Comparative Study of Underground Pit Grain Storage System through Use of Different Lining Materials
Sorghum occupies highest area of cultivation in East and West Hararghe of Ethiopia. Farmers in the area are poor and do not afford an advanced storage systems. Hence, storage is done mainly in underground pit storage with different lining materials. This study was therefore aimed at evaluating those different lining materials in maintaining the sorghum quality. Four different lining materials which are commonly used by the farmers (mud/straw/cow dung mixture (3:3:1 ratio), plastic (thick rubberized canvas), chaff and cement) were used. Ten pits (duplicated), flask shaped with 1 m depth and 1 m diameter with a capacity of about two quintals (200 kg) were constructed. The finding in this comparative study is that, among all underlining materials, underground pit with plastic lining material was good barrier compared to all linings. Moisture migration to the grain increased in each month in all lining materials and the least was recorded in plastic lining. Germination capacity and thousand grain weight were reduced significantly in each material except plastic lining which showed the least change compared to the others. Fungi infestation was also increased in all underground pits with different lining materials. However, lower infestation was found in plastic and cement linings. Based on the quality measurements, plastic lining showed the least change in grain quality compared to the others. It can be concluded that, since the farmers can’t afford advanced storage system, it can be recommended to use plastic lining material among the existing lining materials.
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