Invasion of Paddy Combine Harvester (PCH) and Its Socioeconomic Impacts: A Study based on Ampara District, Sri Lanka
The term mechanisation of paddy agriculture denotes that mechanical power is used in agriculture instead of human and animal power, which is totally diminished today. Paddy agriculture plays an important role in the Sri Lankan economy where rice is the staple food of the country. Ampara district in Eastern Province of Sri Lanka contributes to the national food production by through paddy cultivation. In Ampara district, the tractor was used in paddy agriculture that required the need for human power previously. Nevertheless, the invasion of Paddy Combine Harvester (PCH) has demolished the tasks done by human power in the paddy agricultural sector now. Harvesting, threshing and cleaning were carried out in different stages of a long period with multiple groups of people by using human power in the past. Now it has changed, and Paddy combine Harvester (PCH) is used for all works of harvesting, threshing and cleaning within a short period at present. This study was conducted to emphasise the changes caused by the mechanisation in paddy agriculture and examine the changes among the Muslim society after the invasion of Paddy Combine Harvester (PCH) in the paddy agricultural sector. The decline in collective action and social solidarity among family members and society, loss of farming-related celebrations and ceremonies, the decline of the contribution of women in the agriculture and loss of job opportunities and income were found to be the negative impacts of the invasion of the paddy combine harvester. The decline in the disparities among landlords and peasants, changes in the food and dressing pattern, new employment opportunities and income generation, changes in the education sector, speedy harvesting in the rainy seasons and reduction in workload and less time consumption were found to be the positive impacts of the invasion of paddy combine harvester (PCH).
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