Types of Farm Storage Facilities

Updated: March 2024

After harvesting, crops are stored in a collecting centre, or area, either for short or long periods before they are delivered to the market. This process of preserving the farm produce in a place for certain periods is known as storage. When the farm products have been harvested and processed, some may be used or consumed immediately. Some produce is stored in order to supply the needs of the farmer or may be preserved in case of famine. Some farm produce can be stored until a time when the market prices are favourable or even stored waiting for transportation or shipment abroad.

Importance of Crop Storage

Crops can be stored prior to the transfer of crops from the area of production to the market for sale or direct consumption.

Seeds can be stored for the next cropping season, thereby guaranteeing an even or regular supply of produce all the year round

Very high prices can be obtained by storing farm produce until periods of scarcity. Those who have good storage facilities will preserve their produce for sale at a date when prices rise.

Seeds are to prevent contacts with moist air which can cause partial germination of the embryo and to prevent attacks of pest and disease.

Note: perishables products like vegetables and fruits are not stored for long – they are marketed as soon as they are harvested and are ready for consumption.

Storage Facilities and Methods

  • Store building
  • Silos 
  • Crib
  • Underground grain storage pit
  • Drum 
  • Can 
  • Bags and sacks
  • Hermetic method
  • Pyramid stacking
  • Polythene bags

Store Building

Special buildings are often constructed on farm for storage. These buildings are usually pest-proof. The store buildings can be used to store seed, seedlings, feed, farm tools and harvested crops, eggs. Read importance of farm buildings and structures in farm enterprise for more understanding.

Silo

Alt: = "silos"

Silos are circular or rectangular structures usually made of stainless steel used to store food grains and sometimes silage. Average silo has a very large capacity that can carry at least one hundred tons of grain. Large quantities of food grains, silage can be stored in silo for long period of time. There are partitions through which materials can be put and taken out. It serves as reservoir. It helps to keep farm produce from waste and spoilage before marketing. Having silos help the farmer to maximize profits by storing his produce when the prices are low and sell when the prices go up.

Rhombus

Alt: = "Rhombus"

Rhombi are used for grain storage. It is commonly used in Northern Nigeria and other Sahel region of Africa. Rhombus is usually made of mud, cylindrical in shape, and it stores grains for short period of time.

Pyramid Stacking

Alt: = "Rice pyramid"

Pyramid Stacking is a method of storing harvested grains like rice groundnuts etc.

Losses in the Store and Prevention

The major causes of loss in the store are insects, rodents and dampness. Insects and rodents live on the farm produce and damage it. In the process of causing damage to this produce, they may contaminate and reduce the quality, and therefore, the value of the produce. The insects can destroy the germinating power of stored products, and during the process of breathing and interacting with produce, damp patches in a heap of farm produce, which result to the formation of moulds which can destroy the produce. Damp patches in stored produce will cause direct damage and can also cause the containers to rot.

Losses in the store can be minimized in the following ways:

  • Observing effective storage hygiene by cleaning and disinfecting the stores before use
  • Using good quality materials for the construction of storage facilities
  • Making sure that all produce placed in storage is free from pests or diseases and that the containers are dry and clean
  • Use recommended chemicals for controlling any pests or diseases to minimize the activities of these pests in the store

Ikechukwu Evegbu

Ikechukwu Evegbu is a graduate of Statistics with over 10 years experience as Data Analyst. Worked with Nigeria's Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. A prolific business development content writer. He's the Editor, Business Compiler

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