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.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited