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Thailand Photos: Ban Khum Din village - Mancha Khiri District - Khon Kaen province: 04 - 06 Nov 2005

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A cow girl of the north-east  An oasis in the plain
The daughter of a farming family with one of their mixed bred cows. An oasis of bamboo nearby the canals offers a shady and cool rest place for farmers and cowboys for a mid-day snooze.

Harvesting paddy rice  Cutting paddy
Harvesting paddy using hand-held sickles. Farmers use water moisten bamboo strips to tie packs of paddy for easy transport to the temporary yard where a blower is arranged to thresh paddy. In these villages paddy fields are small and not feasible for machine cut. A typical family would own and operate a rice field of, say, 7 to 10 rais. One rai is equal to 40 meters x 40 meters size. Rectangular network of raised narrow foot paths have been created for walking through the field.

A paddy field ready for harvest  A farm hut near a canal
Left: a paddy field ready for cutting. If the owners are not able to do it themselves, they hire other villagers to do the work for them. The owners would pay the worker per day per person basic, or for the job done by a group of any number of workers. Right: a farm hut near a canal for resting, cooking, eating and even sleeping during the harvesting season.

A paddy thresher or blower machine at work 
Here in a place convenient for several rice fields a paddy thresher or blower brought in from another village is set up. Paddy plants are manually fed into the diesel engine driven machine's rotating blades to be cut free of heavy stem parts and leaves. These stems are discharged to one side. The lighter parts from the hull of the rice grains along with dusts are blown away by a fan or a blower. Finaly the brown rice grain which still keep good parts of their hulls or husk are transported by a screw conveyor to a chute to be collected in a sack (white colour bags in the photo).

A few percentage of rice grain is lost in the waste. The waste or by products: stems, leaves and husks are later used as animal feed or fuel for making fire. Only few people in Khum Din village own such machines. Others who do not own have to rent the machine. The brown rice is then sent to the mill in the town for further polishing. In the past farmers manually treshed the paddy and pounded the grains to get white-brown rice.

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