Storage of shelled maize
Maize storage containers
The dried and cleaned grains should be stored in metallic silos or packed in hermetic bags (Agro-Z bags) and stored well on pallets in clean and well-ventilated stores (figure 12). It is recommended that farmers use a combination of the storage techniques for complementarity to ensure maximum protection of grain during storage.
Fig. 12: Storage structures for shelled and dried maize
i) Traditional bags jute ii) Hermetic plastic bag
iii) Air tight plastic containers iv) Metal silos
Fig. 13: Maize storage methods for smallholder farmers in Kenya
i) Open weave sacks (jute, sisal, polypropylene): storage period is 0 to 6 months. This complements with rodent proof structures and admix insecticide added for pest control. ii) Hermetic plastic bag: storage period is 3 to 12 months. Complement with rodent proof storage structures. iii) Hermetic plastic drums: storage period is 3 to 12 months. It is hermetic and pest proof. Add Admix insecticide for pest control. iv) Metal silo: storage period is 3 to 12 months. It is hermetic and pest proof. Add Admix insecticide for pest control.
Produce aggregation and warehousing
Produce aggregation and warehousing aims to provide an organised marketing channel for farmers to allow farmers to:
i) Aggregate their produce to attain volumes that are sufficient to attract bulk buyers.
ii) Appropriately store the grain to await price appreciation.
iii) Leverage their stored grain to access credit to meet immediate financial needs.
• KCEP activities in this sub-component will include:
i) Village collection centres ii) The development, certification and operation of storage facilities. Village collection centres
These will include:
i) Rented storage space – farmers to rent storage space of 100-200 bags in a central place within the village shopping centres.
ii) Construction/refurbishment of new ones.
The village collection centres will be equipped with weighing machine, moisture meter, tarpaulins, pallets and manual sieve. The collection centres will also serve as focal points for interaction of farmers and service providers, training venues, store and distribution points for farm inputs when not being used for grain collection.
The Village Collection Centres will be certified for warehouse receipting (by SGS or Bureau Veritas). Warehouse Receipt System will be used in the e-voucher to access credit (See figure 14).
Fig. 13: Lesiolo Grain Handlers Silos in Nakuru
[Source: CTA and EAGC, 2013]
The warehouse operations are summarized in figure 15.
Fig. 14: Primary and supportive commercial storage and warehousing processes
[Source: CTA and EAGC, 2013]
Basic requirements for good grain storage
The four pillars of good storage practice include:
- Ensuring that the crop going into the store is in good conditionGood quality whole grain is less likely to suffer from insect attacks than poor quality damaged grain.
- Keeping the store in good condition
A good store keeps grain dry and cool provides protection against rodents, birds and domestic animals like poultry. It should be theft-proof and sited in areas that are not prone to flooding. They should not be placed where high winds can damage the structure nor near trees, which might provide access points for rodents. The store should have a roof to keep rain off the structure and provide shade during the day. Without shade, changes in temperature inside the store between day and night may be too great leading to excessive cooling at night. This causes condensation and wets the grain, which in turn leads to development of moulds, see figure 15.