4. Optimal Location for Dryers
A detailed analysis of production, market arrival and procurement by government agencies shows that, except in the states of Haryana and Punjab, the major part of production of cereals is retained at the farm all over the country. All Indian figures of percentage retained at farms are:
|Cereal||Production||Retained at farm||Brought to Market for Disposal||Procured by State Agencies|
Scrutiny of above data shows that, to minimize post harvest losses, drying facility for the produce has to be made available at the farm or village level.
5. Affordable Cost of Drying & Feasibility of Using Existing Facilities (Diesel Pump Set & Utility Power) for Crop Drying
Under normal conditions, a saving of 2 to 3 percent can be achieve, that too only during the kharif season, by the installation of a dryer. The maximum affordable cost of drying, with an optimistic saving of 10 percent due to introduction of drying, is estimated to be around Rs. 0.15 per kg. based on an average procurement price of Rs. 150/100 kgs of cereals. As on date, around 88 percent of Indian villages are electrified. A very high percentage of Indian villages have more than one diesel pump. Thus, it will be ideal if these could be used for drying freshly harvested cereals. It is technically feasible to dry freshly harvested cereals using either utility power and /or diesel pump sets. A detailed study on the use of utility power and/or diesel pump sets for drying revealed that the direct cost of drying freshly harvested cereals using utility power (@ of Rs. 0.30/KWh) and diesel pump (@ Rs. 4 per liter of diesel) is estimated to be Rs. 0.28 and Rs. 0.50 per kg, respectively. This is more than the maximum affordable drying costs even at an optimistic saving of 10 percent. More over, as there is shortage of both electricity ad diesel, it may mot be possible to use either of them for drying, logically.
6. Duration for which Dryer is Required
Actual users required a dryer during, and immediately after, harvesting (a period which is normally restricted to only 15 to 20 days). Even during this period, dryers are not required to be operated at the raised capacity. As on date, no farmer, not even the state farm organizations, is using any drying system to dry freshly harvested cereals, primarily because returns accruing from the use of drying systems have not yet been found to be commensurate with the investment required.