Project final report

Improved mungbean harvesting and seed production systems for Bangladesh, Myanmar and Pakistan - Final report

Date released
16 March 2022
Publication Code

Ramakrishnan Nair (Ed), Mar Mar Win, Theingi Myint, AKM Mahbubul Alam, Shahid Riaz Malik, Pepijn Schreinemachers, Sunil Chaudhari


This project aimed to establish and validate a practical and economically viable system to mechanically harvest mungbean from smallholder fields in Bangladesh, Myanmar and Pakistan.

High labour costs and labour shortages at harvest time constrain mungbean production in Bangladesh, Myanmar and Pakistan. Harvesting costs account for more than half of the crop’s total production costs, preventing expansion at a time when the nutritious legume is in high demand. Rising prices increasingly put mungbean beyond the reach of the poor. 

In South Asia, mungbean was traditionally harvested by hand as the pods dried, which was labour-intensive but resulted in a high-quality grain. As labour costs increased, this was replaced by cutting the whole plant by hand, letting it dry in the field and threshing it using a machine – still relatively expensive and exposing the grains to rain damage. 

Although the much-faster machine harvesting needs to be adapted for smallholder farms in Bangladesh, Myanmar and Pakistan, it is important to understand how that would affect women, traditionally the main harvesters. This project aimed to address these needs.

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