SECURING THE HARVEST

Swiss experts to train Kakamega farmers on grain storage

Farmers incur up to 30 per cent losses due to poor post-harvest handling of produce

In Summary

• Grains should be dried well to the moisture content of 13 per cent to reduce mould and insect infestation risk, researchers say. 

• Farmers encouraged to use hermetic bags that suffocate pests. 

Farmers harvest maize
MAXIMUM PRODUCTION: Farmers harvest maize
Image: COURTESY

Experts from Zurich's Institute of Science, Technology and Policy will train Kakamega farmers on grain storage. 

Michael Brander and Matthias Huss, who have partnered with the International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology (Icipe), will traverse the county teaching farmers on the latest storage methods. 

 

Farmers incur up to 30 per cent losses of cereals due to poor post-harvest handling of produce. 

“It is recommended that farmers ensure they carefully thresh grains to reduce breakage, do winnowing, sieving and handpicking to improve the quality before storage,” Brander said on Tuesday. 

Additionally, the grains should be dried to the moisture content level of 13 per cent to reduce mould and the risk of insect infestation. 

The researchers also advised farmers to use hermetic bags technology to store cereals. The bags, once sealed, suffocate insects, leaving the grains secure. 

The scientists said the farmers have to be guided from land preparation to field management and finally storage for better returns.

Edited by R.Wamochie