RAJSHAHI, May 23: The demand of locally produced threshing machine is increasing among the farmers of the country. By meeting local demands, the machines produced in Natore are being sold in other districts as well.
These threshing machines were being manufactured here for last 20-25 years. But, the manufacturer companies of the district were facing uncertainty in expanding their business due to insufficient supply of Babla (Acacia) wood, high labour cost, lack of capital and harassment in getting bank loan.
It is learnt, though the cast iron cylinder, bearing and some other materials used to make threshing machines are procured from outside of the district, most other materials are collected locally. Many farmers also let the machine rent to earn money.
There are 20 to 25 engineering workshops in the district which manufacture the machines but seven of the workshops situated in Natore Sadar produced most of the machines. Though there are some workshops at the upazila levels, those mainly repair the machines. The workshops usually produce 800 to 900 machines during harvesting season of paddy.
Concerned sources, however, informed despite having a good demand and quality, the manufacturers failing to increase production due to lack of working capital. Threshing machines prepared using wood and iron structures are being sold from Tk 3,000 to Tk 7,000 each depending on size and quality. The machines are driven through pedal or fixing it with a motor or pump machine.
Govinda Karmaker, proprietor of GK Engineering, said he learnt making the machine from Narayan Babu some 20 years ago and established his own paddy threshing machine making factory since then. Six to seven more people also work in his company. He said he was failing to expand the industry for lack of working capital. If bank loan was provided for running the workshop, there would be opportunities of further employments.
Ashraful Islam, proprietor of AR Engineering, said the business at his company was dull this year due to untimely rain fall. Moreover, crisis of acacia wood and increased price of it was the cause of an increased price of the machine. The wages of the labourers has also been increased and he needed to pay Tk 35,000 as salary to four of his artisans every month. He said due to lack of working capital, the workshops were producing the machines by procuring loan from the NGOs at an exorbitant interest rate. If these industries were supplied bank loans at a low interest rate, they would be benefitted. He said the threshing machines produced in the district are also sold in the surrounding districts of Rajshahi, Naogaon, Chapainwabganj, Sirajganj, Tangail and Dinajpur.
Aminul Islam, a farmer of Madhnagar village, said the threshing machines are easy to operate and no cow or buffalo is required to drive the machine. Rather farmers can operate the machine using their legs or by fixing the machines with shallow machine.
Nizam Uddin, a farmer of Boraigram village informed, the straw left after threshing paddy-plant by using costly automatic machine becomes unfit for consumption by the cows and buffalo. But, the straw produced after using the locally produced thrasher machines remained intact and fit for consumption of the cattleheads and using those for other purposes. He said, he was happy by purchasing a threshing machine at a cost of Tk 5,000 and by fixing it with the shallow machine, he would be able to thrash paddy at a low cost and labour.
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