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Open AccessArticle

Cost Assessment of Five Different Maize Grain Handling Techniques to Reduce Postharvest Losses from Insect Contamination

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Radiation Technology Centre, Biotechnology and Nuclear Agriculture Research Institute, Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, P.O. Box LG 80, Legon-Accra, Ghana
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Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Department, Elings Hall, Iowa State University of Science and Technology, 3327 Elings Hall, Ames, Iowa, IA 50011, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Insects 2020, 11(1), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11010050
Received: 27 November 2019 / Revised: 7 January 2020 / Accepted: 8 January 2020 / Published: 10 January 2020
Farmers in developing nations encounter high postharvest losses mainly attributable to the lack of modern techniques for threshing, cleaning, grading, and grain storage. Mechanized handling of grain in developing countries is rare, although the technology is effective against insects and pest infestations. The objective was to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of five grain handling techniques that have the ability to reduce postharvest losses from insect infestation. The five methods were metal silo plus all accessories (m. silo + acc.), metal silo only (m. silo), woven polypropylene plus phosphine (w. PP. + Phos.), woven polypropylene only (w. PP.), and Purdue Improved Crop Storage bags only (PICS). The functional unit used was handling 1 kg of maize grain. The cost analysis of each technique was calculated based on equations using a spreadsheet. The annual capital and operational costs of handling using m. silo + acc. or m. silo were very high, unlike the PICS, w. PP. + Phos., or w. PP. The annual capital and operational costs decreased as production scale increased. Food security (due to reduced insects and pest infestations) and financial prospects of farmers can improve when the grain is mechanically handled with m. silo + acc. or m. silo.
Keywords: cost analysis; maize grain; silo; PICS bag; phosphine; polypropylene bag cost analysis; maize grain; silo; PICS bag; phosphine; polypropylene bag
MDPI and ACS Style

Darfour, B.; Rosentrater, K.A. Cost Assessment of Five Different Maize Grain Handling Techniques to Reduce Postharvest Losses from Insect Contamination. Insects 2020, 11, 50.

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