Integrating storage structures and store time in maize grains postharvest losses evaluation in Northern Zone of Tanzania

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Research Paper 01/06/2019
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Integrating storage structures and store time in maize grains postharvest losses evaluation in Northern Zone of Tanzania

Jennifer Swai, Ernest R. Mbega, Arnold Mushongi, Violeth Mwaijande, Patrick A. Ndakidemi
Int. J. Biosci.14( 6), 36-52, June 2019.
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Maize is the most important cereal crop in Tanzania, thus its postharvest losses are a big threat to food security. This study integrated maize store-time with five storage methods namely Perdue Improved Cowpeas Storage bags (PICS), Metal Drums, Kihenge, Polyethylene bags with insecticides and Polyethylene bags without insecticide. Trials were established following a randomized complete block design with five treatments at Kilimanjaro, Arusha and Manyara, and treatments were monitored for weevil’s infestation for six months consecutive. The results showed PICS bag was the most efficient storage method in minimizing insect damaged kernels as it only contributed to 1% of the insect damaged kernels, while other methods such as Metal drum, Kihenge  Polyethylene bag with insecticide and Polyethylene bag without insecticide resulted in 4%, 23 %, 29%, and 43% insect damaged kernels respectively after six month store‒time. The correlation matrix showed similar results with coefficients of correlation‒0.378, ‒0.272, 0.045, 0.037 and 0.516 respectively. With regards to store-time PICS bag and Metal drum had the lowest number of insect damage throughout six-month store-time. Polyethylene bag with insecticide was able to keep the kernel insect free only for three months while Polyethylene bag without insecticide kept grains free of weevil infestation only for one. There was no suggesting time to store grains using Kihenge due to its fewer numbers of observations.


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