Conveniently, the thresher is designed to let the grain filter down to a port where a bag can be attached. So, as the machine separates the grain from the stalks, family members – two men to a bag – are busy collecting the grain in fiberglass bags, hauling them to a central location and tied closed.
After the meal with the threshing crew and they have departed with 10% of the take, the bags of un-milled rice are then loaded into pick-up trucks to be taken to different family storage areas. Sawt – Thip’s brother who is in charge of the annual rice growing operations at both of our farms – decides who gets how much. I presume most family members get an equivalent of what they’ve put into the months-long effort.
However, the opportunities to use the yield for personal advantage are great and I think this is one reason why Sawt is deferred to throughout the year by members throughout the community. I’m not sure how much of the rice distribution is subject to graft, but putting it somewhere between 10-25% is probably a realistic estimate.
Of course, no one pays any attention to things like this except for Sawt and me. I’m sure he doesn’t think I suspect anything. And, as far as I’m concerned, it is what it is. I’m just thankful that approximately 30 family members have rice to eat, every day, all year long, due to this successful operation.