FARMERS’ PERCEPTIONS ABOUT BAU-STR DRYER: A GENDER-SENSITIVE ANALYSIS IN BANGLADESH
Keywords:BAU-STR dryer, Paddy drying, Gender perception index, Technology, Postharvest, Food security
The study was conducted to determine the socio-demographic traits of farmers who used the BAU-STR dryer to dry their paddy, evaluate howgender-based farmers perceived the technology, and determine the challenges farmers experienced while implementing postharvest technology. Data were gathered from 132 sample farmers in Bangladesh's Mymensingh, Netrokona, Barishal, and Jhalakathi districts between the months of January and February 2022 using the purposive sampling technique. The sample farmers were interviewed face-to-face using a semi-structured questionnaire to gather data, which was then evaluated using descriptive statistics, the Gender Perception Index (GPI), and the Problem Confrontation Index (PCI). Results of the descriptive analysis revealed that32% of male farmers were 25- 34 years and 27% of them had 11-20 years of farming experience. 41% of female farmers belonged to the age categoryof 35-44 years and 38% of them had 21-30 years of farming experience. 30% of male and 47% of female respondents completed primary education only. About 92% of female and only 27% of male respondents received microcredit. About 95% of females participated in the paddy drying task, in which only 56% of males participated. 69% of sample farm households belonging to small farm sizes and 45% of them had medium annual income. The GPI discovered that while both male and female respondents had favorable opinions of the BAU-STR dryer's technological advantages, there were notable disparities in how they decided to employ technology and how much money to spend. The PCI determined that the main obstacles to implementing new postharvest technology were a lack of sufficient finance, high-interest rates, and small land sizes. According to the study's findings, utilizing women-friendly postharvest technologies might reduce postharvest losses, increase household income, raise living standards, andboost the nation's food security situation.
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