|Low-external Input Rice Production (IIRR)|
Of the total rice production, an estimated 10-37% is lost in post-production prom harvesting to marketing). About 12-40% an this overall loss is attributable to handling and storage losses which may be minimized at the farm level by observing some simple post-harvest handling practices.
As a general rule, keep storage areas and containers and related harvesting and post-harvest paraphernalia clean.
The four major areas of concern here are: grain quality before and during storage, storage conditions, insect control and rodent control during storage.
1. Grain Conditions
- Store only mature, whole and healthy grain. Broken grain is
prone to insect attack.
- Dry and clean the grain well before storing. Some farmers can determine proper grain dryness by biting a grain sample. If a moisture meter is available, dry grain to 13% moisture content. Otherwise, dry it for about 3 days under good sun.
2. Storage Conditions
- Store grain away from wet areas.
- Place stored grain containers where the wind can help cool the containers.
- Do not place sacks of grain near the walls nor place them directly on floors as moisture from the ground may dampen the grain.
- Jute sacks or baskets/bins woven from local palm or bamboo material are ideal grain storage containers.
3. Insect Control
- Do not store grain from a new crop near grain from an older
crop to avoid insects from the old grain from infesting the new crop.
- Mix with the grain dried leaves of neem (Azadirachta indica) and kakawate (Gliricidia septum), chili, pepper and other local plants that have insecticidal effects.
- Check the grain often especially for insect presence.
- Sunning: Occasionally subjecting stored crop to high temperature, especially when a large number of insects is present, helps keep insects away (but may not kill their eggs/larvae).
- Keeping grain above the stove (for small quantities) can help in keeping moisture and insects out.
Check the grain
4. Rodent Control
- Keep the storage area and its surroundings clean to keep
rodents from nesting and hiding in them.
- Keep the grass trimmed around the storage/farm building.
- Store grain sacks off the floor on bamboo platforms and place rat guards made of tin cans around the platform legs to keep rats from climbing. An oil or water bath for the platform legs will keep crawling insects away from the grain as well.
- Keep a cat or a dog.