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Agricultural engineer CDR Sample

Career Episode 1 on CDR Sample for Agricultural Engineer


[CE 1.1]

This career episode presents a project titled “Assessment of Different Rice Milling Machines” where I worked as an Agriculture Engineer for two years from 2006 to 2008. The project was conducted under the supervision of the Deputy Executive Engineer of Agriculture Machine Center (AMC) in different farmhouses and centres located in Paro, Bhutan. AMC is a governmental organization which is supported by Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry funded by Royal Government of Bhutan. The overall program was coordinated by the Program Director of the organization along with the head of the research section in the Center.


[CE 1.2]

The project was initiated by AMC which was established to realize sustainable farming in order to uplift the Bhutanese farming technique in Agriculture activities. The program focused on assessing existing rice milling machines in order to promote proper use of farming tools and machinery among the Bhutanese farmers. For this, the organization has partnered with the farmers to decide, design and direct the agriculture technology as well as farming practice that are suitable for the Bhutanese land terrain and its environment. AMC directly functions under the Ministry of Agriculture to enhance which was established in 1983 with the vision to realize long-lasting farming practices through the promotion of labour-saving technology.

During this assessment project, I worked as an Agriculture engineer where I was under the supervision of the Deputy Executive Engineer who was the head of the research section in the centre. He was supervised by the Program Director of the organization. I had two subordinates who assisted me in throughout the project by collecting the samples and testing the equipment. My work area focused on planning and designing the experimental procedure for sample varieties of rice specimen at different rice mills and test the samples to determine the best milling capacity and efficiency of the machine. During the rice milling assessments, various milling traits like shelling percentage, milling percentage and head rice recovery were tested.

The main goal of this project was to assess various rice milling machinery which includes new as well as existing machines used in Bhutanese farming for the promotion of best milling practices.

Some of the specific objectives associated with the assessment of rice milling project are listed below:

  • To determine and upgrade the technical capabilities of different rice milling machines by collecting, experimenting and evaluating different rice samples at the different farming location and promoting the best milling practices among the Bhutanese farmers.
  • To reduce the broken percentage in different varieties of rice and upgrade the capacities of farmers as well as the promoters for promoting efficient farming practices.

The organization hierarchy that was adopted throughout the project is given below:

Main key duties and responsibilities that I was responsible for carrying out as an Agriculture Engineer are listed below:

  • To organize meetings and defining the scope of the project among project members and subordinates.
  • To make a decision on collecting different rice samples.
  • To design experimental procedure of different rice samples at different dials of milling machines.
  • To evaluate different rice mills according to the broken percentage of different types of rice.
  • To determine the milling capacity and efficiency of various milling machines.
  • To recommend the best milling practices to the farmers as well as to authorize for buying various milling machines.
  • To prepare a report and also train the subordinates on the procedure for testing and experimenting with different mills and agriculture machines.


[CE 1.3]

In the initial phase of the project, I had to organize a working committee and arrange a meeting for establishing the tangible goal and objectives of the project. I along with my other engineering colleague responsible for carrying out the program under the supervision of Deputy Executive Engineer and Program director of Agriculture Machinery Center. I invited every member of the project committee including the subordinates to discuss the master plans regarding the effective implementation of the project. The meeting was held in our AMC meeting room, and I was the speaker during the event where I addressed the different aspects of the projects like the budget, resources, methods, design, site location and objectives of the project.

After the project was inaugurated, I was responsible for creating the methodology for assessing the rice mills. Since it would not be possible to test individual rice milling machines in every terrain of Bhutanese agricultural land, so I devised an idea of collecting the rice samples produced by different machines at different locations. Then, as per the guidelines, subordinates were asked to collect as many samples of rice as possible which helped me track the efficiency of different rice mills in the later stage. I devised the procedure for collecting the rice samples and performed the test to verify the best sample available from the experiment. However, due to the varieties of rice grown in the fields, it was difficult to discriminate the correct result. Hence, a different approach was taken by growing the sample in own yard and testing the samples in different machines.an A modern rice processing mills plant consists of the de-husker, pre-cleaner, de-stoner, paddy separator, rice grader, length grader, and rice polisher.

I was also responsible for designing experimental procedure of different rice samples at different dials of milling machines. It was necessary for the detection of the best rice samples to get the accurate result. Since there were varieties of rice grown in Bhutan, and different variety of rice possess different qualities. So, in order to avoid confusion, I had a plan of organizing an experimental field for transplanting the paddy until harvesting the rice. After the testing samples of paddy were ready, we tested the samples in different rice mills at different dials and tested the results. Three samples of 300gm each were used for testing in a different session. Three different milling time as 30seconds, 60seconds and 90seconds were set for milling the paddy. We used a groove like equipment for sampling the rice during the process.

After the successful collection of milled samples of rice from different milling machine, it was my job to test and verify the samples. The process experiment was conducted keeping the moisture of the rice to 12 to 14 per cent. Then, I evaluated the rice samples based on the broken percentage of different types of rice. The samples that had different broken percentage were separated into three groups where the first group were those samples which had full rice with 5 per cent broken percentage, the second group were the half broken rice, and the third group were the full broken samples. Other factors like the shape and size of the grain, their whiteness, the broken percentage as well as their cleanliness were properly observed because all these attributes of rice are directly related to the quality and the selling price. The broken percentage and the head recovery of the rice directly impact the performance of the milling machine, so I focused on maintaining low broken percentage and high head recovery of the rice samples throughout the assessment. All the assessment were carried out by the visual inspection by our team members and engineers. The samples were compared with the standard procedures used by our organization for testing the quality of rice. However, nowadays image analysis techniques using camera sensors are used for testing the quality of rice. After the analysis, we made the list of the best rice milling machines based upon their rice samples. The machine that produced less than 5 per cent of broken rice were chosen. Their efficiency was also calculated based upon the in-process wastage as well as the hygienic standard were also considered throughout the analysis period.

