The primary occupation of the farmers is caring for the crop. Some farmers still execute manual harvesting and field drying of the rice as in Bangladesh. Farmers in the Philippines and Thailand, who use modern varieties, hire migrant labourers who have machines to do the harvesting. They are faced with a timetable to harvest and stabilize the wet harvest. In Taiwan, where small rice farms are fully mechanized, management in the associations take responsibility for scheduling the combine harvester for the farmers. The design and development of harvesting machinery need not be constrained by a small farmer's lack of capital.
The farmers are not normally involved in other post-production activities, unless they are organized into processing and marketing cooperatives. These tasks include further cleaning and grading of paddy, transient wet paddy storage, plant drying, storage, milling, grading, blending and packaging, by-product processing, and marketing of the finished products. It is to the advantage of the processing group that farmers are productive, produces good quality paddy, and receives a fair price for their labour, as they are the source of their raw material.