Management and Optimization of Cost and Size of Farm Machinery in the Mechanized Rainfed Agriculture of Gedaref Area(Sudan)

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Elbashir, Ali Musa Mohamed Ali
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university of Khartoum
Manufacturers of agricultural machinery have made amazing improvements in machinery designs and its capability to perform operations. Agricultural Systems Managers (ASM) must be capable to select, operate, and utilize different machine capacities in critical time for sensitive operations. Decision on machinery fleet size should be based on a balance between timeliness and costs. Computer programs now can help greatly to solve complex machinery management problems and enable managers to take better decisions concerning the balance between production factors (machine capacity, expected time, and available budgets). The objective of this study is to design and develop a computer system to be used as a decision-making tool to improve the efficiency of mechanized field operations management of large scale schemes in Gedaref rain fed agriculture. The system consists of two parts; first one designed to estimate performance of variable capacities of machines on the basis of per hour unit area in hectares according to the recognized standard formulas and parameters. The system also calculates fixed and variable machinery costs. The obtained results of the computation are verified and validated for applications. Collected data of seasonal rainfall amounts and distribution for ten years period from 2002 to 2011 from Gedaref meteorological corporation is analyzed to estimate expected workdays during seeding operation period from 20th July to 10th of August. Results showed that 26-27 of workdays are available to perform seeding operation. Published and local data of machinery prices and performance in Gedaref area is used in the developed system according to the preloaded standard formulas and parameters. The outputs of the first part of the system which include machinery costs in SDG/h; and effective field capacity (EFC) in ha/h; are used as input data for the second part of the system. Principles of operation research (OR) and linear programming (LP) mathematical modeling techniques are employed to formulate the main objective decision function of the study. Three different capacities of farm machine 2.04 ha/h; 4.03; and 6.16 ha/h are used as the decision variables to fully describe the study objective to formulate the objective function problem, a set of constraints that restricts the decision options include limitations on available budget of 56.4 SDG/h, 115.89; and 168.25 SDG/h for each machine were used respectively, anticipated seasonal work hours were calculated as 540 hrs. The planned area to be cultivated was used as 40000 hectares, and the available budget used as 1.500.000 SDG. Win-Qsb program (linear and integer programming) is used in the second part of the system to solve the study objective function problem to find the feasible solution to the problem that optimizes the objective function based on algebraic solutions analysis. The obtained results are verified ,tested and validated. Sensitivity analysis was carried out to investigate the system response to alterations in input data and its effect on the output parameters. The obtained results reveals that the best combination option for the study objective is to use 20 units of small machine(2.04ha/h); 6 units of medium size(4.03ha/h); and 2 units of large machines(6.16ha/h) to cultivate the planned area in time. The system succeeded to analyze input information carefully; and reduce project risk by narrowing the choices to the very best one
الإدارة المثلى لتكلفة وأحجام الآليات الزراعية في مناطق الزراعة المطرية بالقضارف –السودان