Post-Harvest Loss of Stored Grain, Its Causes and Reduction Strategies
Food Science and Quality Management
Proper postharvest storage of grain is more important than the intensive and extensive farming in securing food for a nation, because losses are not only a waste of food but also represent a similar waste of human effort, farm inputs, livelihoods, investments and scarce recourses such as water. Postharvest losses of stored crops are very common problems in developing countries, like Ethiopia, which has a negative impact on the food security program. This is because poor storage systems make
... ns vulnerable to attacks from insect and rodent pests, which lead to a considerable amount of losses. In order to help and address the problem of small scale agriculture towards development into a modern production sector, strengthening the postharvest sector or system is essential. It is important to understand postharvest losses in both quality and quantity since it is related to lost income and /or value of commodities produced and hence part of measure and primary concern to bring a food secured nations through modern agricultural production. Postharvest quantity and quality loss of cereal grains in developing countries appears to be initiated mostly at farm-level, so the potential remedies for the problem are needed at the same level. The objectives of this review are, therefore, to assess the available literatures on the postharvest losses of stored grain in an attempt to identify priority areas of the problem; to identify the causes of losses of stored crops in order to avoid the causes for the reduction of losses; and to identify the possible strategies that can reduce losses and maintain quality of the grain during the storage period. Despite the importance of grains storage for food security, the potential impact of insect pests and rodent infestations on stored grains quality and quantity has not been well investigated. As described by FAO (2014 ), Kader (2004 ), Wubeneh and Ehui (2006 and Abebe and Bekele (2006) , qualitative and quantitative losses studies are generally sporadic in Africa. Therefore, this review intended: (1) to assess the available literatures on the postharvest losses of stored grain so as to identify priority areas of the problem; (2) to identify the causes of losses of stored grain accordingly in order to show the weight of the problem and its influence on food security and the economy of a country; and (3) to identify the possible strategies that can reduce losses and maintain quality of the stored grain during the storage period.