Farm power status and requirement for small-scale rice farm operations: A case in Riau Province, Indonesia. (79)
Keywords:Farm power, small-scale rice farm, human power, animal power, mechanical power
AbstractSuccessful operation of a farming system is determined greatly by availability of farm power. The objective of this research was to examine the farm power status and requirement for small-scale rice farming operations in Riau Province. Primary and secondary data were gathered from various sources. A total of 120 farmers were interviewed to collect data primer from two selected rice centres in two regencies of the province during the 2008 rainy cropping season. The main sources of farm power practiced by small rice farmers are human labour and mechanical power. The total power available is still very low and remains under the minimum requirement for an efficient agriculture. The stage of the rice mechanization process is also relatively low and still below the take-off stage of the critical point of the mechanization process. Under these conditions, the availability of farm power has no effect on total cultivated area and yield of rice over years. The total energy required per hectare of rice farm operations was 418 kW-h (561 hp) on average. Although mechanized farm operations need more power, the total operation hours would decrease significantly. Efforts should be taken to continuously encourage small farmers to adopt mechanical power in order to carry out timely farm operations and make the rice production process more productive and efficient.