21. Grain storage losses in Zimbabwe.
ENDA, P.O.B. 3370, Dakar, Senegal, ISBN 0850-8526, 1991, 101 pp.
Within any rural region, the daily demand for food changes very little during any given year, but the food supply is seasonal and is very uneven on a month-to-month basis. Among other solutions, such as local food imports, storage is an important means of trying to match the uneven supply of food to demand. In areas where transport is poorly developed, storage is even more important.
The two strategies usually selected for coping with present and future demands of food are increasing food supplies by increasing production through allocation of more resources to agriculture, and reducing future demand by slowing population growth. A third, and complementary strategy, is that of reducing and preventing post-production food losses by improving the efficiency of storage. Reducing food losses means that less of the rural families' disposable income need be spent on food imports.
This book is the outcome of a survey of traditional farmers' grain storage in that country. It looks at methods of measuring damage during storage as well as measuring its reduction by improving storage facilities which nevertheless remain as close as possible to the traditional granary model. Results showed that farmers store maize for shorter periods because of high losses experienced as the storage period increases. The level of losses was also related to the type of grain being stored. Traditional maize varieties are more resistant to pest attack than hybrids and traditional storage structures were designed for traditional varieties. There is no point in encouraging farmers to grow improved, hybrid varieties in order to increase yields, if the extra yield is rapidly lost in storage.
The book ends with a number of recommendations, details of an improved traditional granary, and appendices which set out percentage damage against time after a variety of treatments.
Abstract from SPORE, altered.
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Review, USA, California, weed control, row crop systems, vegetable, flower
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