Farmer’s Pack for Safe Storage of Grains at Farm Level

Farmers store grains for varying length of time in numerous types of small storageFarmers_Pack_for_Safe_Storage_of_Grains_at_Farm_Level receptacles of different shapes and sizes but predominantly in gunny bags. The storage losses in gunny bags vary considerably from place to place. The magnitude of losses is quite high due to the fact that in Pakistan wheat-harvesting and threshing is followed by monsoon rains. The jute bags as well as grains being hygroscopic react to change in the environment and become conducive for insect development and multiplication.

Technology Development and Demonstration
Scientists at the PARC’s Grain Storage Research Laboratory, at Karachi developed an economical and effective method for use at farm level. The technique is named “Farmers Pack”.

The Technology
Polyethylene not only preventing the escape of fumigant gas to achieve 100% insect mortality also provides protection by preventing the entry of insects from the surroundings. In addition, the enclosed bags also remain protected from the environmental influences (i.e., temperature and humidity) that are known to affect the grain storability. The farmer’s pack has been tested all over the country and found very effective, safe and cost-effective in almost all situations. Ten bags of 100 kg each are enclosed in a polyethylene tube and fumigated with phosphine. Keeping in view the availability of polyethylene tube in the local markets, 5 x 2 bags stack is erected on wooden planks mounted on five bricks to make it rodent-proof. For enclosing the bags in polyethylene enclosure, the bottom end of the polyethylene tube is sealed by folding it under the weight of two bottom-layer bags and thereafter the stack was erected upto 5 bags height. Subsequently, the remaining polyethylene is stretched towards the top of stack. For the purpose of fumigation one tablet of phosphine is placed in the polyethylene enclosure and thereafter is folded and enclosed at the top to make it airtight to prevent the escape of gas. The enclosure is capable of protecting the stored grains for more than a year.

Key References
Anonymous. (2000). Farm level storage of grains. PARC/Engro Chemical Pakistan Ltd. (Urdu Brochure). Anonymous. (1996). Protection of grain stored at farm level using polyethylene envelope. TARC, PARC, Karachi. (Urdu Brochure). Lafoor A, Z. Ahmad and R. Anwar. (2005). Genetic diversity in pisum sativum and a strategy for indigenous biodiversity conservation. Pak.J.Bot. 37:71-77. Masood,M.S., A. Ghafoor and Asif Javed. (2002). Laboratory manual for characterization and evaluation of Plant Genetic Resources. Pages 1-37.

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