Updated Jun 10, 2019

Scale-appropriate reaper technologies to address labour bottlenecks at harvest

Part of CIMMYT

Saving farmers costs and ensuring timely field operations in rice-wheat systems through scale appropriate mechanization


Timothy j. Krupnik

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Stage 5: Scaling

Since 2017, CSISA has boosted rice and wheat reaper-harvester adoption by facilitating innovative partnerships between the private and public sectors. In the 2017 rice and 2018 wheat seasons, farmers harvested around 11,000 ha of rice and wheat using reapers.

Focus Areas:

Cultivation & Tools, Economic Growth and Trade and Economic Empowerment

Cultivation & Tools, Economic Growth and Trade and Economic EmpowermentSEE LESS

Implemented In:

Nepal and Bangladesh

Nepal and BangladeshSEE LESS

Countries Implemented In
Verified Funding


Farm drudgery, high production costs, and delays associated with manual harvesting



Low-cost rice and wheat reaper technology technologies that is are accessible to smallholders through rural entrepreneurship and service provision models

Target Beneficiaries

Smallholders who cannot avail to access labor on time, female headed households in areas where male farm laborers have migrated, and where farmers cannot access machine combine harvesting

Innovation Description

Manual harvesting of wheat and rice severely hampers profitability and creates drudgery for women and men farmers while compromising grain quality and timely establishment of subsequent crops in the farm rotation. CSISA has worked to validate the economic benefits of low-cost reaper technologies for smallholders and worked towards technology commercialization by engaging across the value chain. Results demonstrate that rice-wheat farmers can increase profitability by $120 per hectare per year in cost savings alone, while also providing benefits like reduced drudgery and enabling earlier planting of following crops..

Competitive Advantage

Dramatically lower costs ($120 per hectare) for mechanized solutions to harvest. Reapers cost between ($400-$1,200 compared to combine harvesters ($5,000-vs $15,000)

The Team Behind the Innovation

The Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia (CSISA) is led by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and implemented by a team of scientists and change-makers with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). Operating across South Asia, CSISA works to increase the adoption of resource-conserving and climate-resilient technologies and improves farmers’ access to markets and enterprise development.



Jul 2018
In The News
TITLEReaper adoption picks up speed in Nepal
Feb 2014
New Country Implemented In
Feb 2014
New Country Implemented In

Supporting Materials