Drying strategies

The paddy should be dried as quickly as possible, but there are other considerations in the postproduction system and economic criteria that have to be taken into account when developing a drying strategy. 

The following are drying strategies that can be done in the farm: 

De-centralized on-farm drying

Ideally the paddy needs to be dried on farm level immediately after harvest, which is mostly done through sun drying, if the weather is favorable. For the production of better quality rice and the prevention of the weather risk, farm-level dryers can offer solutions if certain criteria are met.

This includes, among others:

  • A quality incentive, which allows producers to sell their machine dried paddy at a higher price and to use the machine even when sun drying is possible. If the dryer is only used to save the crop when it rains the dryer utilization will be very low and investment cannot be recovered. In that case users will practice sun drying whenever possible.
  • Producers need to have the option to wait with selling their paddy until they can take advantage of seasonal price fluctuations; and
  • Training and technical support services for need to be available and accessible to producers.
  • Farm-level dryers are usually simple batch dryers made by local workshops from locally available materials. In practice only very few farmers use mechanical dryers because the above criteria are usually not met.