Bund shaping is one of the essential operations in preparing a paddy transplanting field. This operation is undertaken manually by spades in a traditional way as this has not been mechanised thus far. Therefore, this study was conducted to expose this operation by evaluating the economic, as well as physiological, cost involved in the bund shaping. For the economic cost, the study was conducted in nine different districts of Assam (India). The bund length for the estimated area was measured and estimated for one ha of land. The average rate of manual bund shaping was also measured to calculate the cost involved in this operation. Moreover, for the physiological cost, ten experienced subjects were calibrated and measured for their maximum aerobic capacity by sub-maximal exercise in laboratory condition. Furthermore, the heart rate was measured during the manual bund shaping and was then correlated with the calibrated data. It was found that the average required bund shaping length per ha was 3 669 m which was associated with a cost of 2 062.8 rupees. It was found that the bund shaping consumed 76.96% of the maximum volume of the oxygen consumption capacity of the subjects; however, the energy expenditure rate with respect to time and bund length were 7.37 kcal·min–1 and 4.33 kcal·m–1, respectively. Hence, bund shaping in a paddy field comes under a severe workload category which emphasises the need of mechanisation for the bund shaping operation.
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