Managing post-harvest losses in grains is a must for every grain farmer, trader, and aggregator. It is imperative to know that although post-harvest losses cannot be entirely removed, they can be controlled to reduce their effects. In this article, we will share with you what post-harvest loss management is and its application to preserving grains.
What is post-harvest loss management?
So let’s say you are losing a lot of grains due to factors such as bad harvesting and storage practices or pest attacks. And this has affected your business and income. You then act on your desire to save your grains and investment by learning the right ways and methods of harvesting, caring for, and storing your grains. The result? The initial amount of grains lost has drastically reduced and you are now making more returns than before.
This is what managing post-harvest losses in grains is all about. Managing post-harvest losses in grains or post-harvest loss management, in general, can be described as the process by which the quantity and quality deterioration of harvested crops, in this case, grains is controlled.
How to manage post-harvest loss in grains
Grains are a staple food in many countries all over the world if not all countries. The majority of the global population consumes grains, either whole or processed. Grain foods range from friedrice, jollof rice, beans with fried plantain, Weetabix to cornflakes, or Hausa Koko (millet porridge). This means that we must try our best to produce more grains and reduce post-harvest loss in grains.
Here are a few ways post-harvest loss in grains can be managed;
- Ensure grains are properly dried before and after harvesting
- Practice good shelling and bagging practices such as being gentle with the grains
- Ensure warehouse is in good condition before storing grains ie; clean and airtight
- Store grains in airtight sacs such as the zero fly storage bag for grains
- Separate deteriorated grains from good grains
- Arrange grains in stacks and well-spaced when storing in a warehouse
- Ensure bags are well secured during transportation
Post-harvest loss management is the process through which the rate at which grains are liable to deteriorate in quantity and quality is controlled. This is done by ensuring that the best practices are applied when handling grains right from the farm to the consumer.