By George Munene
An Athi River based company has introduced plastic grain silos that double the shelf life of grain preventing smallholder farmer post harvest loss.
Manufactured by Polytanks & Containers Ltd, the airtight Polytanks Grain Silo, can be used to store 340-350 kilograms (4-5 bags) of grains, cereals, and pulses without risk of contamination from outside dirt, insects and moisture.
“Unlike hermetic bags, the plastic silos cannot be easily punctured. They last 10-15 years if well taken care of,” said Jitendra Pandya, the company’s GM for business development.
Being plastic, there is no worry of rust or metal residue mixing into the grain.
Once well dried grain is placed in the grain silo it is locked airtight with the aid of a rubber seal lid.
The silo has an outlet at the bottom that can be used to remove grain when needed.
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The outlet cap and lid should always be closed after use to prevent moisture entry or contamination.
The efficacy of the grain silo depends on the storing conditions, with grains keeping longer in dry, moisture free environments than in humid conditions.
The Polytank Grain Silo costs Sh9,990, with prices varying with the transport costs to various parts of the country.
It is estimated that Kenya loses a staggering 20 per cent of its cereal, pulses and legumes before they reach markets with 80 per cent of Kenyan farmers reporting having to deal with post harvest losses during grain pre-drying period.
Polytanks & Containers Kenya Limited: Ph: 0800720918/ 0717969602 / 0100969602