The analysis in this paper provides indicative evidences of low foodgrain loss and labour requirement in postharvest processing of aus paddy by traditional methods in some selected farms of Bangladesh. The reasons for low food loss lie in the relative efficiency of small-scale farming in managing the postharvest operations. This tends to limit the scope for probable modernized loss reducing technologies at farm level. Possibilities for saving labour by modernized postharvest technologies too do not appear to be substantial since the labour requirement in all the operations, except husking, is already low under the existing traditional technologies and the use of zero-or low-cost family labour is also high. Failures to popularize the natural draught dries in the study area may be attributed mainly to higher costs of labour, fuel and fixed capital. Contrarily, the increasing expansion of the rice huller technology, the only commercial type modernized technology in the rural postharvest sector in Bangladesh, is mainly due to the higher labour requirement in the alternative traditional husking technologies. Development programmes should be undertaken to alleviate the adverse effects of labour displacing technologies, such as rice hullers, on the employment and income of the rural poor.


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