Food Technology Information Center

A Sealed Granary for Use by Small-scale Farmers

Shlomo Navarro¹, Jonathan Donahaye¹, A. Guay Ferizli², Miriam Rindner¹ and Avi Azrieli¹

Abstract: A sealed granary was designed and tested for on-farm storage of harvested grain by small-scale farmers to provide food security for rural communities. It has the advantage of sealed storage that obviates the need of employing residual insecticides and fumigants. The granary, designed to hold 540 kg nominal capacity of grain, consisted of a gastight cylindrical flexible plastic bag. It was equipped with an upper conical collapsible sleeve for loading and a flexible sleeve for unloading. It was inserted into a rigid white polypropylene board cureved into a cylinder that forms a sheath surrounding the vertical sides of the flexible bag. To prevent accumulation of rain-water on top of the bag, it was kept suspended beneath a horizontal strut. During unloading, the bag collapsed progressively so that the volume of headspace remained minimal. Artificially infested maize at a moisture content of 10.3% was tested. Insect survival, gas composition and temperature of the maize was measured. Oxygen concentrations dropped to 5.5 % within 40 days. Maize temperatures were within the range of 36°C to 26°C . In spite of favorable temperatures for development of insects, at the end of two months storage and during the 6 weeks unloading, the initial populations of Tribolium castaneum and Rhyzopertha dominica were successfully controlled without the use of pesticides.

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