Labour costs per harvested and packed kilogram
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Costos laborales por kilo cosechada y ensacada
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Agrovent, BrimaPack, Samos, Verbruggen, Eqraft, SKALS, Marcelissen, Beemsterboer handling

Handling costs per kilo of onions, harvested and prepared for direct sale.

Labour costs per kilogram of onions harvested with a mobile unit

The mobile unit consists of a trailer with the machinery illustrated below, as well as a haulm topper, harvester and loader. Tractors and tipper trucks are hired locally.

A mobile post-harvest handling line in the field.

A mobile post-harvest handling line in the field.

First we analyse the personnel required to manage all of the machinery.

Number of
1 Foreman of the whole harvest and packing operation.
2 To manage the tractor with the haulm topper, harvester and loader. These three machines don't have to be working continually, because they all harvest onions quicker than the mobile unit can pack them.
3 To manage the three tipper trucks with discharge conveyors. These carry the produce from the point of harvest to wherever the mobile unit is stationed (usually next to the field).
4 At the inspection line. Preferably women, because men get distracted by talking about football, politics or women.
16 Four people to pack at each turntable.
6 To load the sacks onto the trailer for market.

In total, 32 people are needed to:

1.  Top the onion.
2.  Remove the onion from the
ground and leave them in rows.
3.  Elevate the onions and load
them onto the trailer.
4.  Transport them to the mobile unit.
5.  Pre-clean them, and separate
them from clods and undersized produce.
6.  Top the stem,
7.  Inspect the onions.
8.  Grade the onions into four sizes.
9.  Pack them into 25 kg bags.

Each of these 9 tasks has a capacity of 12 to 15 tonnes per hour.

The following personnel are required to manage the operation efficiently and reliably.

They are well trained, and on a fixed payroll:

  • The foreman of the entire operation,
  • Two tractor drivers to control the harvest machinery,
  • Two people on the inspection line,
  • Eight of the sixteen on the packing turntables.

That means 13 workers on a fixed payroll, and 19 local labourers.

The daily labour costs, working 7 hours per day, harvesting and packing 7 x 12 tonnes per hour = 84 tonnes.
In this example, we apply the costs for Mexico.

The personnel on the fixed payroll cost the most, because they are constantly travelling, and require food and lodging.

The labour costs of the fixed payroll: for the foreman and his 12 helpers each day:

The daily salary of the foreman is $45.00.
The daily salary of the 12 on the payroll is $15.00, a total of $180.00.
Total daily salaries: $225.00

Daily lodging per person: $20.00
Daily food per person: $20.00
Total daily allowances: 13 x $40 = $520.00

Total labour costs for the standard payroll: $745.00 per day.

Labour costs for 19 labourers

Daily salary for 19 labourers is $10.00 each, total: $190.00.
Food costs for labourers: 19 x $5.00 = $95.00 per day.

Daily labour costs of labourers is: $285.00

Total daily labour costs are: $1,030.00 for harvesting and packing 84 tonnes of onions

Labour costs per kilogram:

The labour cost to harvest, inspect, grade, pack and load four trucks with 84,000 kg of onions is: $1,030.00

That is $0.012 per kg or 1.2 dollar cents per kg of onions.

On the following page we will calculate the investment costs for all of the machinery, including financial costs per kilogram of onions harvested, inspected, packed and loaded onto four trucks ready for market.

This page explains how the mobile independent and automated unit works, and how many people it takes to use it.

Standard salaries are calculated for Mexico.

You will see that the labour cost per kilogram of onions is 1.2 dollar cents.

To mechanise your post harvest processes:
contact us:
+1 239 3002374
or use our (preferable)
our contact form

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