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Article

When Machines Take the Beans: Ex-Ante Socioeconomic Impact Evaluation of Mechanized Harvesting of Mungbean in Bangladesh and Myanmar

1
World Vegetable Center, P.O. Box 1010, Bangkok 10903, Thailand
2
Pandia Consulting, 48145 Münster, Germany
3
Department of Agricultural Economics, Yezin Agricultural University, Nay Pyi Taw 15013, Myanmar
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Department of Rural Development, Faculty of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University, Gazipur 1706, Bangladesh
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Agricultural Economics Division, Regional Pulses Research Station, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute, Madaripur 7901, Bangladesh
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Independent Gender Consultant, Dhaka 1207, Bangladesh
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World Vegetable Center, ICRISAT Campus, Patancheru 502324, India
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Piotr Prus
Agronomy 2021, 11(5), 925; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11050925
Received: 22 March 2021 / Revised: 21 April 2021 / Accepted: 27 April 2021 / Published: 8 May 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Farmers’ Adoption of Agricultural Innovations and Their Impact)
Agricultural mechanization has spread across much of Asia since the 1960s. It has increased agricultural productivity and reduced arduous farm work. However, differing impacts for smallholders and hired laborers, and for men and women, require careful consideration. This study analyzed, ex-ante, the likely social and economic tradeoffs of mechanizing the mungbean harvest in Bangladesh and Myanmar. We used a mixed methods approach combining survey data from 852 farm households with in-depth interviews in four villages. Partial budget analysis shows that mechanical harvesting of mungbean is not yet profitable for most farms. There is nevertheless an incentive to mechanize as the associated timeliness of the harvest reduces the risk of harvest losses from weather shocks. Men and women farmers expect time savings and reduced drudgery. The results confirm that hired workers depend on manual harvesting for income and status in both countries. Most hired workers are landless married women with limited access to other sources of income. In the short term, farmers are likely to combine manual harvests and a final mechanized harvest of the indeterminate crop. This could mediate the impact on hired workers. However, in the long term, it will be necessary to facilitate income-generating opportunities for women in landless rural families to maintain their well-being and income. View Full-Text
Keywords: agricultural mechanization; rural employment; gender; pulses; mungbean agricultural mechanization; rural employment; gender; pulses; mungbean
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MDPI and ACS Style

Depenbusch, L.; Farnworth, C.R.; Schreinemachers, P.; Myint, T.; Islam, M.M.; Kundu, N.D.; Myint, T.; San, A.M.; Jahan, R.; Nair, R.M. When Machines Take the Beans: Ex-Ante Socioeconomic Impact Evaluation of Mechanized Harvesting of Mungbean in Bangladesh and Myanmar. Agronomy 2021, 11, 925. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11050925

AMA Style

Depenbusch L, Farnworth CR, Schreinemachers P, Myint T, Islam MM, Kundu ND, Myint T, San AM, Jahan R, Nair RM. When Machines Take the Beans: Ex-Ante Socioeconomic Impact Evaluation of Mechanized Harvesting of Mungbean in Bangladesh and Myanmar. Agronomy. 2021; 11(5):925. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11050925

Chicago/Turabian Style

Depenbusch, Lutz, Cathy Rozel Farnworth, Pepijn Schreinemachers, Thuzar Myint, Md Monjurul Islam, Nanda Dulal Kundu, Theingi Myint, Aye Moe San, Rownok Jahan, and Ramakrishnan Madhavan Nair. 2021. "When Machines Take the Beans: Ex-Ante Socioeconomic Impact Evaluation of Mechanized Harvesting of Mungbean in Bangladesh and Myanmar" Agronomy 11, no. 5: 925. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11050925

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