Simple Tricks for Calculating man-days

HOK, or man-days, is a unit of labor usually used in calculating farm analysis. In general, farming days amount to 8 hours per day, which has been calculated with 1 hour of rest in it.

A common problem in calculating farm analysis is that the use of labor usually uses the labor of family members. There is no separation between time spent on “work” and time spent on household chores. Unlike office or factory employees, who clearly have office or factory entry hours and office or factory exit hours,

This makes it a challenge for researchers to calculate exactly how much money is spent on labor in farm analysis. It is not uncommon for farmers to answer in their interviews Yes, I do it as much as I can, sir. If I am free in the morning, I go to the field”. Well, if you have encountered something like this, don’t immediately close the questionnaire and turn right back to campus.

General formula for calculating farm man-days

HOK depends on the number of workers, working days, and working hours per day. The multiplication of all these factors is then divided by 8 hours as a unit of man-days. The formula becomes as follows:

man-days = (∑ labor x working days x working hours per day) / 8

In order for the interview to run effectively and the information obtained to be of high quality, it is necessary to have techniques to prepare the best possible concept. The tricks for preparing the concept are:

Detailing the cultivation process

Detailing the cultivation process from land plowing to harvesting can help enumerators or researchers capture information on HOK. For example, in shallot cultivation, the process can be broken down into: land cultivation, planting, fertilization, pest and disease control, maintenance, spraying, and harvesting. Or in rice cultivation, it can be broken down into: plowing 1 and 2, nursery, planting, maintenance of bunds, fertilizing, pest control, and harvesting.

When farmers are asked to focus on the stages of cultivation, it is likely that they will easily remember how much time they have used to take care of rice or other agricultural commodities. If the enumerator finds confusion from the farmer, do not hesitate to ask further questions. for example:

“How many days do you fertilize?”
“I usually fertilize twice” (asked days but answered times).
“That means you fertilize twice, sir.”
“How many days does the first fertilizer take, sir?”
“I work with my son for less than a day, just a short time.”
“The short time is, from what time to what time, sir?”
“Yes… leave at 8 a.m. and return home at 11 p.m.”
“Then the second fertilization, sir? …. etc.

From the example of the conversation above, we have obtained information about the first fertilization, which is done by two people in 3 hours. So the total is 6 hours of work.

This amount will be combined with the next stage of cultivation so that the total is collected and divided by 7 working hours. Why 7 working hours? Because what we calculate is the effective working hours. The number 8 in the previous formula includes an hour of rest time.

Inquire about the method of payment of wages.

Not all stages of cultivation are done by the farmers themselves or their families. Sometimes farmers use machine power, piecework, or the term “gotong royong” with their neighbors and relatives, and bawon.

Cara menghitung HOK usahatani man-days

Machine power can be found, for example, at the stage of plowing rice fields. From the first plow, the second, and the last plow, farmers usually spend cash to pay for it. Without further ado, we immediately asked how much money was spent on this stage. The information obtained is directly related to labor costs.

The piece-rate system is also the same as the machine, so we asked how much it costs to use the piece-rate service.

“gotong royong”. Some call it “babiran” and so on. An example of this type of labor payment is when planting rice. There are some areas that do not yet use machines and work on planting rice together. So, he invites his fellow relatives to plant rice in his rice field, and in return, he also helps to plant rice for his colleagues. So they work together to plant rice in their village (free of charge, only providing food when it is their turn to plant rice). In this case, the farmer has to pay for his partner’s labor with his own labor. Pain and fatigue are not felt because everything is done together. There are two ways to calculate the man-days.

The first way is to ask how many people participated in planting when it was their turn to plant the rice field and how many hours it took. If the farmer remembers how many and for how long, then it is done. However, most farmers will not remember the details of how many people were involved, let alone the specific time when their rice fields were planted. So using the second method, namely, how long did you participate in the gotong royong event and how many of your family members participated in the activity? This question is easier to remember and usually works better.

The Bawon system Usually used by farmers during harvest time. The wage paid for other farmers to work on the harvest is a portion of the harvest itself. The amount depends on local custom, but it is usually 9 to 1: 9 shares for the owner and 1 share for the harvester (10 percent for the harvester is easier to say). So calculating the cost of labor is done by asking how much harvest is obtained, then dividing by 90% and multiplying by 10%. Don’t forget to ask for the selling price of the rice to get the total cost of harvesting labor.

Annual versus perennial crops – farming anaysis

Asking or seeking information on man-days used in seasonal crops is more frustrating. Of course, it is impossible to ask about the planting and tillage process that may have been done 8 years or decades ago.

Unlike seasonal crops that are still in a matter of days, or at least 3 months. Still fresh and usually a job that is done repeatedly. Horticultural farmers also still remember when to buy pesticides, fungicides, complete with the price.

Farm analysis on annual crops usually uses partial analysis. In this analysis what is calculated is the margin of increase in income against the increase in costs incurred or commonly known as MBCR (Marginal Benefit Cost Ratio).

In MBCR what is calculated is how much the increase in costs incurred and how much the increase in income after doing additional treatment or treatment. For example, farmers use root infusion fertilization behavior. In this case, the researcher asks how many man-days are needed to fertilize the root infusion with a predetermined area (later converted to hectares). plus the cost of purchasing materials, then later will get additional costs. It is called additional costs because this partial analysis does not calculate the overall farming costs.

In terms of income, it is calculated how much the increase in income is from the previous income that did not use the treatment. So that this increase in income is divided by the increase in costs described above. If the value is greater than 1 then the treatment can be said to be profitable and worth continuing.

In this regard, I emphasize that the calculation of man-days in annual crops is usually done partially, not explaining the whole. However, if the analysis is a business feasibility analysis, then it needs to be done from the initial stage to the final stage, and even then it usually uses assumptions.

Don’t forget to ask for daily wages.

Daily wages (one day) are considered man-days. In calculating labor costs, of course, this component is needed by multiplying man-days by daily wages.

Why do you need to ask for daily wages? Because the daily wage differs depending on the location, inflation, and the minimum wage at the research site. So don’t directly look for it by converting from the regional minimum wage. A simple question to ask about this daily wage is, “Sir or ma’am, usually people work one day here; how much do they get paid?”

This daily wage is not only for agricultural labor; we can also ask about the daily wage of builders, plumbers, or gardeners. Usually, the amount is not much different.

Thank you.


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