T Rajula Shanthy, P William Antony, C Karpagam


In the changing scenario of agriculture, labour availability poses a major threat, more so in sugarcane farming as it is a labour, drudgery and energy intensive crop. Optimizing the harvesting system at the proper time is crucial to the profitability of both the cane grower and the miller. Many times, harvesting is not done at the appropriate period due to labour unavailability. The aim of this paper is to evaluate the current sugarcane manual and mechanical harvesting systems in Tamil Nadu State, India, with regard to the economics involved and constraints faced by farmers, and to draw suitable suggestions for implementation. Accordingly, the study was conducted in Thiru Arooran Sugars predominant with mechanical harvesters and Kallakurichi Cooperative Sugar mill mainly with manual harvesting.Mechanized harvesting provides improved resilience in cane productivity with reduced cost of cultivation; harvesting can be done in time on a large scale which paves the way for uniform ratoon growth. However, non-availability of sufficient number of mechanical harvesters and wide spaced sugarcane limit mechanized harvesting.

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