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Kari develops new silos for farmers

Tuesday, August 13, 2013 - 00:00 -- BY KIPLANG'AT KIRUI

THE Kenya Agricultural Research Institute has developed a new grain storage technology to curb recurrent losses by farmers due to poor storage facilities.

Tadele Tafara, the project leader of Effective Grain Storage for Sustainable Livelihoods of African Farmers, said the technology is targeting small-scale farmers who are the hardest hit when grains decay or are invaded by the rodents in stores, exposing them to middlemen who then take the produce cheaply.

KARI is collaborating with International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre.

CIMMYT has started constructing metal silos to be distributed to small scale farmers in Narok, Homa Bay, Embu, and Nakuru counties over a four-year period in an effort to boost food security at the household level.

The new silos are designed to keep the harvest in a low-oxygen atmosphere at all times in order to prevent the onset of mould and decay.

The organisations are piloting the metal silo technology in the four counties and expected to be rolled out by 2015 countrywide to help farmers to cut the 30 per cent post-harvest losses.

This comes at time when maize and wheat farmers from Narok county have started harvesting their produce and complained about the storage facilities in the local NCPB.

“This project aimed at to resolving  post-harvest losses, increase income, and enhance food security because farmers lose billions of shillings  annually in post-harvest maize grain wastage due to lack of proper storage facilities,” said Tadele, who spoke in Olerai farm in Narok.