Thursday, July 18, 2024
General Agriculture

Best Equipment(s) for Produce Storage and Preservation

The produce storage structures used largely depend on the construction material available, amount of produce to be stored, the type of produce, prevailing climatic condition of the area, purpose of storage and the resources of the farmer, in particular the availability of labour and capital.

Equipment for Produce Storage and Preservation

Some of the produce storage containers available along with some produce storage ideas include;

1. Yam Storage Structures

Yam storage structures from the different ecological zones. The storage structures used depend on the construction material available, amount of tuber produced, prevailing climatic condition of the area, purpose of yam tuber storage, socio-cultural aspects of storage and there sources of the farmer, in particular the availability of labour and capital.

In the humid forest zone yam is stored in a yam barn which is the principal traditional yam storage structure in the major producing areas.

Barns in the humid forest zone are usually located under the shade and constructed so as to facilitate adequate ventilation while protecting tubers from flooding, direct sunlight and insect attack.

There are several designs, but they all consist of a vertical wooden framework to which the tubers are individually attached. Tubers are tied to a rope and hung on horizontal poles 1-2 m high; barns up to 4 m high are not uncommon.

Depending on the quantity of tuber to be stored, frames can be 2m or more in length. The ropes are usually fibrous; they are made from the raffia obtained from the top part of the palm wine tree.

Many farmers have permanent barns that need annual maintenance during the year‘s harvest. In these situations, the vertical posts are often made from growing trees which are trimmed periodically.

Palm fronds and other materials are used to provide shade. The vegetative growth on the vertical trees also shades the tubers from excessive solar heat and rain.

Read Also : Transportation of Crop produce and Factors that may Compromise Quality during Transportation

The yam barn in the Guinea Savannah zone is constructed from guinea corn stalk, sticks, grass and yam vines. The yams are heaped at different positions in the barn.

Such barns are constructed every year and are situated near the house under a tree to protect the tuber from excessive heat.

At the end of the storage period the barn is burnt down and in December/January a new structure is built for the next harvest.

Unlike the humid forest where it is important that the yams are separated to avoid rotting, in drier areas, the yams can be stacked into piles in the barn.

At the onset of the rainy season the yams are transferred to a mud hut or guinea corn storage rhombus to protect them from the rain. Another yam storage structure found in the savanna region is the yam house or yam crib.

Yam house have thatched roofs and wooden floors, and the walls are sometimes made simply out of bamboo. They are raised well off the ground with rat guards fitted to the pillars. Yam tubers are stacked carefully inside the crib.

Yam is also stored underground in trench or clamp silos. In both methods a pit is excavated and lined with straw or similar material. The tubers are then stored on the layer of straw either horizontally on top of each other or with the tip vertically downwards beside each other.

The yams are then covered with straw or similar materials; in some cases a layer of earth is also added.

Best Equipment(s) for Produce Storage and Preservation
Yam Produce Storage

2. Grain Storage Structures

A variety of different storage structures are available according to scale of operation and may either is open to air exchange or airtight (hermetic).

Stores offer shelter to the grain, and in addition, hermetic stores by themselves also prevent pest damage.

Grains can be stored in sacks of various types on both a small and large scale. For medium- or long-term storage, hermetic sacks may be used when benefits outweigh costs.

In other situations, traditional mud stores (as well as more modern plastic or metal silos) may significantly reduce the Post-Harvest Losses of smallholders. Such stores may be hermetic or at least sufficiently sealed to prevent pest access to grain.

Adoption of an appropriate and effective method of grain storage can significantly improve the quality and quantity ofgrain at outturn.

One approach to reducing Post Harvest Losses during storage is either by modifying existing store types so that they perform better or by introducing existing traditional but more effective store types to those communities that do not already use them(for example, mud silos).

Mud silos, they offer potential for the better storage of food grains than more open store types can offer, as they are well sealed.

Survey work by Opportunity Industrialization Centre, Tamale, has demonstrated that Post Harvest Losses for grain stored in them remain low regardless of whether the crop was treated with a grain storage pest.

Modified farm stores can provide solutions to long-standing storage problems in Africa and elsewhere.

While grain storage structures help protect against crop losses from insects, rodents, molds, theft, and fire, traditional designs are not always effective, and building them is difficult for poor communities where the hardwood supply is limited due to deforestation.

Metal silos clearly do offer continuing opportunities for the reduction of Postharvest Losses in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The main technical constraints for farmers using metal silos are the need to have their grain dry before storage and the need to undertake phosphine fumigation against pest infestation.

Produce storage bags, produce storage bins, and other storage structures made of plastic have the advantage that they can be made airtight (hermetic). Under such conditions, bio-deterioration can be slowed.

One such method currently under extensive promotion is the use of triple bagging for cowpea storage, although it could be adapted for grains.

The triple-bagging technique was developed as an effective hermetic storage method in Cameroon using two inner bags made of 80 micron polyethylene and one outer, more durable bag to help protect against damage.

Read Also : Juvenility, Maturity and Senescence of Plants

Well-dried cowpea fills the first bag, which is tied shut securely using string. The first bag is placed within a second bag, and this is closed securely.

A third bag is used to enclose the first two and to protect against damage. Clear plastic bags are recommended so that the cowpea can be inspected easily for any signs of insect attack.

It is also recommended that the bags should remain sealed for at least two months after they are filled, and after they are opened, they should be resealed quickly to prevent entry of pests.

Plastic drums of all sorts, including water tanks, can be sealed and used as effective hermetic grain store as seen below;

The storage structures used depend on the construction material available, amount of tuber produced, prevailing climatic condition of the area, purpose of yam tuber storage, socio-cultural aspects of storage and there sources of the farmer, in particular the availability of labour and capital.

In the humid forest zone yam is stored in a yam barn which is the principal traditional yam storage structure in the major producing areas. Stores offer shelter to the grain, and in addition, hermetic stores by themselves also prevent pest damage.

Grains can be stored in sacks of various types on both a small and large scale. For medium- or long-term storage, hermetic sacks may be used when benefits outweigh costs.

In other situations, traditional mud stores (as well as more modern plastic or metal silos) may significantly reduce the Post-Harvest Losses of smallholders. Such stores may be hermetic or at least sufficiently sealed to prevent pest access to grain.

Grain storage structures help protect against crop losses from insects, rodents, moulds, theft, and fire, traditional designs are not always effective, and building them is difficult for poor communities where the hardwood supply is limited due to deforestation.

Read Also : Tomatoes: Health Benefits, Facts and Nutrition

Do you have any question, suggestion or other contributions? kindly use the comment box provided below for all your contributions. You are also encouraged to please kindly share this article with others you feel can benefit from this information if found useful enough as we may not be able to reach everyone at the same time. Thank you so much for sharing!

Agric4Profits

Benadine Nonye is an agricultural consultant and a writer with several years of professional experience in the agriculture industry. - National Diploma in Agricultural Technology - Bachelor's Degree in Agricultural Science - Master's Degree in Science Education - PhD Student in Agricultural Economics and Environmental Policy... Visit My Websites On: 1. Agric4Profits.com - Your Comprehensive Practical Agricultural Knowledge and Farmer’s Guide Website! 2. WealthinWastes.com - For Effective Environmental Management through Proper Waste Management and Recycling Practices! Join Me On: Twitter: @benadinenonye - Instagram: benadinenonye - LinkedIn: benadinenonye - YouTube: Agric4Profits TV and WealthInWastes TV - Pinterest: BenadineNonye4u - Facebook: BenadineNonye

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