Many aspects of the rice and wheat grain production process are completely mechanized in Nepal’s Terai plains and the larger valleys in the highlands. As early as the 1960s, wheat and rice threshing and cleaning were also mechanized. In the 90s, practically all of the wheat in the Terai was being threshed, largely by stand-alone threshers with horsepower diesel engines. It was obvious that complete mechanization of the process would not take long.

Rice threshing began in eastern Terai in the early 2000s. It began with rice threshers that were similar in size and used pumpset engines. However, as 4WDs became common here in the 2010s, big horsepower wheat and rice threshers became popular. Everybody wanted to have their rice threshed. Manual threshing was slowly becoming a thing of the past.

However, this region has one of the highest labor requirements. One of the most important phases of the manufacturing process, grain field harvesting, is not entirely mechanized. Grain harvesting gear first arrived in Nepal from India in the late 1990s. This was the period when massive self-propelled combines were introduced in the middle of Terai. They were brought primarily for wheat. By 2010, rice harvesting machines had been implemented in the Western Terai.

In Nepal, the number of powered mechanical harvest technologies has risen over the past decade. The market for grain harvest machinery has grown to become dynamic. This is in part thanks to the introduction of numerous new machines from China. However, several barriers make access and usage below demand.

A study on the value chains of wheat, rice, and maize harvesting equipment used in Nepal revealed that full mechanization is well underway. It tracks the integration of numerous new technologies throughout the value chain, defining the harvesting machines market.

The study includes a detailed value chain map of the various harvesters, shellers, threshers, and combine harvesters that are readily available for sale in Nepal. The overall goal was to provide policymakers and development agencies with recommendations on how to increase access to the use of such machinery.