Storage losses may be due to a number of factors. The main losses are caused by insects and rodent damage, fungus growth and rotting.
It is therefore imperative that grain foods are properly dried and stored in both air and water-tight containers.
Cereals are safely stored at 12-14 per cent moisture content while beans and other pulses are stored between 13 per cent and 15 per cent moisture content.
Storage containers vary from earthen pots to baskets, to big metal or cement silos.
The storage containers chosen depending on financial capabilities, materials availability and prevailing climatic conditions.
However, whatever container is used, it must keep the product dry and cool and protect it against insects, fungi, rodents, domestic animals and thieves.
Mixing grain with wood ash, burned cow-dung, fine sand and lime can save seeds from damage.
The material used should fill the spaces between the grains, thereby restricting insect movement and emergence.
Earthen pots sealed with mud can store grains for about one year.
Baskets smeared with mud, clay or cow-dung on the outside can protect grains for a period of 6-9 months.
Protect your seeds from weevils by using tins, jars or earthen pots.