Sri Lanka Hayleys helps mechanise rice farms

Nov 19, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Hayleys conglomerate said it plans to introduce machines for seeding and transplanting that will help paddy farmers reduce costs and improve yields. It said in a statement that the locally-built machines can halve the costs of sowing, provide up to 15 percent gain in yields and reduce harvesting costs.

The two new mechanical devices are to be introduced to farmers by Hayleys Agro Products, a unit of the Hayleys group.

They could “substantially reduce costs of crop establishment and significantly improve yields of rice paddy from the current ‘Maha’ and forthcoming ‘Yala’ seasons.”

The machines were developed locally and fabricated with inputs from the Farm Mechanisation Research Centre (FMRC) of the government’s Department of Agriculture.

The mechanised ‘Seeder’ ready for use from the ‘Maha’ 2009-10 season onwards will reduce the seed rate required per hectare of paddy by more than half.

The mechanised ‘Transplanter’, expected to be commercially available for the next ‘Yala’ season, would also halve the cost of manual transplantation, the company said.

“The use of each of these machines in crop establishment, the only ar