If this is posted in the wrong place, please correct me.
I am working in an area where almost all rice planting and harvesting is done by hand. The price of labor continues to rise while the price given to farmers remains stagnant. One way to help farmers aim at profitable farming is to equip them with access to appropriate sized mechanization. Since there is a significant demand for rice straw in this area standard rice harvesters are not acceptable solutions. There are a few types of half-feed harvesters(ones that keep the rice straw intact) available but I am having trouble getting meaningful feedback on the quality, effectiveness, and serviceability of each one. The first brand/model that we tried isn’t really a good market fit. Its too heavy and not suited for the small plot sizes prevalent here. Ideally, I’d like to find the smallest feasible model so that farmer groups could own or lease them vs larger units that would need to be centrally managed.
Does anyone have personal experience with half-feed rice harvesters? Any advice on which brands or models work reliably? I would also appreciate any feedback or criticism of this method of helping farmers.
Thank you for any advice.
(The attached photos are the larger unit we are trying to use and the smaller one we would like to try in the future.)