Thursday

Long lasting maize storage facility out

Uganda's KAWANDA Agricultural Research Institute has developed a maize storage facility called a maize crib.

Fred Semakula, an agricultural officer at the institute, said because maize is popular food in educational and other institutions, there was need to keep the crop secure for a long time. He added that the crib is made of wire mesh, has timber floor and a roof.

“We have to use iron-sheets for roofing the crib so that no rain drops on the cereals,” Semakula said. He added that keeping maize in sacks and granaries may not be safe in the long run because the crop need much aeration and dry-coldness.

“The maize crib must have rat-proof structures made of metal plates. These prevent rats from climbing the store to feast on the grains.” The rat-proof structures, placed on top of pillars, overlap hence preventing rat from moving into the store.

Semakula further said the cost of the facility depends on its size. He urged farmers to acquire the new technology.
Semakula added that proper storage of produce ensures future supply and guards against spoilage and losses.

Most traditional maize varieties mature within six months, while Kawanda composite takes three months. It needs thorough drying at harvesting period.
Semakula said: “Maize cobs should be stored in cribs. The crib should be rat-proof, dust free and raised off the ground.”

He urged farmers to add acetylic dust to control maize weevil. “Farmers should also protect the flour from red weevil,” he said.

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