Postharvest Management Practices of Grains in the Eastern Region of Kenya

  •  Anastasia W. Njoroge    
  •  Ibrahim Baoua    
  •  Dieudonne Baributsa    


Cereals and legumes play a major role in the production systems and diets of farmers in the semi-arid eastern region of Kenya. Efficient postharvest management can tremendously contribute to food security in these regions. A study was carried out in three counties in eastern Kenya to assess pre and postharvest management practices among farmers. Data was collected using semi-structured questionnaires designed and administered using Kobo Toolbox via android tablets. Results showed that farmers cultivated three main crops: maize (98%), beans 66%), and pigeon peas (28%). The most saved seed crops were beans (80%) and pigeon peas (50%). Majority of the farmers (80%) experienced pre-drying losses due to insects (48%), rodents (40%) and birds (39%). Farmers stored grain for consumption (80%) and for sale (19%). About 48% of farmers stored the grain for more than 9 months. Challenges during grain storage were insects (57%) and rodents (43%). Primary methods of grain preservation included hermetic methods (61%) followed by insecticides (33%). While progress is being made in addressing storage challenges, there still a need to continue building awareness about improved storage technologies and find solutions for pest infestations in the field and drying after harvest.

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