FIELD EVALUATION OF MECHANIZATION SYSTEM FOR LARGE SCALE PINEAPPLE PRODUCTION ON MINERAL SOILS IN MALAYSIA
The Malaysian pineapple industry is plagued with a number of production issues such as the unavailability of farm labour, the low labour productivity under the manual operation and the high cost of production. Such production constraints impact the development of the industry. It has been acknowledged that a mechanized farm operation is among the best long term options to overcoming the above mentioned field production constraints. The introduction of farm mechanization in many crop production systems has enabled producers to dispel their worries about farm labour shortages, especially during peak hours. More importantly, larger farms become possible with mechanization. The economy of scale in crop production can mitigate the issue of possible unwarranted increase in the production cost accrued with high farm investment under a mechanized system. There are numerous pineapple machines available in the local or overseas markets. However, the operation and working efficiencies of these machineries has not been tested under local climatic and soil conditions or adapted for pineapple production. The Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI) has undertaken a study on the development of a mechanization package for commercial scale cultivation of pineapple on mineral soil from planting to harvesting. The machines performance was tested and evaluated in the LADANG Food Industry Malaysia (FIMA Farm) pineapple plantation in Kluang, Johor. The study has indicated that the machinery system evaluated has some potential for use in large scale production of pineapples for both domestic and export markets. The paper will discuss on the performance characteristics of a few selected pineapple machinery systems tested for mineral soil conditions.
Rukunudin, I.H., Mohammud, C.H., Abd. Rahim, H. and Rohazrin, A.R. (2011). FIELD EVALUATION OF MECHANIZATION SYSTEM FOR LARGE SCALE PINEAPPLE PRODUCTION ON MINERAL SOILS IN MALAYSIA. Acta Hortic. 902, 299-305
machinery systems, mechanization, mineral soils, farm productivity, large scale