rice was NRs.87,215.50/ha. The cost of human labor was found higher in both categories (more than 40%). The average total cost of production was lower in mechanized farms (NRs.67,191.74/ha) as compared to non-mechanized farms (NRs. 1, 07,239.27/ha). The contribution of rice grain and straw to the overall revenue was 98.53% and 1.46% respectively. The average revenue from production was calculated to be NRs.1, 21,879.25/ha. The average gross revenue was greater in mechanized farms (NRs.1,26,042.90/ha) than non-mechanized farms (NRs. 1, 22,067.00/ha). The benefit-cost ratio was observed higher in the mechanized rice farms (1.898) than non-mechanized farms (1.143). The findings of the study showed that mechanized rice farming reduced the cost of production by lowering down human labor cost and increased the profitability of the enterprise. Therefore, it is recommended to adopt machinery for rice cultivation in Shivasatakshi municipality, Jhapa.