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Abstract

This research highlight evaluates the extent of agricultural mechanization in four townships in Myanmar’s Dry Zone. It provides evidence that rapid mechanization is underway. Mechanical land preparation is now commonplace, due to thriving machine rental markets, falling equipment prices, and better financing options. The mechanization of harvesting and threshing is also occurring, but is concentrated in rice. These findings suggest that Dry Zone agriculture is at a technological crossroads. Data analyzed originates from the Rural Economy and Agriculture Dry Zone (READZ) survey, conducted in April and May 2017. The survey was designed to generate a detailed picture of the Dry Zone’s rural economy, including livelihoods, cropping systems, and farming practices. 1578 rural households were interviewed in the townships of Budalin, Myittha, Magway and Pwintbyu. These townships were selected purposively to ensure coverage of the major Dry Zone crops and farming systems. Enumeration areas and households were drawn at random using the sample frame of the national census, making the data statistically representative of rural areas of the four townships. Most results presented here are derived from an analysis of detailed plot- and crop-level data on machinery use

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