Chemical Changes in Food Grains in Government Storage

Working Paper
FMRSP Working Paper No. 21

The history of storing food grains is as old as human civilisation. Seasonal variations in harvest need storage of stocks in excess of immediate requirements to adjust the mismatch between supply and demand. Grain quality can only be maintained over any period of time by proper storage. In Bangladesh, the main object of government storage of food grains is to ensure a safe buffer stock of food grains as an instrument of food security at the national levels. Food grains are also stocked by the government to service the need of the Public Food Distribution System, and for programmes of social security and disaster management.
Farmers store food grains for their own consumption and seeds, or for selling through the commercial channels. At the farm level, storage is normally in the form of paddy, because paddy is less susceptible to deterioration in storage. The receptacles in use for storage vary in size and in the material used for construction. They may be temporary, or semi-permanent, but always built of cheap materials. Cylindrical bins made of unbaked clay are very common. A larger receptacle (5000-7000kg capacity) may consist of a rectangular elevated structure of plaited bamboo build on piles and with a sloping thatched roof (Gola). Farmers also store rice in earthen bins (Motka) for short periods. In some cases, the mouth of the bin is sealed with mud and straw and rice is stored for extended periods.
Majority of the rice mills store the paddy in Kothas, a battery of rooms built of brick and mud or mortar and provided with a doors and window. Paddy is stored over a 15cm layer of paddy husk sprayed on the ground. In commercial storage, paddy is normally stored in jute bags, particularly when they are to be milled in the immediate future. Rice for commercial use are invariably stored in gunny bags in Bangladesh.

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Date and language
Feb 2001
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