Types of Storage
Methods of Storage
Post Harvest operations
- Post-harvest operations are assuming importance
due to higher yields and increased cropping intensity. Due to
introduction of modern technology, yield levels have substantially
increased resulting in a marketable surplus which has to be stored
till prices are favourable for sale. With increase in irrigation
facilities and easy availability of fertilizers, intensive cropping
is being practiced.
- Harvesting assumes considerable importance because
the crop has to be harvested as early as possible to make way
for another crop. Sometimes, harvesting time may also coincide
with heavy rainfall or severe cyclone and floods. In view of these
situations suitable technology is, therefore, necessary for reducing
the harvesting time and safe storage at farm level.
- The important operations carried out after harvesting
of the crop are threshing, drying, storage and processing.
- Out of the total food grain
production, more than 70 percent is with the farmer and rest is
stored by governmental organizations like central warehousing
corporation and Food corporation of India and traders. The godowns
are the most common structures for above ground bag storage.
- The godowns have all the facilities for
fumigation, providing aeration and rat proof. Each of the godown
can hold 5000 tonnes of bagged food grains. Grain is also stored
in bulk using large silos.
- For want of required storage space in godowns
food grains are also stored in the open and this method of storage
is known as CAP storage. Cap stands for cover and plinth. Open
spaces in warehouses and elsewhere are used for storing produce.
Crates are placed on floor, mats are spread on the crates and
finally bags are placed over the crates.
- The stacks are built in the form of domes. As
protection against rain and sun the stacks are covered with thick
(600 to 1000 guage) black polythene sheets and the cover is tied
to the stack with the help of plastic ropes.
Types of Storage
- Holding grain in bulk in underground is an age
old method of rural storage. Wheat, Paddy, Sorghum, Fingermillet,
etc., can be stored underground for a period of 2 years. These
structures are simple underground dig-outs upto a depth of 5 m
varying in sizes to hold from a small quantity upto 50 tonnes.
- The pits are lined with brick or concrete so
that moisture from walls and bottom does not damage the grain.
At the time of filling a layer of straw is placed on all sides.
- After the pit is filled, straw is spread over
the grain and then topped with a layer of soil. Insect infestation
is less in the under ground storage and it is cheaper over above
ground storage structures.
- This underground structure is not suitable for
high rainfall and high water-table areas. Further the grain stored
underground have poor appearance and musty smell.
Several types of above ground storage structures mentioned below
are also in use in our country.
- The mud bins are made of unburnt clay mixed
with straw with 1 to 3 inch thick wall and are oval, rectangular
or circular. A small hole is provided at the base for taking out
the grain and a larger hole is provided at the top for filling
it with grain. Both the inlet and outlet holes are plugged while
grain is stored.
- For storing paddy in
humid zones dried plants are used for making temporary structures,
which after being filled with grain are further reinforced from
outside by winding paddy straw ropes around the whole structure.
Each structure holds 2 to 6 quintals of grain.
- This is a cylindrical structure and is
made of mud and split bamboo's. The bin is always placed on a
wooden or a massonary plat form to prevent its contact with the
ground. The capacity may vary from 3 to 10 tonnes.
Kothar Type Bins
- These bins are very much similar to a timber
box placed on a raised plat form, which is generally supported
on pillars. Both the floor and walls are made of wooden planks,
where the tiled or thatched roof is placed over it as a protection
against sun and rains. The capacity may vary from 9 to 35 tonnes.
- Bins made of steel, alluminium R.C.C are
used for storage of grains outside the house. These bins are fire
and moisture proof. The bins have long durability and produced
on commercial scale. The capacity ranges from 1 to 10 tonnes.
Silos are huge bins made with either steel, alluminium or concrete.
Usually steel and alluminium bins are circular in shape. The capacity
of silo ranges from 500 to 4000 tonnes. A silo has facilities
for loading and unloading grains.
- The storage structures in rural areas are
not ideal from scientific-storage point of view, as substantial
losses occur during storage of grain from insect pests, moulds,
rodents, etc. ; keeping the requirements of the farmers in view
the Indian grain storage institute (IGSI), Hapur with its branch
at Ludhiana and Hyderabad have developed several metal bins of
different capacities for scientific storage of grain in rural
Methods of Storage
- The grains are stored at three different
levels, viz., at the producer's level (rural storage) trader's
level and urban organizational storage. The urban organization
uses modern facilities and structures like silos, warehouses and
also undertaken periodical inspection, processing and treatment
of grains for ensuring their quality during storage.
- Generally, there are two ways of storing
- Storage in bags and Loose or bulk storage.
- In the tropical regions, the grain is stored
in bags. Storage in bags requires considerable labour, but the
minimum investment is enough on permanent structures and equipment.
The storage in bags has the advantage of being short-term storage.
Bag storage can be done under a roof of Galvanized Iron sheets,
a plastic covering where grain is intended for very early onward
movement. Usually no control measures against insects is needed
for short-term storage. If bag storage produce is intended for
long time, the control measures have to be taken against insect
- The bulk storage has an advantage of greater
storage capacity per unit volume of space. Less labour is involved
in loading and unloading and there is no need of investment in
purchasing gunny bags. In bulk storage the insect infestation
is also lower over bag storage. The grain can be kept for several
years in bulk storage.
- When once the grain
is threshed and dried it will be transported from the field to
store houses by bullock carts, or tractors by the growers. Sometimes
if the market price is favourable the produce is disposed to the
traders soon after drying.
- The disposal of the
produce, either at the village or at the market yard is, however
often closely connected with financial needs of the growers and
sometimes indebtedness. The traders on purchasing, transport the
produce to go-down, or shops for sale to the consumers.
- This transport mainly uses trucks i.e.,
lorries. Government agencies like Food Corporation of India etc.,
transport the produce from one place to another place either by
road or rail (waggons) for long term storage and sometimes to
export to other countries by sea (cargo). If the produce is not
properly bagged and handled there will be some loss during transport.
- In general most of the
producers sell the grains at their door steps in villages, to
avoid transport. At village level defective measures and weights
are used by traders and also the prices paid to farmers are much
lower than regulated market rates. Now-a-days farmers are encouraged
to sell their produce in near by regulated markets, though some
labour is involved in transport.
- In regulated markets
some amenities are provided for sellers and the growers can secure
maximum value for their produce. In market yards several methods
like cover system, open system and auction system are adopted
depending on the type of produce sold. Since the rural banking
system is improved the farmers to a large extent they are out
of clutches of greedy private money lenders who exert pressure
to dispose produce for lower price.
- At present in some places
the cold storage facilities are also available. Farmers can utilize
these cold storage facilities for stocking their produce on payment
of rent and the produce can be disposed when there is remunerative
price in the market.
- Though several measures
are taken by government the marketing of agricultural produce
is facing problems and growers are not getting the reasonable
price for their produce. If production exceeds demand, price declines
until the market is cleared. Prices raise when production fell
short. Responses to lower or higher prices occur in the next production
- Therefore, the acreage for a particular crop
based on demand and the supporting prices for each commodity need
to be monitored by the rulers based on demand and supply studies.
The government has to bring buyers and sellers together, develop
price information systems, establish consistent grades and product
quality standards for better marketing of agricultural produce
at all times.