News and knowhow for farmers

New grain storage technology to help farmers avoid Sh15bn post-harvest losses

PICS grain storage bags

Purdue Improved Crop Storage (PICS) grains technology which will see farmers avoid over Sh15bn post-harvest losses due to inappropriate storage technologies leading to attacks by pests such as birds, insects and rodents and rotting and aflatoxin contamination due to improper handling has been introduced in the region.

The national maize post-harvest losses are estimated to be between 12 and 20 percent of the total national production. At a 5-year national average production of 40 million 90-kg bags, the loss is between 4.8 and 8 million bags annually as per December last year Post-Harvest Losses analysis by Tegemeo Institute.

PICS is expected to allow farmers to store grain for up to five years without using any preservatives such as insecticides and provides them (farmers) the flexibility to sell when prices are high, while having chemical-free high quality food for their families throughout the year, According to the Ministry of Agriculture.

RELATED NEWS: Cereal farmers grow incomes with storage wares

RELATED NEWS: Maize Storage Quality controls for food safety

RELATED NEWS: Simple Method to reduce storage losses in beans

Currently the average maize price across the major towns and cities in Kenya is Sh2855 while the average price in the same urban areas for finger millet and sorghum are Sh7956 and Sh4386 respectively.

This low-cost technology was developed and initially disseminated for cowpea grain, but it has more recently been found effective for all types of grain and even other products.

PICS technology is a triple layer sealed plastic bag that cuts off the oxygen supply to create hermetic conditions, thereby eliminating insect damage in storage of dry grain.

The PICS program originally involved 10 countries in West and Central Africa, but has been expanded to Eastern and Southern Africa and to South Asia. Already 370,000 PICS have been distributed to small-scale farmers across the country since 2013.

Get our news into your email inbox every week

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top