Comparative analysis of power tiller and tractor rental services market as part of the Agricultural Machinery Development in Bangladesh: Farmers’ evaluation using service quality based on SERVPERF


Madhusudan Bhattarai

Md. Saidur Rahman

P K Joshi

Journal: Bangladesh Journal of Political Economy

(pp: 275-296) | Doi No: http:/



The use of farm machinery has increased rapidly in Bangladesh in the past two decades. As a result, Bangladesh’s agricultural operations are performed with more intensity of use of farm machinery than that of India and several other South Asian countries. Currently, more than 700,000 power tillers and 40,000 pieces of the tractor are operating in Bangladesh. Over 90% of these farm machinery is used under locally grown rental services systems, also called farmer-to-farmer services provision or local service provider (LSP) based service provision, if the farm machinery is owned by a rural entrepreneur who provides rental services of farm machinery to a large number of fellow farmers to capture scale economy-related profit in uses of the farm machinery. The scenario was quite different in the early 1970s, with almost failed agricultural and rural development scenarios. No one would have even foreseen in the early 1970s that the country would, in 2010, become one of the most mechanised agricultural economies in South Asia. Significantly, about 80 per cent of all land preparation and other primary tillage operations are mechanised, with more penetration of farm machinery than in India and other countries in South Asia. It has happened due to the effective development of farm machinery rental market services across rural Bangladesh, done by individually operating LSPs. In this context, this paper analyses the performances of rental services of   two major agricultural types of machinery widely used in Bangladesh such as power tiller (2WT) and tractor (4WT). Using the specially targeted information from 149 sample surveyed farmers from three districts of Bangladesh (Dinajpur, Jessore, and Mymensingh), this study evaluates the performance service quality of rental service of farm machinery as perceived by the farmers. This is done by adapting the famous “SERVPERF” methodology of measuring service quality to the specific content of machinery used in rural Bangladesh. Seven different dimensions of the services measured the performances of the rental services. They are tangibility, reliability, responsiveness, assurance, empathy of LSP, cost-effectiveness and social accessibility factors. The results indicate that the non-availability of an adequate number of machines in peak season was a critical problem in Bangladesh for both types of machinery studied. Likewise, low recording of service orders by the LSP causes lower reliability of the LSP services. The service providers in the study sites have been providing overall good quality services concerning tangibility, reliability except for STW, responsiveness except for thresher, assurance, empathy, accessibility, etc. Moreover, the LSPs services were medium quality regarding the dimension    of cost-effectiveness on service rates. Farmers have difficulty getting reliable services, despite Bangladesh’s massive growth in farm machinery. It suggests a further vast scope of expansion of machinery uses in the country. The farm mechanisation process among smallholding farmers can be effectively speed up by the public support without distorting the function of the locally grown private markets. This detailed assessment of the service market and assessment of over 27 indicators and seven dimensions of the service performance of rental services of farm machinery, as done here, would provide valuable policy implications for targeting public support to the specific areas where the performance of the services are poor or inadequate level of services are available now after having COVID-19 pandemic in Bangladesh like any other country.



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