To cultivate crops, a farmer expends a lot of time, effort, and resources. Working hard from planting through harvesting to produce a decent yield. However, if some things are not implemented after the growing season, all of your efforts can be for nothing. To better understand this, let's take for example "Mr Adigun." Mr Adigun is a devoted farmer who has spent his entire life raising crops. He has invested a lot of time, effort, and money into cultivating his crops since he was focused on making a living from farming.
Contrarily, he soon realized that it was not as simple as it first appeared. He encountered several challenges, including harsh weather, pests and diseases, and soil degradation. Despite these obstacles, he persisted and continued to work hard, determined to make his farm a success. Unfortunately, Mr Adigun quickly saw that his crops would not produce the income he had anticipated once they were harvested. The reason was a poor crop storage system. The crops he had laboriously grown had fallen victim to spoilage, pest infestations, and moisture damage. The crops were no longer marketable and of lower quality.
Distraught, he realized had invested time, effort, and money into raising his crops, only for them to be wasted. He was depressed, and dejected. Despite his diligence and resolve, he was still baffled as to why this had happened to him. Can you relate to his story?
Crop growth, harvest, and profit-making sales are the goals of farming. Many farmers frequently struggle to keep the quality of their crops after harvest, which impacts their income negatively. Keeping crops in good condition, minimizing losses, and maximizing earnings depend on effective storage and warehouse networks.
From harvest to market, crop storage focuses on maintaining crops in their best shape. It is keeping produce for future purposes.
The following may also be other objectives for crop storage:
- Maintaining market pricing by preserving crop quality
- Maintaining a balance between the supply and demand for produce
- Ensuring the availability of seeds for future crop cycles.
- Ensuring a dependable supply of raw materials for agro-products
– Profitability, as a high yield equals a profit.
However, we must look at the major causes of losses in the store and how to minimize them to reach these objectives;
Insects, rodents, and microorganisms like bacteria are the main causes of losses of stored produce. It is challenging to identify insect infestations before and after harvest (storage). They significantly reduce the value and quality of produce, causing huge losses.
However, insects find it difficult to grow, attack, and infest crops that are stored in low relative humidity and low oxygen environments.
Rodents such as giant rats, and mice inflict substantial damage that leads to loss of crop produce and the spread of diseases during marketing.
What can be done to reduce these losses?
1) Weighing: This is necessary for crops that will be kept for an extended period. As the high water content in food causes spoiling, it is helpful to check the crop's moisture content, impurity percentage, and temperature as these factors can enhance the likelihood of pests and insects during storage.
2) The storage method employed:
Crop quality may be maintained and losses can be minimized by farmers using a range of effective crop storage methods. These methods consist of:
Controlled atmosphere storage: Using this technique, the storage facility's atmosphere is adjusted to provide the crops with the best possible environment. This includes regulating the temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide, and oxygen levels. Fruits, vegetables, and nuts can all be stored under controlled conditions to increase crop shelf life by several months.
Cold storage: To delay ripening and preserve crop quality, crops are kept in a temperature-controlled setting during cold storage. Fruits, vegetables, and dairy products are suitable for cold storage, which enables farmers to keep their produce for longer periods without sacrificing quality.
Vacuum packing: The air in the packaging material is evacuated to create a vacuum-sealed environment. By doing this, you lessen the effects of oxidation, moisture loss, and bacterial growth, all of which can reduce crop quality. For grains, dried fruits, and nuts, vacuum packaging is suitable and can increase the shelf life of a crop by several months.
Traditional crop storage techniques include stacking crops in a barn or warehouse, using simple field structures, and storing crops underground (leaving the crops underground until needed, used for storing root and tuber crops such as potatoes in well-drained soil).
Profit Maximization through storage.
Farmer's profits can be increased in several ways, thanks to crop storage:
1) Preserves harvest quality: Farmers may preserve crop quality, which is essential for obtaining a competitive market price. This occurs as a result of consumers' increased willingness to pay more for crops of higher quality.
2) Reduces losses: A reduction in losses gives rise to an increase in the value of the crop produce and their income and vice versa. For instance, a farmer can lessen the chance of crop spoiling and loss by keeping crops in a temperature-controlled setting.
3) Boosts demand: Farmers who maintain crop quality can boost consumer demand for their goods and obtain a better market price. A farmer, for instance, can increase the shelf life of their crops and make them available to purchasers for a longer length of time. As a result, the farmer may receive a greater price for his crops.
4) Lessens reliance on seasonal markets: Farmers can keep their harvests for longer periods thanks to crop storage, which lessens their dependency on seasonal markets. As a result, he can maximize his profit.
5) Increases competitiveness: Farmers can improve their market competitiveness by appropriately preserving their crops. Buyers are most likely to choose crops that are of excellent quality which creates competition. Studies have shown that more than 40% of food loss occurs during the post-harvest stage (storage), which is why Crop2Cash offers you the Beta Farmer Package for you to have a Beta Storage and in return, maximize your profit.
Now take up the chance to sign up so you can enjoy this benefit and much more the package has in store for you