| Agricultural extension |
|Providing agricultural support services|
Approximately thirty percent of grain in storage all over the world is lost because of insects, rodents and molds. For the small-scale farmers with whom Peace Corps extensionists work this is a major problem of every day life. In villages protection from such pests and molds is lacking. Because this is a vital area in which to help farmers, I.C.E. has produced an exhaustive manual on the subject. Sections are included on the following topics:
The Grain Storage Problems
Grain, is a Living Thing
Grain, Moisture and Air
Preparing Grain for Storage
Grain Dryer Models
Enemies of Grain
Extension workers must focus some of their attention on issues beyond the production of agricultural products. By helping a farmer double her grain or vegetable yield, an extensionist may cause a major storage problem. Where does the new grain go? How does the farmer protect it from pests, moisture, thieves? The technical information necessary to solve a storage problem is available in the above-mentioned manual. An extensionist can help by encouraging farmers to plan their storage strategies. Also, farmers can determine the most appropriate storage facilities and strategies with the extension worker's help. Finally, adequate storage is the most practical marketing tool a farmer has. He or she can hold onto a crop until prices become favorable if storage is adequate. The importance of storage facilities cannot be overemphasized.
Maria felt very proud. Due in part to the encouragement and assistance of Joel, the area extensionist, she had worked hard on an intensive onion garden. The yields were great! Joel was also very pleased. Basket after basket was carried to Maria's little adobe hut. It soon became apparent, however, that there was not enough room. Joel offered to store the rest himself.
The price at this time of year was not best, but it was still good. Because of the space problem, Maria elected to sell her entire crop except five basketsful, right away. She realized a modest profit. Two months later, the leftover onions which had not rotted from moisture commanded double the previous price at the local market. Joel and Maria both learned the importance of learning marketing, drying and storage techniques as part of the gardening process.
Small Farm Grain Storage Manual
ICE, M 2