The obtained rice from the milling machine was analyzed and weighted. I measured the time of milling process for various milling machines to mill the same amount of rice. The machine which took the minimum time to complete the milling process was selected for the farmers to reduce the time for the milling process. I also calculated the efficiency of the milling machine by using the amount of broken rice obtained from various machines and the total amount of rice inserted in the machine. The machine having maximum efficiency was preferred. Now, I made the selection on the basis that the time and efficiency both to be optimized from the various milling machines that were analyzed in this project.

[CE 1.4]

After the completion of the assessment, I along with other engineers were asked to recommend the best milling practices to the farmers as well as to the authorities so that they can buy the best milling machines. I also asked to promote the best milling practices to mill rice and reduce the broken percentage to yield a higher profit from the crop. I used different methods like pamphlets and media for the promotion of our results. I also recommended the farmers the procedures of milling practices to minimize the in-process wastage and maintain hygiene while harvesting the crop. The efficiency of the mechanical as well as electrical mills was also tested and found that the machine that worked on electrical power was more efficient to their mechanical counterparts. I advised the farmers to properly grease and service the milling equipment maintaining the proper servicing schedule.

At last, after the completion of the project, I was involved in preparing the project report and also train the subordinates on the procedure for testing and experimenting with different mills and agricultural machines. I made recordings of every inspection and listed out all the problem encountered with its solution which helped during the training session. I coordinated well with people from all levels and trained my subordinates as well as the farmers. My oral, as well as communicating skills, were acclaimed by the trainee as well as managers during the training session. I was never hesitant to coordinate with farmers and subordinates while gathering the samples and specification of testing equipment until the end of the project.

The main problems and their solutions are as follows:

  • It was found that the broken percentage of rice is not only based on the rice mills. There were other factors that included the different varieties as well as irrigation and harvesting factors, which had to be taken into account. Broken percentage of rice cannot only be because of the rice milling machines. Therefore, taking that into consideration, the organization set up an experiment field starting from transplanting until harvesting. The broken percentage of rice was evaluated from different rice mills to get the best rice milling conditions for the Bhutanese farmers.
  • Another problem was based on the safety issue. As the electrical milling machine was preferred for the milling purpose by our study, but it came along with the problem of accidents if the machine was not operated by skilled and educated person. So, I made the provision for training the farmers on using the milling machines with proper maintenance skills in regular interval of time. Hence, safety measures for testing as well as using the rice mills (installation) in the centre as well as different households were taken into account by me. Along with the experienced engineers, we developed a standard procedure for installation of rice mills. This way, the safety was ensured in operating the electric milling machines.

While going to the farmers’ fields and observing how they were using the rice mills, I found out that there was no ventilation as many farmers were using diesel engines and they were working in a room full of smoke which is dangerous as the amount of carbon dioxide accumulated in the room could cause suffocation and even produce carbon monoxide. I immediately took action to maintain enough ventilation and pointed out its dangers to the workers. Secondly, the broken percentage of rice was found higher due to the storage practices and the milling procedure. Farmers milled directly with only one stage then the same rice when milled at different stages, and phases reduced the broken percentage to some extent. I made them use the multistage and phases for milling the rice. Therefore, I advocated the employees of the organization and then to the farmers for its solution.

With my skills to coordinate well with people from all levels, I was asked to train my subordinates as well as the farmers. I held various meetings and gave training to farmers and other beneficiaries throughout the project. During numerous occasions that involved writing report and presentation, I made excellent use of Microsoft office package to achieve the best possible result. With the insight to reach to all people from different backgrounds, I used different methods like pamphlets and media to advocate on the best practices to mill rice and reduce the broken percentage.

I followed good engineering ethics and professionalism throughout the process. I followed ISO/TC 23 standards which were defined for tractors and agricultural machinery in agriculture and forestry. Similarly, I reviewed the ISO 17989 and ISO 4254 sustainability and safety standards for agriculture machinery. I also read ISSN 2616-3926 which is Bhutanese journal for agriculture that is produced yearly and financed by the Royal Government of Bhutan for sharing agriculture-based research and findings to farmers and other beneficiary living in Bhutan.


[CE 1.5]

Finally, the “Assessment of different rice milling machines” project was successfully completed under my supervision. I successfully designed experiments to evaluate different rice mills and recommended the best option which had a low broken percentage and high head recovery to the farmers as well as the authorities and made a report which served as a guideline while purchasing the milling machine. During the different stages of the project, I got numerous opportunities to upgrade my personal skills as well as engineering skills. The final project report and presentation were found to be fruitful in the later run as it served as a guide while buying new rice milling machine to the farmers for better rice production.

In addition to this, it also helped me upgrade my personal as well as professional skill after the successful completion of the project. I conducted various meetings and training in order to aware the farmers as well as the member of the organization which helped me improve my leadership skills.

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