Smallholder Farmers in Zimbabwe

Loss due to absence of Storage facilities in Zimbabwe

High moisture, insect damage, fungal/bacterial infections, and rodent damage may cause farmers of Zimbabwe to lose 25-30% of their season’s crop owing to a lack of a suitable storage facility for the grain. This indicates that inadequate post-harvest management may cause a loss of 30% of a yield. The majority of farmers in Zimbabwe rely on stored grain for sustenance, thus it is crucial that they have access to accurate knowledge on proper grain storage. Losses may occur in two ways: either in terms of quantity or quality lost by the customer, both of which have a negative impact on the economy. There are several potential points of failure between harvesting and ingestion.

Farm Storage

Both bulk and bagged grain storage options are available. If you are going to be using a certain transport technique, you will need a warehouse that can accommodate it. Augers are used to transfer grain from storage silos onto bulk vehicles or bins. Loading bagged grain often requires the use of conveyors or human labor. Anticipating and preventing possible issues via excellent in-store management procedures, such as cleanliness, chemical treatment with grain protectants, and inspection, is essential for successful farm storage.

Bulk Storage

Bulk storage may be accomplished in a variety of ways. Overhead silos, bulk containers, and metal silos are some examples. Saving money, in the long run, is much easier with bulk storage as opposed to bag storage. Bulk storage reduces the amount of time and effort needed for handling and storing. Storage containers are cleaner than bag storage. However, unlike bagging, investing in storage facilities and loading equipment for bulk storage may be rather expensive. The requirements for mass storage:

  • The moisture content of the maize grain must be lower than 13%;
  • The warehouse has to be safe and practical for loading and unloading;
  • The building must be protected from the elements, have enough ventilation, be protected from the heat of the sun, and be free of rodents;
  • Checking, fumigating, and cleaning the space must be easy to do. Loading (of grain by augers) and unloading (of grain) must be made possible at the facility (from the field)

Livelihoods and Food Security Program (LFSP)

Smallholder farmers in Zimbabwe are forced to pay a hefty and often life-changing price for post-harvest losses. The expense is made much more severe for smallholder farmers since they do not have a safety net to protect them from the threat to their way of life. In the majority of Zimbabwe’s communal regions, the pattern of grain production is defined by one year of strong output followed by two or three years of the shortfall. This pattern repeats every year. Because of this, storing crops for an extended period of time after harvest is quite essential.

Smallholder farmers have limited wiggle space because of the danger of losing major market value to their produced crops. As a result of this risk, smallholder farmers are obliged to sell their goods shortly after harvesting, when prices are at their lowest. Fortunately, the Livelihoods and Food Security Program (LFSP) in Zimbabwe is taking action to safeguard smallholder farmers from the threat that this presents.

Farmers of maize, sugar bean, and soya are benefitting from the initiative. These farmers are in danger of post-harvest losses owing, in large part, to a lack of adequate storage facilities that keep out the “agents of destruction” that might occur after harvest, which can range from rodents to weevils. Training on how to properly store their grain in hermetic silos is provided for smallholder grain farmers as part of the SILO model, which stands for “Storage Information for Logistics Output.”

Enhancing farm Productivity in Zimbabwe

In addition to a good storage facility, the harvest and farm production can be increased by using proper agricultural machinery. It is true that many Zimbabwean smallholder farmers lack the financial resources to invest in expensive agricultural machinery and storage facilities. Finding the correct agricultural machinery and farm implements for sale, as well as learning how to handle and maintain them, are all likely areas in which you may want assistance. Further, service providers need to be able to communicate with other parties such as investors, repair shops, and suppliers of spare parts. Tractors Zimbabwe, which offers low prices on farm implements in Zimbabwe, might be a boon to small-scale farmers in that country.

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