2020 Volume 11 Issue 2 Pages 128-133
Agricultural machinery has become significantly important to carry out farm work and to address labor scarcity in Cambodia. However, rural areas face many challenges such as lack of farmers’ improper machinery utilization and lack of skilled operators in order to implement agricultural mechanization. The effective use of tractor or combine harvester (CH) requires not only management knowledge and experience, but also proper the economic evaluation. This study aims to determine the potential of rice tractor and combine harvester custom service to create an economic advantage for the agricultural machinery owners. A survey of 28 tractor owners (group T), 21 CH owners (group CH), and 23 tractors and CH owners (group B) in Banan District, Battambang Province was conducted in March 2019. The result indicated that the annual custom service area by group T, CH, and B were 133.4 ha, 213.1 ha, 398.9 ha (tractor 180.8 ha, and CH 216.1 ha), respectively. The average operating cost was estimated at 30.0 USD/ha for group T, 58.9 USD/ha for group CH, and 26.2 USD/ha (tractor) and 56.3 USD/ha (CH) from group B. Among the costs incurred, depreciation cost was the highest cost, followed by diesel and labor costs. In some cases, owners tend to offer higher pay to skilled operators to work for them especially during the peak seasons. The break-even point per year were estimated at 116.4 ha for group T, 117.5 ha for group CH, and 113.0 ha (tractor) and 109.6 ha (CH) for group B. In general, custom service by group seemed to vary on the field and infrastructure conditions, operators’ skill, frequently machine breakage, and owners’ desire to gain profit. Therefore, this study suggests that the owners should prolong the economic life of tractors or CHs by conducting proper and regular maintenance that will eventually lead to decrease break-even area.